Friday, December 27, 2019
ChezCindy: Crudite Platter
Consider the crudité platter. A bit of an old fashioned idea. Set out on the buffet in earnest by the host, sampled by the guests in equal earnest. It can be a boring smattering of baby carrots, celery and ranch dressing. But hey, we need to have something "healthy", right?
I recently entertained a small group of friends and wanted to start the evening with a nibble while they sipped a glass of champagne. I was serving a rich meal of Coq au Vin and potato gnocchi. The crudité platter served as a deconstructed salad with a homemade vinaigrette. The guests could select a single vegetable and dip into the vessel, or assemble a variety of items onto a plate with a drizzle of dressing to their liking.
When making a crudité platter, shop the produce department for interesting color and texture. I used baby carrots, cutting them in half lengthwise at an angle. I love the small Persian cucumbers as they are crisp with tiny seeds and tender skins. I also cut these into bite-size pieces at an angle. I blanched French green beans for just 2 minutes on the stovetop, chilling them in ice water and then dried and placed the beans into a gentle curve around one side of the platter. For more color, I added tiny whole radishes and young organic purple kale torn into small pieces. Switch up what is included on the platter depending on the season. Serve with a homemade vinaigrette, a sprinkling of course sea salt, with small plates and forks for guests to help themselves.
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon agave sweetener
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
a few grinds of black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar or champagne vinegar
7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Add the Dijon mustard, agave, salt and pepper to a medium size bowl. Using a whisk, mix to combine. Whisk in the vinegar. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, whisking while you drizzle to emulsify the ingredients into a creamy consistency. Pour into a small carafe or pitcher.