And it's easy to put together.

By Adrienne Blumthal
October 02, 2020
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Steven Karl Metzer

For a fresh, beautiful, and delicious appetizer to serve during the holidays, try a crudités platter. It's the ultimate guilt-free grazing option to enjoy ahead of the holiday meal. A crudités platter typically consists of an assortment of raw vegetables and dips, but this is definitely not your average vegetable tray. It's totally next-level in terms of both look and taste. When done right—and we'll show you how here—preparing a crudités platter is easy, and the end result is always impressive.

Steven Karl Metzer

The Main Elements

Pick a board, any board! Just pick it out (even if only mentally) before you head to the grocery store so you know roughly what amount of vegetables you will need in order to avoid having a skimpy selection. More is always better on a crudités platter. When choosing vegetables, think like a food stylist and consider shape, texture, and color. You don't want everything to be round or the same color. Radishes are great option since they come in a rainbow of colors. We also like sweet snacking peppers, which are available in multiple colors. Opt for baby broccoli rather than traditional larger florets and rainbow carrots in lieu of orange.

Steven Karl Metzer

The Accessories

Just as important as the vegetables are the extras. Dips, fresh herbs, and pickled vegetables, like olives and onions, are must haves on crudités platters. Not only do they add variety in taste, color, and texture, but they also give the finished board more depth. Plan and prepare the dips ahead to save on time. You may also want to serve crackers or a slices of baguette on the side of the crudités platter. Don't forget to set out toothpicks or other small serving utensils so it's easy for guests to get the pickled vegetables.

Steven Karl Metzer

Assembling

Wash and dry all vegetables before you start assembling. To begin, set the platter or serving board out on your work surface. Transfer dips and pickles to small serving bowls and then place them in different areas on the board. It's best to place items that are in containers first, and so you can stack and build around them. You can also adjust their placement as you go.

Use a separate cutting board to prepare the vegetables. Some, like cherry tomatoes, snap peas, and small peppers, can be left whole, while others need to be cut. To add interest, try cutting the same vegetable into different shapes. For example, cut carrots into both sticks and rounds and consider quartering mini cucumbers.

As you cut vegetables, start placing them onto the board. It's a good idea to begin by nesting them around the bowls of dips and pickled foods, then filling in the space between each. As you are building, think about colors. Don't put all the green vegetables together and don't put all of the same cut shaped vegetables next to each other. Once the board is complete, add fresh herbs for a beautiful and fragrant garnish.

The Thanksgiving crudités platter shown above contains the following:

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