How To Create The Perfect Picnic Platter with Beetroot Hummus

By Katrina Lander

There are so many things to love about hosting in the summer – everyone is always happiest when the sun is shining, ‘picky bits’ becomes everyone’s favourite food, which as a result means there’s no need to spend hours in the kitchen (it’s way too hot for that).

I use my Cole & Mason acacia board all year round, it’s beautifully designed and looks elegant which makes it the perfect board to create a picnic platter on for summer.

In my opinion, the perfect picnic platter is colourful, with plenty of fresh ingredients and looks full. It can be a little daunting trying to make it look aesthetically pleasing, but it’s a lot easier than you may think, here are my top tips:

  1.  Start with your largest items

Your largest items are usually the main ingredients, it’s best to start with these as your base and build around the items. Separate them on the board, rather than putting them close together. 

2. Add small bowls

 After arranging your larger items onto your board, I would add some small bowls (I stick to an uneven number). I used mine to hold the olives, beetroot hummus and blueberries - as well as giving another dimension to the platter it saves certain ingredients making a mess or scattering across your board.

I would also recommend using small bowls for olive oil and balsamic vinegar (great to dip fresh bread in), pickles, salt, pepper, honey, and knobs of butter.

3. Think in two's

To keep it interesting and add different colours and sizes, think in twos. 1-2 kinds of cheese, 1-2 kinds of crackers etc. It will add variety to your platter and take it from looking bland to aesthetically pleasing. Think about choosing different colours and sizes, for example I opted for round and rectangular crackers.   

4. Assemble your ingredients in a fun way

Rather than laying all your ingredients flat, think about adding dimensions and different heights. I used the crackers to make a half circle and a fan shape, this made use of the space on the board and looks more interesting than placing in a row.

For the salami, I folded each one in half and then half again, I made a bunch and placed these into gaps on the board – it’s really easy to do, takes no time and looks fancy.

5. Fill in the gaps

In my opinion a full platter is a good platter, I try not to leave many gaps on the board by filling these with ingredients such as mixed nuts, fresh herbs and fruits.

6. Keep it colourful and fresh

Buying in season has great benefits - you get the best flavours, perfectly ripe produce, it helps the environment and is more nutritious. I recommend choosing any fruits and vegetables that are currently in season, I opted for vibrant piccolo tomatoes and made my own beetroot hummus to add bright colours and keep my picnic platter fresh and wholesome.

Recipe: Beetroot Hummus

Prep: 10 mins 

Cook: 25 minutes  

Difficulty: Easy 

Serves: 4


  • 1 Large raw beetroot
  • 1 Tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 Tbsp tahini
  • 2 Tbsp Lemon juice
  • 1 Clove garlic
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to season
  • Fresh mint to garnish


  1. Remove the stem from the beetroot, peel and cut into roughly the same size quarters. Lay in the air fryer basket, drizzle with olive oil and cook for 18-20 minutes at 200°C or until tender - If using the oven, spread the beetroot out on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 35-40 minutes until tender.
  2. Once the beetroot is cool enough to handle, add to your food processor along with all other ingredients, excluding the fresh mint. Whizz until combined and smooth. Ensure to taste and adjust the seasoning – I was generous with the salt.
  3. Garnish with fresh mint and serve in small bowls on your picnic platter.


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