Easy Ways to Upgrade Your Crudites Platter

Carrots and celery have had their day in the sun.

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The Kitchen hosts share Crudité Upgrades, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen

The Kitchen hosts share Crudité Upgrades, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen

Photo by: AJ Wilhelm Photography

AJ Wilhelm Photography

Here at The Kitchen, our helpline has been flooded with viewer questions asking for new summertime appetizers. Crudites are classic, and can be cool and refreshing on a hot summer day. But sometimes crudite platters can be…unexciting. So, we have three new ways to upgrade your veggie platter and take your crudites to a whole new level.

First things first! You'll need to update those tired and old veggie dippers. Carrots and celery sticks have had their moment in the sun. It's time we add some fresh faces to the mix.

Watermelon Radishes
This is the ultimate summer veggie to add to your new crudites plate. These bright and colorful treats get their name from their coloring—once you peel them, you'll see their vibrant magenta center outlined with a ring of green flesh. They have the same great peppery bite as a classic radish. Try them raw, roast them, or even quick-pickle them and add to your platter. They're also great in salads and sandwiches.

Purple Cauliflower
Purple cauliflower adds a burst of color to your crudites; it tastes the same as its cream-colored cousin. Anthocyanins give this cauli its gorgeous purple color—the same antioxidant found in red cabbage and red wine.

You may have enjoyed steamed edamame before, but did you ever think to add them to your crudites platter? It's excellent finger food for a party and pairs perfectly with any dip. Edamame can be steamed according to package instructions, then seasoned with a pinch of salt and served at room temperature. You can even find them pre-steamed at some grocery stores, if you want to skip that step.

Now that we have introduced our new, show-stopping crudite additions, it's time to switch up the presentation. Color blocking and organizing your veggies into rows are beautiful tactics, but you can really wow your guests with a bulls-eye pattern. Set the bowl of your favorite dip in the center of a serving board and place the vegetables in rings moving outward to the edges.

Now, let's flip that dip. Why choose one dip for your platter when you can serve two? Put your two (or three) favorite dips in small, individual piping bags. (We used beet hummus and tzatziki.) Next, snip the tips and place those small bags inside one large piping bag fitted with a large round pastry tip. Pipe the mega dip in concentric circles in a serving bowl. Add to your platter and enjoy! This swirl technique is visually pleasing and changes the flavor profile by adding opposite but complementary flavors. Some other delicious pairings are red pepper hummus and curried Greek yogurt, guacamole and onion dip, or black dip and guacamole.

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