The Holidays may be over, but Scott and I are still hosting gatherings at The House on High Street. On Sunday, we had our neighbors over for the Eagles’ Game. (They won!) Even though we typically serve burgers, wings, and/or pizza for a football gathering, I wanted to make something that was healthy and delicious! So, I put together the perfect Crudité platter! If you haven’t made one before, I have such good news for you. It’s super easy. And, fun! And, so worth making because it’s delicious and healthy.
First off, I should mention that there really is not one perfect Crudité platter. There are so many varieties, from simple to extravagant. As long as it’s enjoyed by whomever it’s served to, then it may be deemed perfect! However, in my eyes (and stomach), the perfect Crudité platter contains more than just raw vegetables. It would include nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, dipping spreads (like hummus) and Italian delicacies. Olives, prosciutto, and you guessed it. Cheese!
Yes, I most certainly think there needs to be cheese!
Asiago Cheese by Uncommon Flavors of Europe
Since ringing in the New Year, Scott and I have been eating cleaner foods. I did a little research on cheese and determined that as long as we are eating cheese in its most primitive state (no fillers, processed ingredients) and made with wholesome milk, than it’s “perfectly” good for our Crudité platter.
What I used for this Crudité platter was an aged Asiago Cheese with the PDO label, made by Uncommon Flavors of Europe. I chose Asiago because it has a buttery and nutty flavor that I just love! A few things I’ve learned recently about finding a quality cheese:
1.) Look for the PDO label! PDO stands for Protected Designation of Origin status. It’s the best guarantee of excellence in a European agri-food product. It only includes cheese which is produced, matured, packaged and distributed in compliance with Asiago PDO Cheese Product Regulations has the uncommon and extraordinary features of Asiago Cheese. (Source.)
2.) There are two versions of Asiago PDO: “Stagionato” (Aged) or “Fresco” (Fresh). Skimming cow’s milk allows traditional Asiago “Stagionato,” sometimes called “d’allevo,” to be aged for varying lengths of time, producing a range of sensory characteristics like yeasty and sweet Asiago Mezzano PDO (aged 4-6 months), nutty and fragrant Asiago Vecchio PDO (aged 10+ months), and spicy and intense Asiago Stravecchio PDO (aged 15+ months). A buttery and tangy Asiago Fresco PDO (aged 30-50 days) is made from whole milk and pressed. To make sure you’re buying an authentic Asiago look on the rind for the word “Asiago” pressed into it. For the best flavor and quality, don’t settle for an imitation!!(Source.)
I love this Asiago so much that I served it, solo, with crackers throughout the holidays! I had two kinds on hand: the aged (Stationato) Asiago and the fresh (Fresco) Asiago. There is a slight difference, so I think it’s good to try them both!
Ok, back to the Crudité Platter.
In addition to the Asiago, I used grape tomatoes, endive, sliced carrots and red pepper. Blanched asparagus spears displayed in a clear water glass. Hummus. Sun-dried tomatoes. And, kalamata olives.
I started by covering my cutting board with organic Kale leaves. I finished with almonds sprinkled around the border of all the goodies. I could have stopped there. But, since I was serving this to guests who may have wanted a little more of a splurge, I decided to add a wine cheese spread and prosciutto wrapped mozzarella.
That’s what is so awesome about creating a Crudité Platter! You can add a little bit of this and that, so everyone is satisfied. (It’s not like you’re adding an ingredient that will affect the entire platter.)
How to Make Your Crudité Platter
A few more tips about creating the perfect Crudité Platter:
- If you don’t have the right size cutting board, use a plate!
- Use a lot of colors! Don’t forget the beauty of Radicchio, radishes, parsley, red onion, etc.
- Garnish with fresh herbs like parsley or mint!
- Make sure you have a few dipping spreads such as hummus, cashew butter, guacamole, etc. Place them in small bowls or ramekins.
- Use bowls for slippery treats like Sun-dried tomatoes and olives!
- Use pretty glasses to create height! Fill with the tall veggies: Asparagus, celery, etc.
- Finish with a sprinkle to give it that truly authentic look: Nuts, Figs, Seeds, etc.
There you have it, the perfect Crudité Platter. Tell me, what would you add to yours?