Doesn’t this crudité vegetable platter perfectly capture the spirit of the holiday season?  I can just see this being the hit of a Christmas gathering. So festive and merry, it’s almost too pretty to eat.

First of all, I know what you’re thinking.  Wow, Cheryl must be a highly creative person to have dreamed up this arrangement.  Full disclosure – I found it on eatingwell.com.  While I may not have inherited a creative gene, I do like trying out new recipes. This one may look complicated but it’s deceiving – super easy plus making the dip was a breeze.  In fact, I can’t say enough about the dip. Slightly sweet, slightly savory, it was a beautiful blend of tantalizing flavors complimenting the vegetables nicely.

In case you’re wondering what “crudité” means, (no worries, I had to look it up myself), it is simply a traditional French appetizer made up of sliced or whole raw vegetables served as hors d’oeuvre usually with a dip.  Despite the delightful plethora of sweets and other goodies found at Christmas gatherings, it’s nice to offer some balance and variety.  That’s why a crudité vegetable wreath is the perfect idea. It will entice even the stingiest vegetable eater to sneak a few veggies onto their holiday food plate.

There is one thing slightly different about this recipe. You’re not just throwing together and arranging a bunch of raw veggies on a platter. Nope, these veggies are blanched, except for the cauliflower and tomatoes.  If you’re not familiar with blanching, it’s a very simple and basic technique every cook should know. Vegetables are briefly boiled for about 1 to 2 minutes and then plunged into ice water to stop the cooking process.  Just about any vegetable can be blanched. I love how blanching makes veggies like broccoli and Brussels sprouts turn an eye-popping green and tender-crisp, one of my favorite ways of eating them.

I highly recommend you give this recipe a try.  Get your creative juices flowing and dream up your own unique arrangement that becomes your crudité vegetable masterpiece.

Photo taken by Cheryl Mussatto

Crudite Vegetable Wreath with Creamy Yogurt Dip – Makes 20 servings. To make ahead, refrigerate for up to 1 day.

Nutrition per serving: Calories – 49; 3 grams of fat; 3 grams of fiber; 4 grams of carbohydrate; 2 grams of protein; 30 micrograms of folate; 34 milligrams of vitamin C; 2 grams of sugar.

Ingredients for Yogurt Dip:

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

½ cup mayonnaise

2 tablespoons finely chopped shallot

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill or 1 teaspoon dried dill

4 teaspoons white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon sugar

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon ground white pepper

Directions for the Dip:

  1. Whisk yogurt, mayonnaise, shallot, dill, vinegar, garlic powder, sugar, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Transfer to a serving bowl; set it in the center of a large circular platter or decorative serving board.

Ingredients for Veggie Platter:

8 cups broccoli florets

2 cups Brussels sprouts, trimmed

2 cups fresh green beans, trimmed

1 cup sugar snap peas, strings removed

½ bunch curly kale, washed

2 cups cauliflower florets

9 cherry tomatoes

Directions for assembling Vegetables on platter:

  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil. Set a large bowl of ice water by the stove. Blanch broccoli in boiling water for 1 to 2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the broccoli to the ice bath to chill. Drain well. Blanch the Brussels sprouts, green beans, and snap peas in the same way.
  2. Arrange kale around the bowl, with the frilly edges on the outside. Top with the broccoli, Brussel sprouts, green beans, snap peas, and cauliflower. Garnish with cherry tomatoes.
Categories: Recipes

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Cheryl Mussatto

Cheryl Mussatto MS, RD, LD is a registered dietitian with a master’s degree in Dietetics and Nutrition from the University of Kansas and a bachelor’s degree in Dietetics and Institutional Management from Kansas State University. She is a clinical dietitian for Cotton O’Neil Clinics in Topeka and Osage City; an adjunct professor for Allen Community College, Burlingame, KS where she teaches Basic Nutrition; and is a freelance writer and blog contributor for Dr. David Samadi, Urologic Oncologist Expert and World Renowned Robotic Surgeon in New York City. Cheryl is also the author of The Nourished Brain, The Latest Science on Food’s Power for Protecting the Brain from Alzheimers and Dementia, found on Amazon in both Kindle and paperback editions.

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