Halloween is just around the corner and if you happen to be hosting a spooky soiree this year, you might be wondering what to serve right about now. Our advice? An on-theme Halloween snack board. It’s low maintenance, versatile and relatively easy to assemble. However, while there’s no shortage of kitschy, cutesy and downright scary inspo on TikTok, Pinterest and the like, if you’re wanting to reference a Halloween snack board that’s more aesthetically Midsommar than Scream, well, that might be a bit of a challenge. Truthfully, we were hard pressed to find much of anything that met this criteria during our research (although Courtney Wright’s now-viral Hocus Pocus-themed creation is definitely hitting the mark). Enter: MAIDE, an L.A. based catering company from home-styled cooks Sophie Dalah and Madi Fogg.
Known for their beautiful, yet wildly creative menus and food stylings, we asked Dalah and Fogg to create a Halloween snack board that’s a cut above the rest. To do this, the duo strove to think outside the box and “come up with ideas that are different from the obvious first choice,” which is a sentiment they encourage anyone looking to make a snack board at home to use. Hence, instead of going the usual Halloween candy and charcuterie route, Dalah and Fogg chose to source almost all of their ingredients from Sasoun Produce, a family-owned Market in East LA that specializes in quality tropical fruit. “Exotic fruits are always an inspiration for us at MAIDE and when Halloween came around, we couldn’t wait to use them for a stunning and playful food board,” Fogg and Dalah said.
The result? Something worth screaming over (in a good way). Their board even includes a butter snake (yes, you read that right — a snake made out of butter). Keep reading to get all of MAIDE’s tips on how to create an elevated Halloween snack board (and even a few bonus recipes), below.
Keep It Natural
To make your board feel cohesive and give it a sort of cup-runneth-over affect, Dalah and Fogg suggest keeping as many leaves on your fruits and vegetables as possible. If you have access to the outdoors, foraging is also encouraged, as you can use found foliage like pine cones and fallen leaves to add interest to any spots that need enhancing. The persimmons on Dalah and Fogg’s board, for example, were gathered while walking in their neighborhood. Another word of advice, “Choosing ingredients that seem imperfect will elevate your board as there is always beauty when celebrating nature in its pure and organic form,” the cooks say. This is a nice way to use produce that might typically get looked over.
Add a Sculptural Element
Dalah and Fogg’s biggest piece of advice? Don’t be afraid to try something new. This was the case with their butter snake, a creation that feels especially on-trend thanks to the TikTok butter board craze. Adding a sculptural element to your board like this brings a nice touch of whimsy and fun. Plus, “it’s kind of a show stopper when serving carved butter at an event!” the two attest. A snake seemed fitting for their board considering “all the exotic fruit reminded us of a jungle scene.” In comparison to other creepy crawlies synonymous with Halloween, a snake is also fairly easy to make yourself. But, if a butter bat or spider or even a ghost is calling to you, go for it! As Dalah and Fogg say, “There are no accidents, only happy mistakes.”
Pay Attention To Color
Color was a big consideration for Dalah and Fogg when creating their board. While the partners tried to use colors typically associated with Halloween, “We also wanted to incorporate the colors of fall by using different oranges and reds along with persimmons, pumpkins and other seasonal fruits and veg.” The use of contrasting colors, textures and varieties of produce add depth and make the board feel as though it’s alive — a stark contrast to the more literal interpretations of Halloween snack boards that abound. In addition to sourcing naturally colorful elements, Dalah and Fogg also developed a few spooky dishes to add to the board’s vibrancy. Recipes for their green tinged Hazelnut and Herb Dip (aka Green Slime Tahini) and Charcoal Stecca (a type of bread) can be found, below.
- 3 cups (400 grams) bread flour
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- ¾ teaspoon sugar
- ¼ teaspoon instant or other active dry yeast
- 1½ cups (350 grams) cool 55-65F water
- additional flour for dusting
- 4 tablespoons of food safe powdered activated charcoal
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- ¾ teaspoon coarse sea salt or kosher salt
- In a medium bowl stir together the flour, table salt, sugar, charcoal and yeast. Add the water and using a wooden spoon, mix until you have a wet, sticky dough, about 30 seconds. Cover the bowl and let sit at room temperature until the surface is dotted with bubbles and the dough is more than doubled in size, 10 to 18 hours (24 hours if you have a cold cold home).
- When the first rise is complete, generously dust a work surface with flour. Use a bowl scraper or rubber spatula to scrape the dough out of the bowl in one piece. Fold the dough over itself three times and gently shape it into a somewhat flattened ball. Brush the surface of the dough with some of the olive oil and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon of the coarse salt (which will gradually dissolve on the surface).
- Grab a bowl large enough to hold the dough when it doubles in size and swirl around the oil so the sides of the bowl are greased. Place the dough in the bowl and cover the bowl with a towel. Leave in a warm spot to rise for 1 to 2 hours.
- Half an hour before the end of the second rise, pre-heat the oven to 500F. Use a silpat on a baking sheet and dust it with flour so the loaf doesn’t stick (Important!)
- Cut the dough into quarters. Gently stretch each piece into any shape you like! We did “S” shapes and long, thin baguettes.
- Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle some sea salt and any seeds you want to add! We used nigella seeds.
- Bake for 19 minutes, then cool on a pan for 5 minutes. If you have a cooling rack, pop it on that- if not, a plate will do.
- Note: The bread may become a bit soggy in just a few hours because of the salt on the surface. If that happens, reheat the loaves in a hot oven until crisp.
Hazelnut and Herb Dip (Green Slime Tahini)
- 1/2 cup of toasted hazelnuts
- 1/2 cup of boiling water
- 1/4 cup of tahini
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 lemons
- 1/2 a bunch of cilantro
- 1/2 a bunch of mint
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Green pepper
- Blend your toasted hazelnuts, salt and garlic with HOT water till creamy.
- Add tahini and lemon.
- The texture should be fluffy and creamy, if it stiffens up, add water VERY slowly to make it creamy again.
- Once the dip has cooled down, add your mint, green pepper and cilantro, and blend til smooth and green.
- Place in a bowl. Dress with olive or chili oil and Maldon salt.