Crudités platters have become a staple in my menu repertoire when hosting a cocktail party during the spring and summer months. Not only are they healthy, colorful and accommodate a variety of dietary restrictions, but they are also an assembly-only hors d'oeuvres option! If you have ever purchased a crudites platter from the store, it most likely included baby carrots, broccoli, chunky celery sticks and grape tomatoes. While that is certainly a fine and dandy nibble option when pressed for time, I have personally grown tired of the typical crudites offerings. Knowing that there are so many fabulous options when it comes to creating a veggie platter, has really turned me off from ever wanting to serve baby carrots to my guests again. With a little extra effort, you can make a stunning tray of veggies that will have your guests coming back for seconds. Here is how I went about creating my ultimate vegetable platter:
Veggie Platter Details
To create this most delicious platter, I started with the foundations - a large rectangular serving platter from CB2 and two Marta Tasting Glasses to hold the dips for the board. Really, its all about the types of veggies used and the way in which you opt to present the produce that can transform you average platter into a true showstopper. For this platter, I included the following veggies sliced in unique formats using either a peeler, mini mandoline slicer or paring knife.
- Mini English Cucumbers, sliced on the diagonal
- Mini Heirloom Tomatoes
- Peeled Carrots, stems removed and placed below carrots for garnish
- Red and Yellow Peppers, sliced thin
- Tri-colored Carrots (purple, white and orange), sliced on the diagonal
- Sugar Snap Peas
- Radishes, served both whole and sliced thin
- Celery, sliced on the diagonal
- Asparagus, top half only
I opted to serve both a lemon hummus and roasted red pepper hummus along side this platter. Both hummuses were store bought, so I decided to elevate their respective presentations by topping each with a unique/no-fuss garnish. For the red pepper hummus, I added a sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes to kick up the heat a notch. As for the lemon hummus, I opted to include a few fresh thyme leaves and long thin strips of fresh lemon zest to highlight the current flavors and add some additional flavor complexity.
This platter was so much fun to assemble and it made for a great addition to yesterday's party menu. I hope this post has inspired you to look beyond the baby carrots the next time you have to create your own veggie platter and include more unique and seasonal items. Assembling an ultimate veggie platter is a great/refreshing way to keep a healthy option in the mix at your next party.