I’ve mentioned quite frequently that one of my favorite ways to entertain (or heck, even prepare a dinner for just two people) is with DIY platters.
Pile a bunch of great ingredients onto a cutting board, platter, or even just a baking sheet, and let everybody make their own personalized dish.
But the truth is, I love photographing these platters just as much (if not more) than eating them. There’s just something about a platter bursting with colorful ingredients that my camera and I can’t get enough of.
Plus, the food stylist part of me loves screaming “more! more! put more things on that platter!”
This DIY Spring Salad Board satisfies the photographer, food stylist and salad enthusiast parts of my personality. As you may have noticed on Instagram, I’ve been absolutely obsessed with spring produce lately.
Fresh rainbow carrots, asparagus, radishes, haricot vert (green beans!), endive and vibrant greens and herbs all make an appearance on this platter.
Great produce needs some great accompaniments, and I’m giving my guests options here: we’ve got a creamy Parmigiano Reggiano-Peppercorn Dressing, as well as Parmigiano Reggiano Vinaigrette for dressing options (another great homemade salad dressing option would be my Citrus Salad Dressing).
And it wouldn’t be a stellar salad without some easy, one ingredient (!!!) Parmigiano Reggiano Fricos, which are like a crouton but made of all cheese.
For the Parmigiano Reggiano-Peppercorn Dressing:
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 1/2 teaspoon coarsley ground black peppercorns
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
For the Parmigiano Reggiano Vinaigrette:
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- Pinch of kosher salt and ground black pepper
For the Parmigiano Reggiano Fricos:
- 1 cup shredded Parmigiano Reggiano
For the Salad:
- Asapragus, blanched
- Endive, quartered
- Haricot Vert or Green Beans, blanched
- Radishes, thinly sliced
- Rainbow Carrots, blanched
- Lemon wedges
- Parsley Leaves
- Spinach, Watercress, Arugula or Mixed Greens
- Flaky Sea Salt
- Make the Parmigiano Reggiano-Peppercorn Dressing: In small bowl, whisk buttermilk, yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, cheese, pepper and salt until well combined. Makes about 1-1/4 cups; refrigerate up to 3 days before using.
- Make the Parmigiano Reggiano Vinaigrette: In small bowl, whisk cheese, oil, vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper until well combined. Makes about 1 cup; refrigerate up to 3 days before using.
- Make the Parmigiano Reggiano Fricos: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line 2 rimmed baking pans with parchment paper. Drop cheese by tablespoonful onto baking pans, 3 inches apart. Gently tap down mounds of cheese to spread slightly. Transfer to oven and bake 9 minutes or until crisp. Makes 16 fricos.
- To serve, arrange asparagus, endive, haricot vert, radishes, carrots, lemons, parsley and spinach on large platter and sprinkle with sea salt. Add dressings and fricos to platter and let guests assemble their own salads.
Home Chef Tip: Have Parmigiano Reggiano rinds left over after shredding and grating the cheese you need? Wrap each rind in plastic wrap, place in a freezer bag and freeze. Next time you make a soup, throw a rind into the soup as it simmers to add a fantastic earthy, cheesy flavor!