How To Build a Relish Tray | Midwest Living
More
Close

How To Build a Relish Tray

Even if you’re missing the neon Pabst sign and vat of frying oil, you can channel a Wisconsin fish fry at home with the essential starter: a traditional relish tray.

Not hungry enough to want a relish tray with the Friday-night fish fry at Madison, Wisconsin's, Avenue Bar? No problem: Come back any other night and have the deluxe version off the appetizer menu. "It's a nod to the '20s and '30s, when supper clubs were a big thing," says head chef Christian Behr. "They always served a relish tray. And it's still this great dish that people love to gather around." Here's how he builds one.

Relish tray

The club vibe Sliced cheese and crackers aren’t the small-town Wisconsin way. Go for thin, crunchy breadsticks and a cheese spread.

A pack of pickles Consider pickles another of the classic must-haves. Christian likes cornichon and dill pickle spears, but adds other pickled produce, like beets or asparagus.

Classic additions Tray tradition calls for black ripe olives or green pimiento-stuffed olives. Rebels might opt for a mix of marinated olives from the supermarket olive bar.

Vintage charm Thrift stores are treasure troves of vintage glass bowls and trays at super-affordable prices. “Any pretty tray works. It just needs to look nice,” says Christian. No need to be matchy-matchy.

Fun pick-ups Cocktail forks are a little uptight for this scene. Colorful party toothpicks or plastic cocktail swords feel more festive and supper-clubby.

Add Your Comment