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.

Homemade Vinaigrette
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.

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