Friday, December 27, 2019

ChezCindy: Crudite Platter

Consider the crudité platter.  Kind 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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