Crudites In “Raised Beds”
As printed in Napa Valley Life Magazine “Cooking with Karen Crouse” Spring 2022
Crudite is a fancy word for raw vegetables. Crudites are a beautiful and healthy accompaniment to just about any meal.
I love my garden. I take every opportunity to gather the first vegetables that emerge, then find an out-of-the-box way to present their rainbow of colors to my guests. This recipe puts them in-the-box and only requires assembly.
Instead of a platter, I put them in the bamboo boxes used for organizing drawers to make them look like little raised garden beds. I made them look like little raised garden beds by putting them in the bamboo boxes for organizing drawers. I found mini gardening tools in the dollar bin at Target and put them on and around the ‘raised beds.’ They added to the garden theme and doubled as serving utensils.
Paired with the fresh flavor and bright color La Sirena Rosato, my crudites were a hit, and everyone ate their veggies that day.
- Measuring cup and spoons
- Bamboo drawer organizer boxes (3’ x 9”)
- Cutting Knife
- Cooking scissors for the Radicchio bowl
- ½ C sour cream
- ½ C buttermilk
- ¼ C mayonnaise (I like Duke’s)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 1 ½ teaspoon dried dill (3/4 teaspoon if using fresh dill)
- ¼ C finely chopped chives
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (Meyer Lemons are my favorite)
- 1 medium-size head of Radicchio
- A selection of 4 raw vegetables, garden-fresh or store-bought, such as:Radishes with the top leaves
Carrots with tops
Sweet peppers, cut in halves or quarters
Cherry and/or pear tomatoes, cut in half
Cucumbers, peeled and quartered
Celery peeled and cut into sticks
Using a whisk, combine all ingredients except for the garlic. Taste and add additional lemon juice, chives, and/or salt to your palate.
If you will serve the dressing right away, add the garlic.
If you are not serving the dressing right away, I suggest you add the garlic the day of since it becomes more intense over time and can be overpowering.
Feel free to make the dressing ahead of time. It will stay fresh for 3-4 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It will also thicken as it chills.
For The ‘Raised Beds’
Stack the vegetables in their individual bamboo boxes. I like to keep the leaves on the carrots and radishes. It makes them look fresh-from-the-garden. If the carrot stems & leaves are too long, cut off the leaves and keep most of the stems.
For The Radicchio Bowl
Cut the bottom of the head of Radicchio flat. Using a knife, core out most of the center leaves, making the ‘bowl’ as deep as you can. Use the kitchen scissors to snip the remaining leaves and refine the sides…think Edward Scissorhands.
Just before serving, pour the buttermilk dressing into the Radicchio bowl.
Stagger the boxed vegetables on your table or counter and place the Radicchio bowl within reach.