To be completely honest, I’ve always been a little scared to try and assemble a board, because they always seems much more fancy and elegant than I’ve ever considered myself to be, but they’re actually incredibly easy! The hardest part really is just finding the right kind (and size) of tray for what you need. (I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but I actually use the lids to a couple of storage bins from IKEA – but that’s our little secret, ‘kay?)
The actual way to pronounce “crudités” is “krew/dee/tay” – thank you, Dictionary.com – and literally translates to “raw.” So essentially it’s just a bunch of raw veggies thrown on a board with some dip. But it’s classy and tasteful, because it’s French.
You know those “veggie trays” with the black tray and the clear plastic lid that could wake the dead? Those shouldn’t even be legal – literally baby carrots, celery, tomatoes and broccoli is honestly an insult to crudités platters everywhere.
- Use seasonal veggies. Literally any kind of vegetable will work for this kind of thing, but always try for as many colors as possible. The more fresh, crisp, and colorful they are, the better everything will look and taste.
- Always have some kind of carb. Whether you have pita, crostini, crackers, baguette… it doesn’t matter. But you absolutely have to something the break up the veggies and add some different textures.
- Use a variety of veggies, and feel free to incorporate pickled ones too! Even though everything is traditionally supposed to be raw… who doesn’t like to break the rules?!
- DIP. Always have dip. Something creamy is always a hit, but you can do hummus (for a vegan-friendly option). I usually like to have one creamy, one savory, and spicy, or some kind of combination. But seriously – DIP.
- Pull apart leaves of lettuce, radicchio, endive or other leafy greens and herbs to line the board and give some extra dimensions and flair. Large basil leaves are always a good choice, plus they are heavily fragrant.
- Try to make sure to cut the veggies as close as possible to the time you want to eat it. No one wants sad and wilty vegetables that are starting to brown. I try to cut them only a few hours in advance at the most, or wrap the tray with plastic or bees wax wrap and keep in the fridge until ready to go.
- Dips are a different story – make them as much as a couple days ahead! If you know you’re planning on having a few different kinds of dip for the tray, feel free to make them ahead. Not only will it allow the flavors time to really get friendly with each other, but it also gives you time to fix and adjust them before the day you plan to eat it.
So there you have it! A few easy tips to absolutely slay your next crudités platter.