Elevate humble veggies by creating a beautiful, colorful vegetable bouquet, rather than a tray. Choose perennial favorites, such as carrots, but use them in a different form. Turn ordinary into gorgeous!
Choose containers that have fairly low sides to house your vegetable bouquet. I experimented with a couple of different options. One was larger, but the sides were so low that it made standing up the vegetables a challenge. The other had sides that were about two inches tall, but wasn’t big enough to accommodate much. See what you have available to you and, as always, be guided by the number of mouths you need to feed.
A trip to the Farmer’s Market or a natural food store will allow you to obtain baby carrots with the foliage still on and radishes with leaves intact. Start with those. Cut off the leaves and most of the stems, but leave an inch or more of stem on the radishes and two inches on the carrots. Lightly peel the carrots.
Sweet mini peppers are great eaten raw and they naturally come in three colors.
Cut 4 inch spears of English cucumber to stand upright.
Procure some colored heads of cauliflower, if you can, and break into small florets.
Stick some slightly blanched asparagus spears into the bouquet. Keep going until you can’t squeeze in a single other thing. Put a couple of kinds of dip or dressing into colorful containers that coordinate with the colors of the vegetables. (After these pictures were taken, I remembered to put in small spoons to allow guests to place some dip on their plates.) Garnish the dip with finely chopped chives, an edible flower, some micro-greens, or a thin slice of pepper or radish.
You can line the bottom of the container with other vegetables laid horizontally if you need to “boost” the height of the veggies in your bouquet. Add other types, if you like, from zucchini or yellow squash sticks to celery pieces or tomato halves — whatever you have available that your guests would enjoy.
(I keep saying “guests” but you don’t have to have company to make a vegetable bouquet. Treat yourself to a special display!)