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.
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:
- 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:
- 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.
- 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.