I love to host parties. Nothing gets me more excited than choosing a theme, planning a menu, picking out flowers, arranging (and rearranging) decor. While most people loathe the logistics of party prep, I feed—even thrive—off of it. I draft list after list, lose said lists, and then write more lists. I've even been known to stay up until the wee hours before a gathering, ripping tearsheets, Pinning, and Googling the night away. It's a sickness I tell you. I can tell you that my time as a professional wedding planner sure has come in handy, and in more ways than one. Over the years I've managed to acquire an arsenal of research, ideas, and even "secret" sources. But with all of this inspiration floating around in my brain, I realized I shouldn't be holding it in but instead sharing it with you. With that, be on the lookout for more entertaining tips and tricks here on Dixie Caviar... Now let's party!}
Let's talk about how to style a crudité platter. I serve some form of veggie appetizer at almost every party I host (like this Caesar Dip I made last week) and I'm always looking for new and interesting ways to arrange them. It doesn't take much to go above and beyond the typical store bought spread, I swear—just a cupboard raid and a quick stroll through the produce department. Here's some visual inspiration to get you started:
One clever way to display crudité is to display them in assorted cups, mugs, or glassware. Get creative! Antique silver julep cups, mason jars, even your regular drinking glasses can work. (I turn to my bodega tumblers often, which I own in a variety of sizes!)
Nestling dip among crudité is a no-brainer. Rectangular, square, and oval platters all work well; white is classic and really makes the vibrant vegetables pop, but vintage plates and one-of-a-kind ceramics can be conversation starters, too.
My main advice: choose small to medium serving pieces over large and jumbo. The veggies will look abundant, and as soon as it starts to look scarce just pile on some more. Trust me, nothing looks sadder than a giant, picked-over platter with no refills in sight.
Wooden boards, marble slabs, and slate tiles all make ideal crudité displays. I collect old cutting boards for this purpose (which I stumble upon at thrift stores in all shapes and sizes) but you'd be surprised what you can find around the house that can make do.
Now how about what crudité to serve, because that's equally important. The sky is the limit! Some of my favorites, along with the usual suspects, include bell peppers, green beans, asparagus, snow peas, radishes, hard boiled eggs, croutons, crackers, and bread sticks. (Gotta have some carbs—veggie haters like to eat dip too!) You really can't go wrong as long as you let the season, and your market, be the guide.
Now how about you? What are your best tips and tricks for serving veggies?