What are Crudités?

When you go to a formal dinner or restaurant, you will be served this platter of sliced, sometimes whole but small vegetables of different varieties.  This traditional French appetizer in banquet style is called crudités.

The popular vegetable choices for crudités include carrot sticks, celery sticks, bell pepper strips, asparagus spears, broccoli, zucchini, green beans and cauliflower.  These vegetables are dipped in vinaigrette, ranch dressing or other sauces.

Why are these vegetables the most common choice?  It’s because when serving crudités, it’s important to consider three things: taste, texture and appearance.

The taste of the vegetables included in crudités should complement one another with the mild tasting ones to set-off the taste of those with stronger flavor.  A wide variety of vegetables should also make it easier for guests to choose, especially those with a specific taste or preference when it comes to vegetables.

Presentation also matters with color and texture playing the major criteria.  A plate with a monochrome color is not attractive at all.  Try having vegetables that are green, yellow, red, white, and orange – with some coarse-textured like baby corns and some smooth such as radishes.

You will surely make your crudités not just delicious but pleasant to look at.

Should the vegetables be cooked?  Not really.  They should be raw.  But some may be blanched to make them a little easier to eat like for instance, cauliflowers which are a little hard on the jaw.

Just how small should the vegetables be?  They should be small enough for a bite or two to finish; small enough to hold in the hand or put on a small plate.