Summer lends itself to easy entertaining with its beckoning sunshine, slower schedules and, of course, summer gardens, farmers’ markets and roadside stands perfectly ripe with all the seasonal pickings for a garden fresh vegetable crudite platter.

A crudité, a fancy French term for tray of fresh veggies usually served as an appetizer with a dip, oil, or vinaigrette, is a marvelous sort of casual hospitality that can be quickly put together and, if done right, is so much more than a boring ol’ vegetable tray in a plastic container that no one wants to touch.

My grandparents never had a meal in the summer without what they called their “vegetable plate,” freshly picked from their backyard garden and still warm from the sun. This vegetable plate piled high with bright red homegrown tomato slices, ‘cukes,’ green onions and a banana pepper or two turned even a simple pimento cheese sandwich into a full-blown sit down affair. It didn’t take much. The garden did all of the work. But it was the one plate that none of us could hardly wait to be passed.

A crudité can also make a light and easy summer meal. This fresh garden vegetable platter was one I quickly put together after moving into our new house. With the kitchen still packed up in boxes and the reno yet to begin, we needed a quick and easy meal that didn’t resemble the days of take-out we had already consumed. Thank goodness for the crudité!

This one sure made the family happy! True to its season with heirloom tomatoes, garden fresh cucumbers, a sweet corn relish, a cream cheese stuffed pepper, Swiss cheese, Southern hickory smoked ham and herbed bread, assembly was quick and easy and required no cooking! To make you own, after slicing the seasonal veggies you love, just arrange vegetables in groups for maximum impact, i.e. all cucumbers together, all radishes together. If you have more than one dip or relish, place the dips among the vegetables they are meant to be eaten with.

The best crudités are always filled with wonderfully fresh seasonal vegetables. And that’s good news because every season brings with it new possibilities. Have fall on your mind? Try Brussel sprouts, mushrooms, colorful carrots. Throw in some apples. Stuff a baby pumpkin with your dip. Keep color and texture in mind as you make your selections. You can elevate your fresh vegetable crudité to star status by complimenting those veggies with a cheese and maybe a cured meat or two as long as you keep the veggies the absolute star of the show.

***Pin This Fresh Vegetable Crudite Platter Here!***

 

Vegetable platters don’t have to be a snooze fest.  Hospitality doesn’t have to be a headache.  If you keep it seasonal and keep it fresh, it only takes the simplest things to make your guests (or your family) feel welcome and special.

   What you might need to make and serve your own Fresh Vegetable Crudite!

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Check out this and other great recipes on Meal Plan Monday and Weekend Potluck!