What cocktail party is complete without the standard crudité platter? I thought I was quite good at making my vegetable trays look presentable until I met Keith. I mean, I do have a design degree; I get paid to make things look pretty. But I must confess, I was blown away when I saw the fruit and vegetable trays that Keith was preparing for his daughter’s birthday party. They are truly a work of art. I had to share them with you.
Now I realize this doesn’t qualify as a “recipe” per se, but we here at superman cooks aim to find ways of making you look like a genius in the kitchen. Serving these fruit and vegetable trays at your next gathering will do just that. With just a bit of planning and extra effort, we guarantee your guests will be very impressed. Above is what Keith calls a “serpentine” arrangement. Don’ forget to follow his tips for blanching to bring out the vibrant green colors!
We thought these suggestions were just in time for all of the upcoming graduation and mother’s day gatherings. Please let us know how you do (or better yet take some photos and share them with us)! Enjoy!!
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- VEGETABLE TRAY SUGGESTIONS:
- Carrot, celery, yellow squash, cherry tomato, radish, green onion, broccoli, cucumbers, black and green olives, peppers all colors
- FRUIT TRAY SUGGESTIONS:
- Strawberries, cantaloupe, watermelon, oranges, pineapple, honeydew, grapes, kiwi, star fruit, raspberries, blueberries
- To start vegetable or fruit trays: the key is to choose an array of colors and take your time.
- First choose the correct size tray and cover with a base of greens (leaf lettuce, kale or endive). This gives the tray and good base and also serves as a good contrast of color.
- When making the fruit tray: take the top of the pineapple and use it as a center point to give height and dimension.
- Place a pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. Turn the pineapple upside down and place the green top in the water for about 45 seconds and transfer to a bowl of ice water. This will make the pineapple top bright green (and also help kill any small bugs that may be hiding in there).
- Take the time to cut your fruit into bite-size pieces and try to keep them uniform. Be creative and arrange your fruit in any way that looks good to you. The contrast in color and the way you organize the fruit is truly what will make you look like an artist with these trays. You can also take small flowers and use them garnish as an elegant look to finish off the trays.
- VEGETABLE TRAYS:
- Use the same technique as the fruit trays (above).
- Start by covering the trays with a green base. Take time to wash all the vegetables prior to cutting.
- Cut all vegetables before deciding to arrange them on the tray. Layer slices of vegetables neatly, starting with larger ones so they are on the bottom.
- Layer carrot sticks and celery sticks in an orderly way so that they have a neat look to them.
- When using broccoli, immerse broccoli in boiling water for about 30 seconds and remove and immerse in an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. This will also "green" the broccoli so that it looks more vibrant. Take the time to layer the broccoli so that all the crowns are up and all the stems are hidden.
- Be creative and use the contrast of colors to make the vegetables pop on the tray.
- Garnish with olives, pickles, radishes etc.