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crudités garden

I’ve mentioned before how much I enjoy True Food Kitchen. In fact I celebrated with two different birthday lunches there, the first with my dad and the second with my good friend, Karen (who was one of my bridesmaids, all those years ago).  When Dad and I were there, the two women at the table across from us were enjoying this huge bowl of vegetables. It is True Food’s gorgeous crudités bowl with tzatziki and black olive dips. The next week, when Karen and I went, I had to order it so that I could check it out more closely and recreate it at home. I think this is one of the prettiest ways to serve crudités that I’ve ever seen! That is True Food’s bowl above… and mine is below.

Crudités Garden Bowl with Caesar Dip and Tapenade

Green and yellow green beans
Snow peas
Long baby broccoli stems
Thin asparagus spears, tough ends snapped off
Cherry or teardrop tomatoes
Long and thin carrots, peeled and cut in half lengthwise if needed
Persian cucumbers, cut in half lengthwise
Red and white Belgium endive, separated into spears
Caesar Dip (1/2 recipe)
1 small jar black olive tapenade spread

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and fill a large bowl with a lot of ice and just enough cold water to cover the ice.

Drop in the green beans into the boiling water and blanch for 1 minute, then lift out with a slotted spoon and drop immediately into a large bowl of ice water. Once the beans are completely chilled, lift out of the ice water and place on paper towels to drain. Next, blanch the snow peas in the same manner. Now, the broccoli and finally the asparagus in the same way.

Keeping the four vegetables separate, roll up in damp paper towels, wrap each roll in plastic wrap and refrigerate to crisp the vegetables, for a least 2 hours.

When ready to serve, fill a large serving bowl one third of the way full with ice. Sprinkle with ice with a couple handfuls of cherry tomatoes.

Now start “planting” your garden. Poke the various vegetables into the ice, finishing with the endive spears. Sprinkle with more cherry tomatoes.

Place the tapenade in a food processor and thin with 2 tablespoons water. Use the pulse button to smooth just a bit. Place the Caesar dip and the tapenade in two separate bowls and serve alongside your beautiful vegetable crudités garden. Enjoy!

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1 Victoria Dickerson { 11.07.11 at 9:00 AM }

I <3 you, Linda H! I also noticed people sitting near me at True Food Kitchen eating this and wanting to order it next time I go, and here you so generously have figured it out and shared the technique in a way that even I could actually-maybe-sorta-hopefully- reproduce it. Thank you!

2 Linda Hopkins { 11.07.11 at 9:10 AM }

Vicki, you are so welcome. I <3 you too! 🙂

3 Tram Mai { 11.07.11 at 3:21 PM }

This has got to be one of the most brilliant and beautiful appetizers ever! I LOVE LOVED it! Not to mention, delicious to eat and I had to refrain from shoveling the Caesar dip into my mouth!! SOOOO doing this! THANK YOU FOR THE FAB IDEA! We had so much fun last night!!! 🙂

4 Anne { 11.19.11 at 9:17 PM }

Okay, I love this. Your presentation of this last night was the most beautiful I have seen…more so than the pictures here!! I am thinking I should attempt this for the holidays as a nice side…but I don’t want to make a commitment just yet…hahaha you know me!!love you Linda xoxo

5 Shelley J { 07.15.13 at 10:29 AM }

Thanks for this post and instructions! I made it for a family get together and it turned out beautiful! Elizabeth made her root beer baked beans she just learned this summer and got many thumbs up 🙂

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