Crudité is a staple at any gathering. It’s a healthier option for your guests, but it’s easy to fall into the same old combo of baby carrots and celery and cherry tomatoes. These simple tips will help you create a modern, festive veggie display to serve as an upgraded take on an old classic.
Grab your guests’ attention by using out of the ordinary cuts for your veggies.
- Use a crinkle cutter to cross-slice zucchini or large carrots into “wavy chip” shapes.
- Cut cucumbers or summer squash into long, thin spears.
- Create fun flower shapes. Just repeatedly run a zester down the length of a peeled carrot, leaving a small space in between. Cross slice and voila!
- Leave the leaves. The tasty tender greens at the end of celery and actual baby carrots look sweet peeking out of a platter.
- Serve multicolored “baby bell peppers” as a sweet and adorable alternative to pepper strips.
Make it Dynamic
Break away from standard flat piles of veggies arranged around the dip and add some pizazz:
- Use a scattered assortment of clear, tall vessels in varying shapes and sizes. Fill each with one veggie type and set on a tray for a simple, yet elegant, look.
- Go mod and use same-sized square glass vases. Fill with varying or layered veggies and line them up side by side.
- Evoke a bountiful vibe and use a farmers market-style basket lined with damp kitchen towels. Pile with veggies with greens peeking out “harvest style.”
- Create “crudité on a stick.” Cut a mix of veggies into even-size chunks and string onto skewers for easy-to-grab party dippers. Use a foam floral base to display.
- Grow a crudité garden. Line a small, pretty window box with plastic wrap and kitchen towels. Arrange veggies in groups, vertically peeking out and ready to “pick.”
Invite unexpected veggies into the mix of usual suspects:
- Jicama sticks or chips
- Yellow wax beans
- Green beans or haricot vert
- Thinly sliced fennel
- Zucchini spears
- Baby radishes
- Brussels sprouts
- Small wedges of romaine lettuce
- Boiled baby potatoes
Keep ’em Fresh
Keep your crudité looking and tasting their best with just a little bit of love—especially helpful if you want to (smartly) prep them ahead of the party.
- Line storage containers with paper towels to absorb excess moisture.
- Cover pre-cut veggies with a damp paper towel to keep them from drying out.
- Take the extra time to blanch and shock (briefly boil & quickly chill in ice water) broccoli, green beans, and asparagus so they stay bright green.
- Plunge pre-cut raw veggies into ice water an hour before serving to refresh them.
Improve your dip game to match your upgraded crudité!
- Swap low-fat Greek yogurt for all or part of the mayonnaise to slash fat.
- Garnish dips with chopped fresh chives, scallions, or parsley for a bright look.
- Use puréed veggies as dip bases to lighten things up. Great options include roasted peppers, cooked carrots, or cooked cauliflower.
- Serve warm dips in a small fondue pot with a spoon for serving.
- Spiffy-up purchased dips by stirring in fresh lemon zest, minced shallots, or herbs. Serve in a pretty container.
Use these tips for your next party and watch your techniques start showing up at all your friend’s events. There will be beautiful crudité displays as far as the eye can see.