The Great Veggie Tray

My mother is a real whiz at making food look beautiful! She has a knack at putting a platter or meal together that comes out looking like an art piece. She once did all the food at a baby shower and some of the guests were nervous to eat the dishes served because they looked so fancy. My all time favorite and the platter that always impresses me most is the great vegetable platter! My mom has always made the most stunning and beautiful displays of veggies. Traditionally they are put into a basket but are just as lovely on a platter or tray. This piece is great for summertime get togethers, holidays, at special events or just to spice up your own family meals. Food always tastes better when presented well, especially veggies. For some reason vegetables seem to be one of the hardest food groups for people to eat enough of. We’d rather sit down and eat fruit, a roll or lets face it ice-cream. So, making your veggies beautiful and having a variety really helps it get eaten up. The veggie tray is a great way to accomplish both of these aspects. It truly is a beautiful way to present and eat those healthy and yummy summer vegetables. And what makes a veggie platter so special you may wonder...the colors!

When doing a display of vegetables think about the variety of colors you get to work with; whites, yellows, reds, oranges, greens, purples,'s almost the whole rainbow! That is my favorite part of going to a farmers market or the produce aisle of the grocery store. Seeing colors and so much variety is fun! And the choices are endless. I’m kind of a classic when it comes to vegetables. I don’t usually go for the beats or artichokes. But truly when you think of how many options you’ve got with vegetables it’s pretty fun! Putting thought into how you arrange your colors makes a huge pop on the table and entices your eaters to explore the platter. Some of the most common (and delicious) veggies I've seen on trays include:

- Cherry Tomatoes

- Celery

- Olives (usually black but you could do green to)

- Mushrooms

- Carrots

- Peppers (orange are my favorite)

- Snap Peas

- Cucumbers

There are plenty of veggies to choose from! But what really makes these platters awesome is the center dip bowl. You can use a variety of vegetables or foods to achieve a bowl shaped piece in the center for dip: peppers, cabbage, a bread bowl. We like to do a purple cabbage because it’s organic and adds a splash of fun color to the center of your platter. So, get a purple cabbage and cut the top off and scoop the innards out, like when carving a pumpkin. Then fill the center with your favorite vegetable dip. We always like to mix the ranch powder in sour cream, it's divine! But there are lots of homemade recipes out there to for dips or you can just go buy your favorite bottle of whatever you enjoy. My mom always adds a little touch to her platters by putting kale or leafy lettuce underneath all the veggies to add pizazz and texture. It also helps to keep things fresh and if your cabbage is oozy it'll keep the liquid contained.

So there you have it! The great vegetable platter. It makes for a killer centerpiece and edible art piece for any table! Make one for your next gathering. What are ways that help you to eat more vegetables? I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments below!

    Carolyn Spencer
    Monthly Newsletter Contributor since 2015
    Email the author!

Join the Cook'n Club and get newsletter articles like this each week!

blog comments powered by Disqus