Put together your own veggie tray like a pro!
Next time you want a veggie tray for your party, consider making your own and not buying a prepackaged one from the store. Why would you want to make your own? Less expensive, vegetables of your choice, fresh and tastes better! Yes, it does take just a bit more time that buying one that is ready-to-go. But with these tips you’ll have the skills to make your own impressive ensemble when time does allow!
Keys to making your own veggie tray:
- Prep the fresh vegetables properly.
- Create an attractive arrangement.
- Keep everything easy to reach.
- Provide a yummy dip.
Preparing Fresh Vegetables for Crudités:
- Asparagus: To remove the tough fibrous ends, bend the thick end of each stalk until it snaps off. Blanch the asparagus for 30-60 seconds.
- Broccoli and Cauliflower: Cut broccoli and cauliflower florets into bite-sized pieces by slicing down through the stem. Blanch the broccoli and cauliflower (separately) for 1-1 1/2 minutes.
- Carrots and Celery: Slice both celery and peeled carrots lengthwise into long, elegant lengths, rather than short, stumpy pieces.
- Green Beans: Line the beans up in a row and trim off the inedible stem ends with just one cut. Blanch the beans for 1 minute.
- Peppers: Slice off the top and bottom of the pepper and remove the seeds and stem. Slice down through the side of the pepper, unroll it so that it lies flat, then slice into 1/2-inch-wide strips.
- Snow and Snap Peas: Remove the tough, fibrous string that runs along the straight side of snow and snap peas. Blanch the peas for 15 seconds.
I had never blanched broccoli for a veggie tray before. But if America’s Test Kitchen says it should be so, then I’m willing to try it out. Now that I’ve done it, I’ll never go back! The broccoli has a beautiful vibrant color and a better texture. Nearly everyone noticed the difference. Love it!
cru·di·tés noun plural \krue-dē-tā, ˌkrü-di-ˈtā\: pieces of raw vegetables (such as carrots and celery) that are served before a meal usually with a sauce for dipping. French, from plural of crudité rawness
Can you feel it? You’re on your way to becoming a hostess with the mostess.
Crudité instructions from America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook.
I tried a Greek yogurt Ranch dip recipe recently and my Ranch-dip-loving husband declared it to be nasty, so I asked around to try to find a good recipe. Several of my family responded that they love Aunt Becky’s way of making Ranch dip for veggies or chips or whatever else. This dip is easy to throw together and I love the healthy addition of cottage cheese. Husband-approved.
Thanks, Aunt Becky and cousins!