Guys, let’s talk appetizers today!!

The New Crudite Platter | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

I feel like I almost never share appetizers. And I know, I say this every time I share an appetizer, but Ugh, I need some new material!

Anyway, no time for chit, chat, we have a SERIOUS Crudité Platter to talk about today. I mean, I mean?!?

Do you guys see this thing? I am in love.

Snacks on snacks on snacks. 🙂

The New Crudite Platter | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest The New Crudite Platter | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest The New Crudite Platter | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Alright, so when it comes to Crudité platters I pretty much love them all. Veggies and dip are so my thing.

SIDENOTE – When I was a kid, I would come home from school, grab a bag of baby carrots and munch and munch while watching Gilmore Girls. Carrots were my thing. No joke, I would go through a bag of baby carrots in one sitting. I was never the hugest fan of ranch though (unlike my brothers), so I’d just eat them plain. Weird I know, but whateves, I was a healthy kid…with a very orange skin tone and super orange hands… for real…the carrots totally turned my skin orange. At first I thought it was weird and I laid off the carrots, but then I needed my crunchy after school snack and I got over the whole “oompa loompa” skin tone thing. Also, I feel like I should mention that I really don’t love celery. You’d think if I was that into carrots that I’d also be into celery, but nope, just not my thing.

ANYWAY, weird childhood snack obsession talk over. I have new grown up snack obsessions now, and one of them comes in the form of this gorgeous platter. Yes.

The New Crudite Platter | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest The New Crudite Platter | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

I’m not sure if you guys know this, or to be honest, if I even really knew this about myself, but like I love the idea of entertaining. Creating a menu, working on appetizers and drinks and basically just creating one gorgeous spread. I used to think this was not my thing because, to be completely honest, I’m not the worlds most social person (thanks Dad), but I love the planning and creative process that goes along with entertaining.

So this spring I’ve decided to work on my skills a bit. Think fun light menus and tons of appetizers….and drinks.

This platter is one of my most favorite creations yet. Unlike other crudité platters, this one is LOADED and has a really great mix of fresh and fried veggies.

Oh yeah, I went there. I’m talking about you fried asparagus and fried mozzarella stuffed zucchini blossoms. Like YUM!

Personally I love creating variety with appetizer platters, and honestly, a crudité platter of veggies and hummus can get a little boring. So I thought, why not create some textures, layers of flavor and just a little something different. Fried veggies with a light avocado ranch… SOOOO good, and way better and healthier than anything you could ever buy in the store. It’s also much faster to make, beats a quick trip to the store every time!!! This platter is still super healthy, but yet there’s a trace of indulgence coming off those fried veggies.

The perfect balance. 🙂

The New Crudite Platter | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

If you can’t find fresh zucchini blossoms (check Trader Joes, Whole Foods or your local farmers market), you can just simply use sliced zucchini rounds. Then add just the mozzarella cheese to your platter… DON’T leave the cheese out!

Also, don’t be afraid of frying the asparagus and zucchini. It’s just a simple shallow fry, super easy and totally not scary. The one bummer part is that once you fry the veggies they really need to be served right away. Once they sit too long, they just get kind of soggy. The good news is frying only takes a few minutes and the rest of the crudité platter can be prepared in advance and kept in the fridge.

Thinking this would be super cute for Mother’s Day? Or really any upcoming spring or even summer party!! Bring on entertaining season, I am ready for you!

The New Crudite Platter | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

Print

The New Crudité Platter.

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 0 SERVES 6-8

Ingredients

Avocado Ranch

  • 1/3 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 ripe avocado pitted
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill or 2 teaspoons dried
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chives or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 clove garlic
  • salt + pepper to taste

Fried Asparagus and Zucchini

  • canola or vegetable oil for frying
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour or rice flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup sparkling water
  • 1 large bunch asparagus ends trimmed
  • 12 zucchini blossoms OR 2 zucchini sliced
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cubed

For the Crudité

  • baby artichokes
  • kalamata olives
  • radishes halved
  • snap peas
  • cherry tomatoes
  • slices cucumber
  • carrot sticks
  • 1-2 cups homemade or store-bought hummus

Instructions

Avocado Ranch

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust the salt + pepper to your liking. Cover and keep stored in the fridge for up to 1 day.

Fried Asparagus and Zucchini

  1. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, pour in enough oil to fill the pot about 1/3 of the way. Heat over medium heat until a deep-frying thermometer inserted in the oil reaches 375 degrees F. (If you don't have a thermometer a cube of bread will brown in about 2 minutes.)
  2. While the oil is heating, in a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and a small pinch of cayenne. Add the sparkling water and stir until just combined and still lumpy.
  3. Grab the zucchini blossoms and carefully open the flowers and stuff inside one cube of mozzarella. Repeat with the remaining flowers. If you are using sliced zucchini, just serve the mozzarella along side the veggies on the Crudité platter.
  4. Dip the asparagus in the batter and fry, 3 or 4 at a time, until golden and crispy, about 60 to 70 seconds. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with the zucchini blossoms and or sliced zucchini. Drain on paper towels and sprinkle with salt.

For the Crudité

  1. Place a bowl of hummus and a bowl of the avocado ranch on a platter. Arrange both the fried veggies and the fresh veggies around the dips. Serve.

The New Crudite Platter | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest

But really, isn’t this so pretty!?!? Promise it tastes even better! 🙂

The New Crudité Platter | halfbakedharvest.com @hbharvest