What better way to celebrate summer’s harvest than with this epic display?
Don’t get us wrong, we love a good cheese & charcuterie board – but we prefer to reserve that heavier kind of indulgence for fall and winter, when autumnal fruits and warmly spiced condiments can make an appearance. For daytime summer snacking, it’s all about the crudité board – lighter, crisp, bright bites of snappy vegetables along with some flavorful dips and bites from Giada make for an epic platter that will have your guests raving for weeks.
The very best part? It’s so low-effort with zero to minimal cooking involved, and all the dips can be prepared far in advance (or make it even simpler on yourself and go store-bought!). It can be easy to get lost in all of the overwhelmingly beautiful, loaded boards you might find on Pinterest and lose sight of how simple it can be – so we’re keeping it realistic and simple for this platter. How’s that for such a lovely display?
Here’s the lowdown!
There are no real rules for what vegetables you choose, and it’s actually a choice best left to the spontaneity of what looks really good at the market. As long as it’s a firm, seasonal vegetable that can be pleasantly eaten raw (or lightly blanched) it has a place on the platter! Our favorite staple picks are heirloom baby carrots of varying colors, firm Persian cucumbers, fennel, endive or little gem lettuce, cherry tomatoes and snap peas. If there are some particularly pretty colors of radish (like easter egg or watermelon!) those will make a star appearance. If you see something like irresistibly dainty summer squash, green beans, asparagus or broccolini, take note that they should be blanched in boiling water first so that they can be tender enough to eat (we’re keeping it fuss-free for ours and going raw all the way!)
If you’re buying the vegetables a day ahead and they lose some of their crisp snap, you can soak them in ice water and dry them off well before serving: they’ll be good as new! You could also serve them over a bowl of ice to keep them cold and crunchy (not just for oysters!).
Have good extra virgin olive oil on the side as well as some flaky sea salt. If you’re serving spicy radishes, soft European butter is a great accent.
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