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how to create a veggie plateau for the holidays...

how to create a veggie plateau for the holidays

Our friends at Botanica are known for their veggie plateaus—a multicolored jumble of gorgeous seasonal vegetables, prepared every which way, with flavors and textures and dips galore. It’s a tower of savory treats designed to be set at the center of a table and be utterly (and communally) devoured. It’s a constant at their parties and I'm in awe every time I see one. So, I asked them to share their tips on how to make one just in time for holiday entertaining!

how to create a veggie plateau for the holidays

The plateau is inspired by two of the world’s more delicious things: fresh vegetables and aioli. The key is to have a variety of shapes, textures and flavors.

how to create a veggie plateau for the holidays

Step 1: Hit the market and pick up the loveliest vegetables you can find. You’ll want a mix of things you can eat raw, poached (or steamed or blanched), roasted, grilled and/or fried.

how to create a veggie plateau for the holidays

Step 2: Pick your dips. The goal is variety! We consider some type of aioli a must (roasted garlic or smoked paprika are favorites), plus something green and herby (salsa verde, perhaps?), something bright and sweet (beet muhammara or squash hummus), something oily (like dukkah, olive oil and lots of lemon zest), something creamy (garlicky labne!)…really, whatever you want to dip things in over and over will work.

how to create a veggie plateau for the holidays

Step 3: Prep your veggies. Partially cook whatever needs it before hitting the grill (tiny potatoes, Japanese sweet potatoes, beets); blanch whatever’s getting blanched (haricot vert, asparagus); slice what’s getting roasted, and so on.

how to create a veggie plateau for the holidays

Step 4: This one’s the key to it all: Season EVERYTHING. The only things that should hit the dish plain are the most basic crudité (fennel, cucumbers, radishes). Everything else should be seasoned — with olive oil and sea salt, at the very least — so that it tastes lovely even if you pop it in your mouth naked, without a lick of dip.

how to create a veggie plateau for the holidays

Step 5: Roast, grill, season, etc. Spoon the dips into little bowls and garnish them as needed. Stagger them on a platter, a board, tiered plateau, or whatever vessel you’re using to hold this array of earthy delights. Place the prepared vegetables around the dips in a semi-random fashion. (There’s no beauty in perfect order here! Delicious vegetable mayhem is the visual goal.) Tuck fennel fronds, carrot greens, rosemary sprigs or edible flowers here and there to make it extra pretty.

how to create a veggie plateau for the holidays

Step 6: Place on a table and prepare for “ooooooooh!”s. We view this as a use-your-hands-and-triple-dip situation, but we understand that sometimes plates and serving spoons have their place.

Enjoy! To see more about Botanica, visit their Kickstarter right here!

{Photos and recipes by Botanica

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