Expert Inspiration: The perfect rustic wedding menu

Think comfort and countryside. Rustic is set to be one of the top wedding themes of 2015 – and here’s the perfect wedding menu to match.

Wedding food plays such a huge role in your big-day, it’s only right that it reflects your chosen theme and style. Today we’ve teamed up with Jen Middlehurst, from event caterers Kalm Kitchen, to bring you a whole host of inspiration for your rustic wedding menu…

Perfect pick-me-ups

Jen Middlehurst, the foodie expert and Event Director behind Surrey’s Kalm Kitchen suggests that rustic canapés should be fun, reflecting country-inspired wedding trends and colours. She suggests a range of mouth-watering canapés including:

  • Venison lollypops with juniper chutney
  • Pork belly bites with gooseberry jam
  • Roasted guinea fowl with butternut puree in a Yorkshire pudding
  • Birdcage canapés: Wild mushroom ragu in a mini brioche

We love the natural vibe and home-farm feel to Jen’s suggestions. From the colour of the gooseberry jam and butternut puree, to the home comforts of a handmade brioche roll and Yorkshire pudding. There’s enough variety to delight all your guests’ tastebuds.

The Perfect Rustic menu - Venison lollypops | CHWV

The Perfect Rustic menu - Tofu lollypops | CHWV

The Perfect Rustic menu - Kalm Kitchen Canapes | CHWV
Image © M&J Photography

The starters

With a rustic wedding celebration, we love the idea of keeping things relaxed and sociable. With the right finishing touches, you can make the simplest of starters look and taste amazing.

Rustic bread rolls or loaves served along with a variety of infused olive oils will always go down a winner amongst your wedding guests. Simple yet tasty, they ooze natural, homemade charm and can be presented attractively too – for example, as a parcel wrapped in string.

Alternatively, you could opt for sharing salads, keeping that wedding buzz alive as guests socialise over dinner. Be inspired by Tuscan flavours, like pepper, lemon, tomatoes, olives and garlic and don’t be afraid to throw in fruits like grapefruit, mango or strawberries too. For a more hearty affair, you could also toss rare beef or smoked salmon into your salad bowls too.

If you’ve got your heart set on serving up a dish that oozes rustic colour and charm, Jen Middleton suggests a roasted butternut squash risotto, served with butternut crisps. This is a particularly good option for autumn celebrations as it reflects the colours of the changing seasons and is a perfect warming dish.

The Perfect Rustic menu - Bread roll | CHWV

The Perfect Rustic menu - Salad in porcelain bowls | CHWV

The Perfect Rustic menu - Olives and Oils | CHWV

The Perfect Rustic menu - Kalm Kitchen Starters | CHWV
Image © Anneli Marinovich Photography

The main event

When it comes to the rustic trend you can’t beat a hog roast or barbecue. They’re sociable, laid back, tasty and guaranteed to satisfy all of your guests’ appetites. What’s more, they work great for outdoors celebrations too, as you dine on long trestle tables amongst the glorious British countryside.

If you’re looking for something a little bit more ‘posh’ than the traditional barbecue, you could design your own gourmet option. First you’ll need a choice of meats / fish for your guests, such as smoked chicken and barbecued mackerel and scallops, which you’ll serve up alongside a range of sumptuous sides. Our favourites include colourful salads – dressed with edible flowers if you like - sweet potato wedges with honey butter and the traditional country favourite of corn on the cob. Skewers featuring your favourite Mediterranean vegetables also look great and fit in perfectly with the rustic theme.

Alternatively, you could give the traditional roast dinner a rustic wedding touch by serving up something more hearty and full of flavour. Jen Middleton suggests roasted pork belly with roasted root vegetables, apple compote and rick sage gravy – a winning combination!

Whatever food you choose for your main course, try and use seasonal, local produce. The majority of wedding caterers will always go out of their way to make sure this is the case because it does have such a huge impact on the way your food looks and tastes.

The Perfect Rustic menu - BBQ | CHWV

The Perfect Rustic menu - Salad | CHWV

The Perfect Rustic menu - Sweetcorn and Chips | CHWV

The Perfect Rustic menu - Kalm Kitchen Main | CHWV
Image © Steve Middlehurst Photography

The desserts

There’s something about pastry and pies that ooze rustic charm – especially when they look homemade. In winter months, why not serve up your favourite pies on a dessert table, featuring every flavour from cherry to apple. In the summer, you can still go with the pie theme but opt for zesty favourites like key lime pie or lemon meringue pie. In fact, our foodie expert, Jen Middleton, says you can’t go wrong with an apple and basil tart, served with vanilla ice cream and apple crisp. Delicious!

Another one of our favourite ideas is layered cakes served in mason jars. These can double up as favours too and let’s face it, who doesn’t like cake?!

If you plan on serving up your wedding cake as dessert, there are two styles that embody the whole rustic trend. The naked wedding cake is perfect for all seasons and can be tailored to suit your tastebuds and personal wedding style. You can opt for different flavour sponges and style with flowers, berries and much more. Alternatively, if savoury is more your thing, why not opt for a tiered cheese cake and serve with crackers.

The Perfect Rustic menu - Pies for dessert | CHWV

The Perfect Rustic menu - Cakes in mason jars | CHWV

The Perfect Rustic menu - Rustic naked wedding cake | CHWV

Evening delights

Come evening, you’ll be able to have real fun with your wedding food. You can be inspired by “truck food” and street food, perfect for a laid back yet vibrant affair.

Jen Middleton suggests the old classic chilli con carne with sour cream and rice – which always goes down a treat. Woodfired pizzas are another great option and a trend that continues to grow in the modern-day wedding.

For something fun and unique, you could also set up a waffle bar, pancake station or popcorn stall – or all three if you like! Guaranteed to cause a stir amongst your wedding guests, these foodie options will offer up great photo opportunities as well as delighting all your wedding guests.

The Perfect Rustic menu - Woodfired Pizzas | CHWV

The Perfect Rustic menu - Waffle Bar | CHWV

For more rustic wedding ideas see our Pinterest board.

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