A Floral Finish

Few people understand the art of the grazing board better than Callie Salls

The chef proprietor at Fort Worth culinary studio Meyer & Sage, whose aesthetically pleasing charcuterie, cheese and fruit trays look as good as they taste. One thing that separates her boards from the others — fresh flowers. There’s an art to that as well. Here, Salls shares a few tips on how to give your party tray a floral finish.

 

Placement is key. “I always ‘finish’ my boards with a few floral embellishments, almost like garnishing a dish you are cooking. I finish local honeycomb with a few pinches of aromatic culinary dried lavender, tuck a few delicate bundles of fresh herbs by the harder cheeses and finish the grazing board with a sprinkling of mini flowers such as dianthus.”

Garnish in season. “In the winter, I love using fresh, woodsy herbs such as lavender, rosemary and thyme. In the spring and summer months, I adore using bright, fresh flowers and seasonal fruits. Mini daisies, a couple beautiful rosebuds and fresh berries with their greenery intact are all lovely in the warmer months.”

Use edible flowers, of course. “I currently use all organic edible flowers that I special order for my business, but there are many options right in your garden or at a local shop. Wash woodsy herbs delicately with tepid water and let dry completely. Snip any sharp ends, and you are ready to go.”

Use a vase. “Some flowers can be toxic and not necessarily mix with foods unless they are edible. If flowers aren’t designated for food, keep in a mini vase atop a grazing board to uphold the beautiful aesthetic of fresh flowers, but keep separate from a cheese. Grabbing an oversized wooden board, a few cheeses, a handful of nuts and a jar of your favorite chutney can turn into the most beautiful board with some subtle floral embellishments.”