Crudite platter

  • Preparation Time120 mins
  • Cooking Time180 mins
  • Serves8
  • DifficultyEasy

For the crudite

Salt, as needed
115g French or wax beans, ends trimmed
1 to 2 stalks of broccoli, or 1/2 head cauliflower, trimmed into florets
225g asparagus, stalks peeled, woody ends trimmed
225g fresh sugar snap peas
1 fennel bulb, trimmed, sliced vertically into 1/2cm wedges
1 red pepper, trimmed, seeded, and cut into strips
1 yellow pepper, trimmed, seeded, and cut strips
1 bunch radishes (about 10) (with greens attached), washed
4 medium carrots, cut into 10cm-long sticks
1 to 2 small courgettes or summer squash, cut into spears
1 medium cucumber, peeled if waxed, cut into spears
150g cherry or grape tomatoes
Curry dip or "really" onion dip, recipes follow, or sauce of your choice

For the curry dip

490g whole milk yoghurt
1 tbsp vegetable oil, like soy, peanut, or corn
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp Madras curry powder
120g prepared mayonnaise
2 tbsp sweet mango chutney, finely chopped
1 spring onion (white and green), thinly sliced
2 dashes hot sauce, or to taste
1 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh coriander
Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the "really" onion dip

3 medium onions, 2 left in their skins, and 1 peeled
270ml extra-virgin olive oil, divided
470g mayonnaise
95g sour cream
15ml white wine vinegar
2 tsp salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Hot sauce, as needed
2 spring onions (white and green), minced
For the crudite platter:
1) Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt generously. Fill a large bowl with ice water and salt generously. Drop the beans into the boiling water and cook, uncovered, until crisp-tender, about 2 minutes. Scoop them out of the water and immediately plunge the beans into the ice water, to stop their cooking and set the color. Cool, remove them from the ice bath, and pat dry. Repeat with the broccoli and asparagus. (The asparagus may take a minute less, depending on their size.)

2) Attractively arrange all the vegetables on a large serving platter and serve with the dip of your choice.

For the curry dip:
1) Drain the yoghurt in a coffee filter or cheese cloth-lined sieve, set over a bowl, until thickened to about 240ml, about 2 hrs.

2) Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the curry and cook, stirring, until fragrant about 30 seconds more. Set aside to cool.

3) In a bowl, combine the drained yoghurt, curry mixture, mayonnaise, chutney, spring onion, hot sauce, lime juice, and coriander. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

For the "really" onion dip:
1) Preheat the oven to 210C/Gas 7.

2) In a roasting pan, rub the 2 onions in their skins with the 2 tablespoons of oil. Bake until squishy soft, turning them once, about 45 minutes. Set aside to cool completely. Peel the onions and set aside.

3) Meanwhile, finely dice the remaining onion. Preheat a large, heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 240ml oil and heat until hot. Add the diced onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until they just begin to lightly brown, about 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, about 18 minutes more. Strain the onions through a sieve over a bowl. Transfer the onions to a paper towel-lined plate and spread them into a single layer. Reserve 60ml of the onion oil and let it cool completely. (Reserve the remaining oil for dressings or marinades.)

4) Puree the roasted onions in a food processor. Add the mayonnaise, sour cream, vinegar, and salt, and pulse until smooth. While the motor is running, drizzle in the 60ml of reserved onion oil until incorporated. Season with pepper and hot sauce, to taste. Transfer the onion dip to a serving bowl and stir in the spring onion. Refrigerate until very thick, about 3 hours or overnight.

5) When ready to serve top with the fried onions.

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