I always get asked advice about what kind of appetizer to serve before a big holiday meal. People are always surprised when I say “veggie crudite”. But if you think about it, you don’t want your guests to be full before they get to the big meal! That being said you do want to be sure and get the best possible quality produce and your local farmers market is always the best bet. I just love these nanteen carrots I can find at the Wednesday morning Santa Monica Farmer’s Market. They are so sweet and colorful.
I like to blanch and shock the green beans, carrots, and asparagus because it gives them a brilliant color and takes that dry raw edge off. Blanching means to boil for a short period and shocking means to submerge the food into ice water to stop the cooking immediately. Both the dip and veggie prep can be done the day before.
- ½ lb. green beans, trimmed on one end
- 1 large cucumber, or 2 small cucumbers
- 1 lb. carrots, peeled, (leave whole if small, or cut into sticks if too large)
- 1 lb. asparagus, stocks trimmed
Ingredients For Dip:
- ¾ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons buttermilk
- 2 teaspoons tarragon
- 4 green onions
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon parsley
- S & P to taste
- Stock pot and lid
- Wooden charger
- Glass bowl
Photo by: Pace
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Set a bowl of ice water to the side of the boiling water. Blanch asparagus for 30 seconds in boiling water and remove with tongs and immediately submerge in cold water. Drain asparagus in a strainer and set aside. Repeat again with carrots and green beans. If you’re making the day ahead, wrap a damp towel around the veggies and store them in a Tupperware until you’re ready to serve.
Combine all ingredients for the dip in a blender to puree. Adjust seasoning and serve. This can also be made one day in advance and should be served chilled.