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Elevate Your Veggie Party Platter

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Holiday parties have no shortage of treats: you’d be hard-pressed to find a gathering that doesn’t offer some version of decadent hors d’oeuvres and baked goods galore. Which are great! But after you’ve been to a reindeer ball or two, all that excess can get exhausting. Sometimes, what you really want is a snack that won’t weigh you down.

If this scenario sounds familiar, let us make a suggestion: the all-mighty veggie platter!

We know, we know—you’re probably rolling your eyes right now while envisioning a stack of dry carrot sticks next to a sad little container of ranch dip. But hear us out: with a little ingenuity, it’s possible to elevate your party’s veg offerings deliciously.

Think of it this way: when you enter the produce section at Fairway Market, it’s hard not to be impressed by the array of fresh and colorful seasonal items that greet you—they’re proof that fruit and veggies can be exciting. And when you look a little further to sections like our olive bar or dried fruits and nuts, that variety increases even more. With such a wide selection, there’s plenty to work with.

Before you get started, there are a few things you’ll want to think about. First, you’ll want to decide on a theme. Is it sticks and dip? A particular cuisine? You’ll also want to consider how much time you can spend on putting your platter together, focusing on pre-cut or ready-to-eat items if you’d like to save time. Definitely make sure to have a serving tray or board and plenty of utensils on hand—bonus points for using decorative toothpicks and cute paper plates. And try doing your shopping as close as possible to the occasion for optimum freshness.

Ready to veg? Here are a few combinations that we love. Any one of these would pair perfectly with the holiday spirit and good cheer.


The Classic Crudité, Updated

Think beyond the basics: any veg that you can eat raw would be a perfect candidate for a crudité plate. Like young stem-on carrots, radishes, endive leaves, heirloom tomatoes, fennel, and snap peas (the list goes on). Then, find a few versatile dips: plain or flavored hummus, Cara Cucina Italian spreads, tapenade… if you head to our specialty section, there’s a treasure trove of options.

For a great example, check out this stunning vegan appetizer plate from Heather Christo.

Mediterranean Meze

Mediterranean cuisines are very veg-focused—meze platters are practically celebrations of the region’s bounty. Olives, hummus, artichokes, babaganoush, tabbouleh—are you hungry yet? Lay these out in smaller bowls and make sure to throw in some pita triangles into the mix for loading up on all that deliciousness.

Want more Mediterranean inspiration? Check out this roasted red pepper meze platter by Half-Baked Harvest.

Rock the Kebab

It’s hard to go wrong with kebabs—who doesn’t love a snack on a stick? Although they’re best grilled, you can always make them with a grill pan or your broiler when it’s too cold out. The classic combo of zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, and grape tomatoes is always great, although it’s always nice to get a little creative—try mixing things up with less conventional choices like cauliflower, baby bell peppers, or eggplant. And it also helps to have a marinade or drizzling sauce—chimichurri, honey mustard, or green goddess dressing are a few of the many viable options.

These cauliflower and tofu tikka kebabs by The Curious Chickpea are great example of skewers that will surprise and delight.

Creative Crostini

When in doubt, grab a piece of bread and stick something delicious on it—that pretty much always does the trick. The key to great crostini is combining a variety of textures and choosing complementary flavors: the basic approach is to layer on top of your toast something smooth and creamy, something snappy and crisp, and something that’ll add a nice flavor accent. For example, ricotta cheese, apple, and honey or red pepper spread, arugula, and balsamic vinegar. P.S. Slices from a Fairway baguette would be the perfect base for these.

Here’s a genius approach to crostini that uses avocado several ways: check out this grilled avocado crostini board over at Foxes Love Lemons.

The New Chips and Dip

People love foods that go crunch. This is a fact. That crisp sensation is what makes veggie chips of all sorts so delectable. Root vegetable chips, kale chips, plantain chips—homemade or store-bought, it’s hard to have just one. For a quick fix, check out all the dried veggies in our bulk section. Or if you’re feeling more ambitious, you can make your own chips by baking thinly sliced produce in the oven.

This recipe for alllll the veggie chips over at What’s the Oven For is a great example of how it’s done.

Fruit-A-Palooza

OK, so this is looking toward the sweeter side of the produce section, but we have to give fruit boards a mention because they are everything. Need a tropical accompaniment to your luau? Fill your spread with slices of pineapple, mango, papaya, and dragon fruit. Want to explore the best of winter? Stock up on citrus of all sorts. And fruit loves a good dip too: serve those slices with some Greek yogurt or a nut butter.

Get started on your board with this nicely put-together recipe from Joy of Kosher.


Interested in more tips to help you throw a food-filled holiday party? Check out these other stories:

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