French Crudités Platter: 8 tips for a Party Veggie Plate

Level up those plain ol' carrots and prepare a French crudités platter that guests will love. Pick vegetables by season and see how to prepare the perfect veggie plate.
French Crudités Platter: 8 tips for a Party Veggie Plate
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If you are hosting a party and looking for an easy-to-put-together appetizer for your guests to nibble on, you’ve probably already stumbled across the classic charcuterie board and the cheese platter. But with all that meat and cheese, perhaps it is time for a few veggies? And herein comes the crudités platter. No French apéro would be complete without it!

Crudités, which is pronounced kru-di-tay, means “raw food” in French, and doesn’t have an obvious English translation. Vegetable platter? Veggie plate? And not just plain ole’ carrots and celery, we can be more interesting than that! There is a particular art to putting together a plate of crudités. So let’s get to it, shall we? Allons-y!

Table Of Contents

1. Use vegetables that are in season

There are some staples to the veggie platter like carrots and radishes, but for other veggies, walk around your local grocery store and pick what is in season.

Time of the yearSeasonal Vegetables
Summercucumber, artichoke, peppers, broccoli, cherry tomatoes
Fallbeetroot, aubergine (eggplant), yams, zucchinis
Wintercauliflower, celery, brussel sprouts, green beans
Springleeks, spinach, snap peas, carrots

Since the vegetables are cooked, the fresher they are, the better they will taste.

Other interesting vegetables that you could try are radicchios, purple carrots, snow peas, broccolini, or parsnips, depending on what is available at your local grocery store.

box of eggplants in season

2. Play with shape and colors

The lovely thing about fresh vegetables is that you can easily play with colors and textures. Compared to cheese plates and charcuterie platters that tend to be relatively homogeneous, there is a lot you can do with a crudité platter. Place bright red cherry tomatoes against dark green broccoli stalks.

You can also play up the shapes, with long strips of carrots placed next to round cucumber slices.

3. Pick at least 4 types of vegetables

For maximum impact and interest, add at least 3-4 types of vegetables if not more, depending on how many people you are inviting. You don’t need to neatly arrange the vegetables in rows, just pile them on a plate, without making it too uniform. The art is in the artlessness.



4. How to cut the vegetables

For the vegetables to maintain their freshness, aim to cut them within 2 hours of serving. Wash all the vegetables and dry them with a kitchen cloth. Ensuite, each vegetable can be prepared as follows:

VegetableHow to cut and prep
Carrots and celeryCut the rough edges of the vegetables first and then chop and arrange them into long finger-length strips that can easily be picked up.
CucumbersCut them in round slices and dip them quickly in ice-cold water so that they retain their freshness.
Cherry tomatoes Wash and serve as is
Broccoli and cauliflowersCut into small branches and blanche (see instructions below)
Endives and Radicchios Pull apart the leaves and the edges. The inner leaves are great for scooping up some dip.
Green Beans and Snap PeasTrim the edges off and blanche (as below)
PeppersCut the top and bottom of the bell peppers, and then slice length-wise into finger-wide strips. Remove any seeds.
Aubergines, Yams, and Sweet PotatoesSlice into thin round circles and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toast in the oven for 20-30 minutes.
ArtichokesCut off the thorns and tip of each leaf. Chop the artichokes into thin strips and place them in a bowl of water with a bit of lemon, to keep them from browning. Alternatively, you could also blanche them.
Brussel SproutsCut the brussel sprouts into halves or quarters depending on their size and roast (15 min) or blanche.
LeeksCut the white portion into small strips. The white portion is edible raw or can be roasted for around 10 minutes. (The green portion can be bitter, so should be cooked.)
BeetrootsBeetroots will stain the fingers red, so roast or boil them for 30 minutes to keep your guests from applying stains all over your party!

As you can see, some vegetables need no cooking at all, while others do need to be lightly cooked.

5. How to blanche the green veggies

As I mentioned above, certain green vegetables need to be lightly cooked to soften and reduce their fiber content. Doing a quick 1-minute blanche in boiling water will also make the greens more radiant and vibrant:

  1. Prepare a large pot of boiling water, and add a dash of salt.
  2. Fill a 2nd large bowl with ice water and keep it on the side.
  3. Remove the tough bottoms and any extraneous portions of the vegetables as described above.
  4. Put each set of trimmed vegetables into the boiling water, one at a time.
  5. Stir and let cook for 1 minute.
  6. Remove from the boiling water and immediately plunge in the ice water to stop the cooking process.
  7. Repeat the process for all the vegetables that you want to cook.
  8. Once all vegetables are blanched, store them in covered containers until you are ready to serve.

6. Include at least 2 creamy dips

I like to include at least two dips with the platter, varying in tastes, between sweet, tangy, and spicy. Popular dips like hummus, tzatziki, and ktipiti (withpeppers and feta) are easy favorites.

But you could also make your own dips such as sriracha and mayonnaise, or a Dijon honey mustard dip. Serve in a small condiment dish with several varieties to give your guests plenty of choices.

Salty items on a crudité platter (cornichons, chillies and olives) illustration

7. Add salty items

Broccoli and carrots are nice, but I like to add other items like olives, sundried tomatoes, and jalapenos chillis. Tapenade and cornichons are also great additions on a small tray, along with spicy nuts like pistachios or almonds.

For that added touch of oomph, you can also add a few accents like salted butter or extra virgin olive oil with balsamic vinegar.

sweet items on a crudité platter (strawberries, grapes, and apple) illustration

8. Add the sweet

Along with the veggies, add a few fresh fruits as well for a bit of contrast:

  • grapes
  • sliced apples
  • strawberries
  • blueberries
  • raisins
  • etc.

Frequently asked questions

When to serve a crudités platter?

cutlery

In France, crudités platters are only served during an apéro get-together, not a full dinner party.
A casual apéro dinatoire where no main meal afterwards, starts early and ends late and so the crudités platter can be served whenever you wish.

What drinks to serve?

two wine glasses

Since it is apéro hour, any sort of apéritif will do. Try a pastis or kir, or why not some champagne?
In terms of wine, white wines like a Reisling SancerreChablis, or Pouilly Fumé will be lovely. If you prefer reds, try a light Beaujolais or Côtes du Rhône.

☞ READ MORE: Easy Guide to the French Wines

french Vegetable Crudites Platter

How to make a French Crudités Platter

Yield: 10
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

A beautiful crudités platter à la française.

Ingredients

Vegetables (choose at least 4)

  • Cucumbers
  • Artichoke
  • Peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Beetroot
  • Aubergine (eggplant)
  • Yams
  • Zucchinis
  • Cauliflower
  • Celery
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Green beans
  • Leeks
  • Spinach
  • Snap peas
  • Carrots

Sweet (pick any 3)

  • Apple slices
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries

Salty (Pick any 3)

  • Olives
  • Nuts (peanuts, almonds, or pistachios)
  • Cornichons
  • Pickles
  • Tapenade
  • Jalapenos

Creamy Dips (Pick at least 2)

  • Dijon fine mustard and mayonnaise dip
  • Sriracha and mayonnaise dip
  • Hummus
  • Tzatziki
  • Ktipiti 

Optional Accents

  • Salted butter
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar

Instructions

  1. For the vegetables to maintain their freshness, aim to cut them within 2 hours of serving.
  2. Wash all the vegetables and dry them with a kitchen cloth.
  3. Cut the rough edges of the vegetables first and then chop and arrange them into long finger-length strips or round pieces that can easily be picked up. (For full details by vegetable see above in the article).
  4. Roast the items like leeks, beetroots and brussel sprouts for 15-30 minutes.
  5. For green vegetables like beans and snap peas, blanche in boiling water as follows:
    1. Prepare a large pot of boiling water, and add a dash of salt.
    2. Fill a 2nd large bowl with ice water and keep it on the side.
    3. Remove the tough bottoms and any extraneous portions of the vegetables as described above.
    4. Put each set of trimmed vegetables into the boiling water, one at a time.
    5. Stir and let cook for 1 minute.
    6. Remove from the boiling water and immediately plunge in the ice water to stop the cooking process.
    7. Repeat the process for all the vegetables that you want to cook.
    8. Once all vegetables are blanched, store them in covered containers until you are ready to serve.

Notes

The instructions above are minimum serving guidelines for 10 people. You can adjust the number of vegetables and accompaniments as you wish, depending on your number of guests.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 211Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 7mgSodium: 259mgCarbohydrates: 29gFiber: 8gSugar: 12gProtein: 6g

Note: We are not certified nutritionists and these estimates are approximate. Each individual’s dietary needs and restrictions are unique to the individual. You are ultimately responsible for all decisions pertaining to your health. This website is written and produced for informational purposes only.

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If you enjoyed that, check out our other easy French recipes that are classic and easy to prepare. And to complete your party preparations, here are my top tips on preparing a charcuterie platter and cheese plate.

Bon appétit and à bientôt !

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French Crudités Platter: 8 tips for a Party Veggie Plate

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