Vegetable platters – or ‘assiettes de crudités’ as French people call them – are some of my favorite appetizers to serve at parties. Not only are they really easy to put together but they also happen to tick all the boxes: they provide a vegetarian or vegan option (because there’s always that ONE person at every party that can’t eat anything), are super healthy and also taste delicious. With a little bit of styling veggie platters can look great too!
Here are three easy steps to add a certain je ne sais quoi to your next platter:
1- Choosing your vegetables
Hit the markets! Farmers markets are a great place to find fresh, seasonal produce. If there aren’t any markets in your area then just have a good look through your local supermarket or veggie shop and pick vegetables that both look and smell great. Look up online guides (such as this Australian guide) to see which vegetables are in season.
It’s also a good idea to buy your veggies as close to your party as possible and to cut them no more than an hour or so before serving them so they remain fresh.
Go for color. Choose an assortment of vegetables to have as many colors and textures on your plate as possible. Radishes always look really pretty on a plate as do cherry tomatoes or baby carrots. Some vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus will look even more vibrant after being blanched in boiling water for a few minutes.
Some popular vegetables options are: Carrots, Cucumber, Radish, Tomatoes, Celery, Beans, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Capsicum, Endive, Mushrooms…
2- Dips and Garnishes
Dont’ be afraid to experiment. A lot of people go for the classic ‘ranch’ sauce when making crudités and although there’s nothing wrong with that there are plenty of other delicious options out there. Store bought dips are great but you really can’t beat the taste of a home made dip…
Here are few dip recipes you could try making at home:
Garnishes such as parsley, chopped chives or even cracked pepper will make your dips look even more delicious.
You could also serve a few sides such as olives, crackers or nuts.
Choosing the right plate. Round medium-sized plates are handy and make great platters. Don’t feel like you need to limit yourself to traditional serving plates though: you could serve your vegetables and dips in individual glasses, place your veggies in various sized cups or even use wooden boards. You could also use other veggies such as hollowed cabbage or pumpkin to serve you dips in. Check out Pinterest for more visual inspiration!
Size, colors and symmetry. There are many ways to chop and slice vegetables and how you choose to do it is really up to you. However, it’s a good idea to cut each of your veggies in the same size and shape (i.e. slice your carrots in same sized coins, keep your asparagus pieces to the same lengths etc) as it will make everything look tidier on the plate.
A quick and simple way to present your vegetables is to place your dips in the middle of the plate and to arrange the crudités around them (as I did here). Just make sure to alternate the vegetables to create more color contrast.
Bon appétit xx