I’m back with the all the summertime snacks!
So typical of me, right? But Monday snacks are the best (well actually snacks are great any day of the week). I mean, do you guys see all the color happening in this spread? Complete health food that’s perfect for the start of the week.
You are so welcome.
Speaking of Monday, how was everyone’s Father’s Day? As I mentioned in Sunday’s post, since moving to Colorado, we’ve had pretty low-key Father’s Days. Back when we lived in Cleveland we would have both sides of the family over…usually separately…one for brunch and one for dinner. Since most of the extended family are all back in CLE, yesterday we just had our immediate family together for dinner (my parents have a VERY large table). It was nice to have Kai, Red and Blake (surrogate brother) home. I know my dad loved having most of the big group here. We missed Brendan, Lyndsie and Creighton, but we will see them all soon in Mexico, as there will be 16 of us! I hope all who celebrated had a great day, and if you didn’t celebrate, well…I hope you had great Sunday and made yourself a refreshing blackberry mojito!
This week is the start of my 4th of July recipe prep! I have some fun new 4th of July recipes coming your way, and today’s crudité platter it how I am kicking things off.
You guys, I cannot deny, this is one of my favorite veggies plates (or boards I guess) I’ve ever made.
As you all probably know, I love veggies, and I LOVE appetizer boards like no other. The cheese board will forever be my favorite appetizer, but the crudité platter comes in a close second…and this one might be tied with a cheese board because um, that white stuff in the blue bowl is totally ricotta cheese.
Yes, yes, yes, I did put cheese on my crudité platter and I am oh so happy about it.
Here’s the deal, this is totally not your average crudité…but then would you ever expect that out of me? I really hope not.
Todays crudité platter is all about pickled veggies!! If you guys are up to date in the foodie world or eat out at restaurants often, then you probably know that pickled foods are very in right now. At first I really wasn’t onboard the whole pickled everything train, but something inspired me to pickle some veggies and then use them as part of a crudité platter. I am now head over heals in love. I would have said obsessed, but I feel like I use that word way too much around here…
First things first, I have always loved pickles. In fact, the pickle was my very first solid food. Apparently it was first given to me to stop me from crying while on a trip to DC where I was teething. I guess I must have continued to enjoy them, because as a kid mom says I used to eat them all the time. Again, I was the weirdest child ever, but I have always loved pickles.
That said, pickles were just about the only pickled thing I’d ever really eaten. So when the idea for a pickled veggies crudité platter came to mind, I jumped on the idea and never looked back. For one, I knew it would be the perfect summer appetizer. Two, it sounded freaking delicious (probably also because I knew from the start that along with tons of pickled veggies…cheese and fruit would also be involved).
The best part about this recipe, I mean if you can really call it a recipe, is that it is SO easy to throw together. The pickled veggies can sit in your fridge for up to a month. Then all you have to do to assemble the platter is grab some hummus, ricotta, and pesto, then take your pickled veggies and arrange everything all together on a pretty board or platter.
If you’ve never tried pickling before, don’t be nervous. It’s honestly one of the easiest things I’ve done. You just need veggies, vinegar, water, spices and herbs. It could not be simpler. For my homemade Quick Pickled Veggies (and fruit) recipe see this post. I have tons of tips on how to get the perfect pickled veggies, customized to your taste.
Of course, if you’re short on time, or just don’t want to make pickled veggies, you can buy them from the grocery store. There are a large variety of pickled fruits and veggies in the grocery store isles, as well as at the hot foods bars, of most grocery stores. You can also most likely buy pickled veggies from your local farmers market, so keep an eye out for them there too. BUT, if you have time and are feeling the need to try something new, I highly recommend pickling your own. It’s fun, easy, and delicious!
To recap everything happening in this colorful crudité platter, we have…
–> plain hummus with olive oil and smoked paprika. I used my favorite recipe.
–> ricotta cheese with basil pesto. A must, must, must have on this platter.
–> homemade pickled veggies. I used carrots, beets, asparagus, cucumbers, purple cauliflower (which was SO pretty) and bell peppers.
–> a mix of fresh fruit, tomatoes, and zucchini. I wanted to have a few elements of fresh produce on this platter, so I included fresh cherries, strawberries, watermelon, cantaloupe, cherry tomatoes, and summer squash. This is not a must, but I did love the mix of pickled and fresh produce.
Lots of good stuff, and all things you can find at the farmers market all summer long.
Oh and also? I feel like this appetizer platter should get major bonus points for being make ahead friendly as well as for being easy to prepare. Once you have all the pickled veggies together, this platter comes together in NO time.
Sorry for the long as ever Monday post guys, but I hope you end up serving this pretty Crudité Platter all summer long.
Farmer Market Pickled Crudité Platter
1. Spread the hummus on a large serving board or platter, or serve it in a bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with spices, if desired.
2. Add the ricotta to a bowl and swirl with the pesto.
3. Arrange both the pickled veggies and fresh fruits around the dips. Serve.
PS. if you wanted to add in other cheeses to make this more of a cheese and veggie platter, I’d think that was pretty genius of you. Just sayin’.