I love a good crudité platter. I feel like they get a bad rap because the grocery store versions with the sad celery, raw cauliflower, and grubby carrots are never the most exciting appetizer at a party, but this board fixes that by being bright, fun, and delicious! It’s a yummy mix of fresh things, salty/savory bites, and even a sweet element from the delectable Tart Cherry Thyme Compound Butter.
Each little recipe is made up of super simple combinations of creative ingredients that, together, make a really unique crudité platter! I brought this board to my family’s Father’s Day gathering a few weeks ago, and it got gobbled up in minutes.
This recipe comes from the gorgeous book Platters and Boards by Shelly Westerhausen of the blog Vegetarian Ventures. It’s filled with recipes to create fun, beautiful, yet very doable spreads for any occasion. There’s everything from a Beach Board, to a Holiday Hosting Spread, to a Lazy Sunday Brunch Board.
What I love most is the part where Shelly talks about how a board can be blank canvas for your creativity… or your leftovers. “It’s a great way to use up whatever vegetables, cheeses, jams, or meats you have hanging around your refrigerator, or use it as an opportunity to try new foods. Take a trip to that new cheese shop you’ve been meaning to visit or spend some time in the bulk section of your grocery store.”
How to Make the Best Crudité Platter
The best crudité boards include a mix of these components:
- Lots of fresh veggies – I use tomatoes, blanched snap peas, Persian cucumbers, and carrots.
- A creamy dip – This one is a luscious lemony white bean dip that whizzes up easily in the food processor.
- Something salty – Marinated Feta with Sun Dried Tomatoes, Thyme, and Garlic plays this role here. It’s tangy, briny, and so fresh with the addition of the thyme leaves. It added a wonderful pop of flavor to this veggie platter.
- Something sweet – Tart Cherry Thyme Butter is the perfect addition to this mix. It’s SO easy to make, and it was a delicious sweet, creamy topping for soft baguette slices.
I served my board with baguette, but any carb, like good crackers or pita chips, or a mix of crackers and bread, is the perfect finishing touch.
Crudité Platter Variations
While I’m obsessed with this veggie crudité, you can easily change out the components in each category. Here are some suggestions:
- Fresh veggies – Use whatever’s in season! Broccoli, cauliflower, celery, red peppers, green beans, or radishes would all be good choices.
- A creamy dip – If you’re a fan of dairy-based dips, one would be great here. You could also try this curried red lentil hummus, beet hummus, or vegan pimento cheese dip.
- Something salty – Cheese is never remiss on a crudité board, so try adding your favorite soft and hard cheeses. I’m a particular fan of aged cheddar and brie. You could also add some savory roasted nuts for crunch or some marinated olives for briny flavor.
- Something sweet – Good fruit preserves would be an easy substitute for the butter, especially if you’re adding cheese to your platter. Fresh fruit, like apples and grapes, is also good alongside the savory components.
If you love this vegetable crudité platter….
- 6 sprigs fresh thyme
- 7 ounces feta, cubed
- 2 garlic cloves
- 4 sun-dried tomatoes, halved
- 8 peppercorns
- 1¼ cups extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1½ tablespoons dried tart cherries
- 1½ teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1½ teaspoons honey or pure maple syrup
- 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons torn fresh basil leaves
- 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon lemon zest
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup water
- 2 Persian cucumbers, sliced
- 1½ cups blanched snap peas
- 3 rainbow carrots, chopped
- 2 heirloom tomatoes, sliced into wedges
- 1 baguette, thinly sliced
- Make the Marinated Feta. Layer the thyme, feta, garlic, sun-dried tomatoes, and peppercorns into a 16-ounce jar. Top with enough olive oil so that the ingredients are submerged. Chill until ready to use. (If the olive oil thickens in the fridge, let it sit at room temp until liquid.).
- Make the Cherry Thyme Butter. Combine the butter, dried cherries, thyme, honey, and salt in a food processor and process until the butter is smooth and the ingredients are incorporated. Transfer to a serving dish or store chilled, wrapped in parchment paper.
- Make the Herb-y White Bean Dip. In a food processor, pulse the cannellini beans, olive oil, basil, thyme, rosemary, lemon juice and zest, salt, and pepper until combined. With the food processor running, slowly add the water and process until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl.
- Assemble the platter with the cucumbers, snap peas, carrots, tomatoes, baguette, the marinated feta, the cherry compound butter, and the herb-y white bean dip.