Serving a vegetable or crudite platter at any event adds a classic touch for a fun occasion. Healthy and good for you, vegetables give the cook options for creativity. Bright in colours and delicious when paired with dips, a fancy vegetable tray will satiate guests or keep them occupied until dinner is served.
Using a deep galvanised-metal planter, create a vegetable tray that has double-duty as a centrepiece. In an article on Martha Stewart.com, it is suggested to "line the bottom with sprouts, and pour in enough water to moisten them." Purchase a variety of colourful vegetables such as asparagus, cauliflower, carrots, orange bell peppers, cherry tomatoes or broccoli and arrange them inside the planter. Serve with ranch dip on the side.
Summertime leads to the freshest vegetables being available for consumption. Create an assortment of traditional vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, celery and broccoli. Mix in interesting vegetables like jicama, an assortment of bell peppers, snap peas, zucchini and artichoke. Have a few different kinds of dips with opposite flavours, like a Tazaki dip, hummus, traditional ranch and a curry dip.
Get creative when preparing this tray by using vegetables as a natural cup. Vegetables like tomatoes, mushrooms and bell peppers can all be used to create a stuffed vegetable tray as an hors d'oeuvres. Celery sticks can be filled with cream cheese, or refer to Food Network's Giada de Laurentiis for recipes such as Herb Stuffed Tomatoes, which take only 20 minutes to prepare.
If pressed for time, and the budget allows, many speciality high-end grocers or restaurants geared toward health foods will prepare a veggie/crudite platter for any gathering at a nominal fee. Find a store such as Gelson's Grocery in California, which has a vegetable platter that serves 12 to 15 people for £25.90 (at the time of publication). Serve with dip options like eggplant caviar or a zesty avocado lime dip. If nothing like this is available, reach out to a high-end restaurant in your town.
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