Whenever I host a gathering I like to make sure that I provide a variety of food that appeals to most dietary restrictions and allergies. As a host it is important to me to ensure that all guests feel like they have a selection of food to choose from, too. Everyone has seen the standard crudite platters that are bland or boring with standard vegetables and a runny ranch dip to accompany it; that just isn't my style! I like platters that have multiple components, that are colorful, and that can combine a couple of dishes in one cohesive and beautiful offering.
For this Mezze platter I offered a variety of fresh vegetables such as cucumbers, mini peppers, rainbow carrots, and golden grape tomatoes. To add some spicy and unique elements I sliced up a few standard radishes as well as watermelon radish which aren't only beautiful to look at but they taste amazing, also! I added mini naan and bread sticks for the starchy element this platter needed. You can always use pita bread or regular crackers. It's always fun to add poppable one-bite elements like the marinated mushrooms, Kalamata olives, and even pickled garlic in little bowls so that they don't saturate the other items. A big bowl of traditional hummus adds the creamy dip element to round out this platter.
Another great vegetable platter option is to provide roasted vegetables either in addition to or instead of the raw veggies. I love roasted vegetables especially during the cooler months. I think roasting the vegetables makes the platter a more filling offering at parties, too. For this platter I combined roasted cauliflower, roasted Brussels sprouts, and roasted Chinese broccoli. I balanced the roasted vegetables out with fresh vegetables like rainbow carrots, sliced cucumbers, and halved heirloom peppers that I got at our local farmers market. This was an evening party so I added sliced roasted chicken breast for protein. Two dips are always better than one so I put traditional hummus topped with crumbled feta and sliced red onions as well as a red-pepper hummus. For the poppable components I added garlic green olives and marinated Kalamata olives.
For the roasted vegetables - I tossed them all in light avocado oil, added salt & pepper to all, then added garlic salt to the Brussels sprouts, lemon & pepper to the broccoli, and smokey paprika to the cauliflower. I roasted all of them at 400 for 30 minutes on the same tray.
Assembling the platter is half the fun, I think! Get creative in how you slice the vegetables. Have fun with the bowls or ramekins you use for the small items. Stack the things that won't roll off and tuck pops of color throughout the platter to make it all flow together!