Everything You Need To Know About Crudité

Similar to a charcuterie board in concept, the actual ingredients that make up a crudité are pretty much the opposite of meat and cheese. According to Take Two Tapas, crudité is essentially a vegetable tray, and the popular appetizer is made up of pieces of raw vegetables that get served with dip.

This recipe emphasizes the French affinity for simplicity, as The Spruce Eats explains. The word crudité itself is a variation of "raw" in French, and for the best vegetables to add to your plate, you'll want to shop at a farmer's market or even your own garden (via Reluctant Entertainer). Because this dish consists of nothing but prepping raw vegetables and dips, it's essential that each veggie is as fresh and flavorful as possible. 

There are a million ways of constructing a classic crudité platter (just see Bon Appétit's selection), and you can even mix and match raw vegetables with meats and cheeses for a well-balanced snack platter that blends the best of both worlds.

Homemade is always better than store bought

If you've ever been assigned to bring the "healthy" appetizer to a party, chances are you grabbed a plastic container filled with carrots, broccoli, celery, tomatoes, and another smaller, sealed container for ranch dressing and called it a day. While technically, this would count as crudité, it'd probably be best to wipe the whole experience from your memory.

For a real crudité platter, you have to make it yourself by picking and washing your veggies and arranging them — but don't worry, it's easier than it looks. According to Little Broken, when choosing your veggies, you should consider their color, texture, and season. Raw vegetables will taste best when they're fresh and at their peak ripeness. Luckily, some vegetables are good year-round. You can't go wrong with cauliflower, radishes, carrots, or cucumbers, and you can build off these classics to suit your own preferences.

And, of course, the dips are essential, and if you want something special, get out your food processor and start mixing ingredients. You can make all kinds of dips with the certainty that whatever you make will surely be better than the prepackaged ranch of supermarkets everywhere.

It's all about the presentation when it comes to crudité

A large part of the allure of crudité is the way the vegetables are arranged on the platter. Using the bright color palette Mother Earth offers, this easy appetizer can easily become a masterpiece equal parts delicious and healthy. According to HuffPost, crudité is more often than not the most beautiful part of a meal, no matter how simple the arrangement.

If you want to get fancy, you can carve radishes into roses, like Helen Rosner suggests in Saveur, or improve your dip game with Half Baked Harvest's recipes for roasted corn jalapeño hummus and honey whipped goat cheese. But keeping it simple doesn't have to mean skimping on flavor or aesthetics, as is exemplified by this Italian version of crudité in Bon Appétit, which replaces creamy dips with just a little olive oil, salt, and a squeeze of lemon — what more could you really need?