Spring is Coming. Make Crudité.
By Kat Johnson
The days are getting longer and temperatures are warming - which means that before you know it, we’ll start to see bright red strawberries and tomatoes on the shelves of the Co-op! While we wait, now is the perfect time to make the most of what’s available right now, including root vegetables, bitter chicories, and brassicas. There are lots of colors you can add to your plate with a tiny bit of effort. My favorite way to eat veggies lately is as crudité!
Need some tips on how to create your own? Here’s a three-step guide to the perfect platter:
1. Know how to pick and prepare your veggies
When shopping at the co-op, you want to go for what has the best pops of color. Carrots (go for orange, yellow, and purple if you can), romanesco, cauliflower, broccoli, radishes, sweet peppers, cucumbers, and cherry tomatoes are all good bets. Bitter endives or chicories also make an excellent addition. The beauty of crudité is that it’s totally customizable.
To prepare them, you’ll want to cut everything into bite-sized pieces. For the heartier veggies like carrots, broccoli, or cauliflower, blanch them in very salty water to bring out their color and flavor even more.
2. Pair the crudité with delicious sauce
This is a choose your own adventure, so you could serve your veggies with hummus, salsa, or a yogurt-based dip. I like to go the yogurt route by mixing in some of my favorite spices, a squeeze of lemon juice, and olive oil.
3. Make it a showstopper
Grab your finest platter or cutting board and start arranging those colorful vegetables. It’s easiest to start by putting your sauce in a bowl or ramekin and placing that in the middle of your display. Then, arrange everything else around it. You can mix everything together, or arrange them according to color for a rainbow effect. There’s also no reason why you couldn’t add cheese and charcuterie to the mix!
Pro-tip: crudité is also excellent picnic fare. Now, all we need is for spring to arrive so we can sit in the park and enjoy our colorful creations.