Spring seasonal produce for your Mother’s Day table

Not to be confused with its not-too-distant cousin, charcuterie, crudité highlights fresh produce–it is a French term that translates to “raw things.” The produce featured in crudité can be sliced or whole, typically assembled on a board or platter, served with complementary dips.  

It is the perfect way to usher in spring, bringing seasonal goods from farm to table. If you frequently entertain or are in search of new ways to wow your guests, a crudité board can be simple, quick and cost-effective. Think of it as a labor of love–part art, part organization and part self-expression. There are absolutely zero rules for building the ideal crudité board, but these six tips will help you along your way.

  • Vibrant and robust produce will be both visually attractive and appetizing. As you gather the vegetables for your crudité, think of the different preferences your guest may have. Incorporate something crunchy, something mild and something with a bite. All these different qualities will have a synergistic effect for your board.

  • As you build your board or platter, start with the largest items, and end with the smallest. Working in this order will allow you to completely fill the board, resulting in a lush, bountiful appearance.

  • Don’t restrict yourself to just vegetables! While the produce should be the star, allow a few supporting roles to join the stage. Crackers for dipping, seeds, olives and nuts for nibbling, herbs for added greenery–allow your imagination to roam free.

  • Dips can be overwhelming or underwhelming. Make sure to provide your guests with contrasting options that can provide varying flavor profiles. May I suggest a Creamy Avocado Dip and Beet Tahini Faux Hummus? Continue reading to find the recipes.

  • To keep the vegetables crisp, fresh and unblemished, refrain from preparing more than two hours prior to serving your guests. While a little lemon water will help preserve most vegetables, crudité shines at its brightest when prepared shortly before enjoying.

  • When finding the perfect alcohol pairings for your crudité board, it is crucial to select something that will not overpower but enhance the freshness and quality of your vegetables.

 

The Pairing List

 

Wine Pairings for this Crudité Grazing Board are featured from St. James Winery. Founded by the Hofherr family in the Meramec Highlands region of Missouri in 1970, it is celebrating 49 years as a family-owned and operated winery. Located in St. James, it is Missouri’s largest, best-selling and most awarded winery.

Friendship School White, St. James Winery

Aromas of grapefruit and marmalade with fresh, crisp green apple and lemon flavors. A delightful white blend with a touch of sweetness and crisp acid which lingers for a long, satisfying finish.

Made with proprietors blend of Midwestern grape varieties.

 

Vignoles, St. James Winery

Floral and fruity aromas with flavors of marmalade and pineapple with a crisp, clean finish. A lively, easy drinking white wine.  

Made with estate-grown vignoles grapes.

 

Beet-Tahini Faux Hummus

serves 4 – 6

Ingredients

  • 1 pound beets (3-4 medium beets)

  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

  • 1/2 cup tahini

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic

  • salt

  • extra virgin olive oil

 

Directions

  • Peel and chop beets into small cubes. Drizzle with olive oil and season lightly with salt. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place beet cubes on aluminum foil and enclose. Put aluminum foil packet on baking sheet and cook beets until tender.

  • Once tender, remove beets from aluminum foil packet and allow beets to cool. Place beets, tahini, lemon juice and garlic in food processor. Process while slowly adding 1/4 cup olive oil through opening of food processor. Transfer to serving bowl then season generously with salt. Allow to sit covered for at least 30 minutes before eating.

  • Serve with a light drizzle of oil.

 

Creamy Avocado Dip
serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 avocados

  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • squeeze of lime

  • salt

 

Directions

  • In a medium sized bowl, mash avocado until smooth.

  • Squeeze in juice from lime (to taste) then mix in garlic powder and salt.

  • Place in refrigerator until ready to serve.

  • Set out 30 minutes prior to serving for ideal temperature.