Say goodbye to boring veggie trays and hello to this bright, fresh, and colorful Spring Vegetable Platter. Paired with a quick Herbed Greek Yogurt Dip this is a healthy appetizer people might actually want to eat.
I have little patience for fancy language when it comes to food. I believe menus should be readable, haricot verts should be called skinny green beans, and a crudité platter is really just a veggie tray all grown up.
I remember the first time I went to an expensive restaurant and ordered a meal that included haricot verts. I had no idea what it was, and couldn’t wait to see the exotic side dish that awaited me. You can imagine my disappointment when I received a plate of rather average looking green beans. And look, they were delicious green beans, but they were green beans nonetheless. An elegant name can’t change the fact that a green bean is a green bean, whether Italian or French, skinny or short.
I suppose that’s enough ranting about green beans for the day. Let’s talk about the classic veggie tray, or, if you want to feel superior, the crudité platter. Normally the veggie tray is the saddest dish at the party, picked last for every plate. Most people grab a carrot or two out of guilt or a futile attempt to make a plate that is mostly filled with cheese and carbs look slightly more balanced. #priorities. But really, the veggie platter has so much more to offer than it’s lackluster grocery store plastic container would have you believe. This year, I wanted to make a vegetable plate that would be more than a half-hearted attempt to add “something healthy” to the spread.
When most of you hear the word “vegetable platter,” I’m guessing you imagine a rather boring combination of baby carrots, stringy celery, on-its-way-out cauliflower, and a thick dip that falls somewhere in the ranch family.
Take that boring image and throw it out the window. This spring vegetable platter is made to appeal to your eyes first and your taste buds next. I ditched convention and instead found the most colorful, fresh, and bright vegetables my grocery store had to offer. Fresh asparagus, stop light colored bell peppers, crisp and spicy radishes, and juicy cherry tomatoes all made their way onto the plate. Carrots still earned a spot as well, but I ditched the boring baby carrots in favor of skinny peeled carrots, so you get more crunch in every bite.
I also traded in the gloppy dip of our youths for a fresh, healthy dip made with whole milk Greek yogurt. If you haven’t tried whole Greek yogurt yet, you must! It is so rich and creamy! All it needs is a good handful of fresh herbs (dill, chives, and basil are my top picks, but feel free to experiment), and a squeeze of lemon juice or white balsamic vinegar to brighten it up.
Of course, the possibilities for customizing and beautifying this plate to your tastes are endless. Rainbow carrots would be absolutely divine, as would the various heirloom tomato cherry varieties that will be popping up in stores in the coming months. Snap peas or endive would also be lovely. Look for fresh and colorful produce and you can’t go wrong!
I made this platter at the beginning of the week and loved having fresh vegetables to munch on all week. And because they’re beautiful, pre-chopped, and filled with so many different tastes and textures, I found myself eating vegetables as a snack way more than I usually do. This platter feels far from punishment, and maybe even deserving of that pretentious name after all. Well played, crudité platter, well played.
Vegetable Platter with Herbed Greek Yogurt Dip
For the dip
- 1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt (I prefer whole milk yogurt)
- 1/3 cup mixed chopped herbs (dill, chives, and basil are my favorites!)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 Tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- Vegetables of your choice
Mix all of the dip ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to serve. Meanwhile, chop the vegetables of your choice into easily grab-able pieces. My favorites are carrots (skinny, left whole), radishes (halved), sweet bell peppers (sliced), asparagus (woody ends removed), mushrooms (halved), and tomatoes (whole), but feel free to pick your own favorites to add to the plate! Arrange the vegetables on a platter around the dip, interspersing different colors and shapes for the prettiest effect.