Healthy Grazing Boards For Entertaining
Healthy grazing boards are all the rage for entertaining, from elegant charcuterie and cheese to fresh crisp vegetables with dips and spreads. It’s an opportunity to create a beautiful, edible work of art to wow your guests among other hors d’oeuvres or as a light segue into a meal. Want to learn the art of building a crudités board?
There are endless ways to style your crudité platter using color, shapes and garnishes so you and your guests can leisurely graze at any type of gathering.
Easy Vegetable Grazing Boards
It’s the holidays, and I’ve learned to be prepared for anything. Last week at 7pm a neighbor showed up my door with a warm, homemade pie. There was no way I was going to accept it without inviting her in for a much needed and most welcome catch-up.
Luckily, I had some prepped veggies and my favorite pantry dressing, homemade buttermilk ranch, ready to go in my refrigerator. In just 2 minutes, I’d laid out some healthy snacks that we enjoyed together over a wonderful conversation.
Building healthy crudite grazing boards
Tip 1: Don’t make a shopping list.
Hit the grocery or farmers market and choose what’s seasonal, vibrant in color, and fresh.
Tip 2: Mix colors and textures.
- sugar snap peas. Look for the stringless variety.
- mini sweet peppers, sliced in half
- radishes. Note: Keep the leafy green tops intact for added visual appeal and spot to grab. Use varieties like watermelon radish, french breakfast radish (which are the long red and white variety on my board below) mellow flavored daikons, and classic round.
- Green beans. Give them a quick blanch to bring out there brightest color while maintaining their crunch.
- carrots. look for several colors, slice lengthwise, and trim tops to keep an inch or two of green
- cucumber, cut into coins on the diagonal, or smaller cocktail varieties halved lengthwise
- zucchini, cut into coins on the diagonal
- asparagus tops. the tender few inches at the top, sliced in half lengthwise for a more delicate look. White, purple or green varieties.
- cherry or grape tomatoes, whole
- castelvetrano olives
- purple cauliflower
Tip 3: Don’t over-prune your produce.
Vegetables are most beautiful with with stems attached, which is also a huge time saver and gives your guests something to grab. The more rustic they look, they better.
Tip 4: Add dips and accompaniments
When you have advance notice, your crudites can be dressed up even more with homemade dips, like my smooth, craveworthy spicy hummus.
Add a few small bowls of maldon salt flakes, zatar spice, chili oil or sesame oil, and sprigs of any fresh herbs you have on hand.
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Homemade Buttermilk Ranch
A creamy, tangy and versatile dressing for dipping, dressing salads, and topping entrees.
- 1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
- 2 chives, finely chopped
- ½ cup buttermilk
- ½ cup nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
- 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/3 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Salt to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Whisk to until well blended.
- Chill until ready to use.
- Store in fridge for up to a week.