How to Make a Crudité Bouquet—the Centerpiece You Can Eat
Pictured Recipe: Vegetable Bouquet
Okay, I'll admit it. I spend way too much time on Pinterest. Don't let my husband know I just said that out loud, but I just love it! I realize that half, OK 99 percent, of what I pin is never going to happen in real life. It's aspirational, right?
One of the things I keep seeing lately are gorgeous table arrangements made from veggies. How cool is that? Just picture it, there you sit at your next holiday gathering with your family. Everyone can gather around the table and just snag a veggie right out of the vase to dunk into a bowl of dip.
Related: Healthy Dip Recipes
Pictured recipe: Vegetable Bouquet
Problem is, have you ever really looked, I mean looked, at how these arrangements are made? Let's just say a lot of them are destined to be hashtagged #PinterestFail.
Not so with this edible centerpiece you can eat. It skips complicated cuts and sticks to simply arranging already-beautiful veggies in a vase. With just eight easy steps, you really can do this at home for your next holiday gathering with family and friends.
Related: More Vegetable Appetizer Recipes
Step 1: Start with a Vase within a Vase
Choose two vases, one that's narrower than the other, so it fits snugly inside, leaving only a narrow channel around the outside. Here, the larger vase is 6 inches square and the inner vase is 3 inches square. It's totally fine to choose larger or smaller vases for your edible arrangement; you'll just need to add more or less of the veggies to the centerpiece.
Step 2: Decorate the Outer Channel of the Vase
Tuck asparagus into the outer channel, standing it on end. For a winter variation of this edible centerpiece, use cranberries instead of asparagus. Or try filling the space with sliced oranges, lemons and limes.
Step 3: Create a Base with Parsley
If you've ever made a flower arrangement with a frog (plastic or metal stem holder) or oasis (florist foam) in the bottom of the vase, then you'll know why I added in the parsley next. It's meant to fill up the vase so the crudité, kale and other vegetables stand up neatly without falling out of the vase. To do this, I popped a whole bunch of parsley into the center vase. (Note: If you're making the centerpiece more than two hours before it will be eaten, add water to the inner vase along with the parsley to keep everything crisp and fresh!) Leaving the parsley stems long helps mask the inner vase nicely.
Step 4: Add Height and Structure
The leafy heart from a head of celery and fresh lacinato kale add some height to the bouquet, but other tall greens would work well too, like leaves from hearts of romaine or on-the-stalk Brussels sprouts. They fit snugly down into the parsley to keep them upright.
Step 5: Add Color and Interest
Next, nestle two peeled and trimmed carrots down into the arrangement so they're pointy-end up. If there isn't much room left, just trim the stem end a bit until it fits snugly into the arrangement. To stick with a more monochromatic look, cut cucumbers into spears and use them instead. For an even more colorful arrangement, use rainbow carrots.
Step 6: Decorate with Colorful Clusters
Cherry tomatoes on the vine are perfect to create clusters of color. To add them in, use short bamboo toothpicks (meant for appetizers) to poke down into the kale and parsley. If good cherry tomatoes aren't available, try using small radishes, olives, broccoli florets or cauliflower florets.
Step 7: Accent the Edible Centerpiece with Sprigs of Herbs
The fresh rosemary sprigs add a sweet touch at the end, filling in any gaps and polishing the overall look of the edible bouquet. Other hearty herbs, such as sage, oregano or thyme, work great too.
Step 8: Complete the Tablescape with a Bounty of Edible Decoration and Dips
Once the edible centerpiece is built, fill in among the plates and settings with more fresh vegetables and bowls of dip like ranch, hummus and more.
Try these: Easy 5-Ingredient Dip Recipes