Beyond charcuterie boards, a new cookbook honors the art of meals made from snacks

Marinated asparagus in a yellow mustard vinaigrette
Lukas Volger shows you how to prep marinated asparagus to keep on hand for last-minute meals.
(Cara Howe)

Cooking a meal is great, but have you assembled a bunch of your favorite things on a plate and called that a meal instead? Of course you have, because everyone does this. (And I’m not talking about those over-the-top charcuterie boards or “adult Lunchables” that are fun to gawk at). No one does it as masterfully as Lukas Volger, who takes compiling snacks for a meal to a high art. As a friend of Volger’s, I’ve witnessed firsthand his lavish snack platters. They may seem casually thrown together but they’re anything but.

The book cover of "Snacks for Dinner: Small Bites, Full Plates, Can't Lose" by Lukas Volger
(Cara Howe)

Slices of meat, some cheese, a mustard or jam is there, sure, but so are delicately dressed vegetables, crunchy nut mixes or warm olive-marinated beans — Volger takes composing snack platters to a whole new level. So it’s no surprise that he’s written the book on the subject: “Snacks for Dinner” (Harper Wave, 2022). His book contains all his wisdom and experience for how to compose a winning platter, made with crunchy, fresh and nutritious snacks in mind, not just a pile of meat and cheese like those charcuterie boards.


Crudités sit next to toasted bread, a lentil-carrot-date salad and fresh boiled eggs in one platter, while another pairs the raw crunchy veggies with fresh ricotta, fried chickpeas and bowls of gazpacho made with watermelon. Blanched spring asparagus, marinated in a mustard vinaigrette, are superb to keep in the fridge for when the snacking urge takes over. Set a few spears on a plate, add some cheese, toasted sourdough and a bowl of olives or beans, and you’ll soon get the hang of Volger’s brilliance.

Get the recipe:

Orange and Mustard-Marinated Asparagus

Time 30 minutes
Yields Serves 4 to 6