Crunchy garden vegetables make colorful appetizers

Raw beet or turnip sticks, green peas in pods, zucchini wedges, tender green beans, asparagus . . . once it would have been unthinkable to serve these vegetables raw, yet now they are among the most popular items at parties and buffets, where they are used for dipping, in salads, and as garnishes for salads and main dishes.

With all the vegetables washed, peeled (where necessary), sliced, or cut in advance, you have only to set out this tempting array on the appropriate platter or serving dish, arranged so the various colors complement each other. Let participants build their own creations to top with a choice of dressings, or to dip. Bagna Cauda with Crudites 6 cups assorted crudites (tender green beans, carrot, celery, turnip sticks, florets of broccoli and cauliflower, zucchini sticks, red and green pepper strips, fresh fennel sticks) 3/4 cup olive oil 1/2 cup unsalted butter 12 cloves garlic finely chopped 1 2-ounce can anchovy fillets, well drained, coarsely chopped

Arange crudites attractively on platter. Cover and refrigerate for several hours. At serving time, heat oil and butter in small heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic. Saute 1 minute. Stir in anchovies. Cook over very low heat, stirring constantly, until anchovies dissolve (about 10 minutes). Do not allow butter to brown.

Serve as dip for crudites directly from pan or in small earthenware fondue pot. Keep warm. You may wish to have a basket of Italian bread sticks for dipping also. Aioli for Crudites 3 cloves garlic Salt to taste 2 egg yolks, at room temperature 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 1/4 cups olive oil, at room temperature 2 tablespoons lemon juice

With mortar and pestle reduce garlic cloves to paste. Add salt and egg yolks. Work yolks into garlic. Work in mustard. Add oil very slowly, a few drops at a time, and continue to turn pestle, always in the same direction, while adding oil.

When half the oil has been added, add lemon juice and mix thoroughly. Add remaining oil, a few dribbles at a time. If mixture seems too thick, add more lemon juice. Makes 1 cup. Creamy Dip for Crudites 1 cup mayonnaise 1/4 cup sour cream 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley 1 tablespoon dill 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Lightly mix all ingredients together and serve with raw vegetables.

of stories this month > Get unlimited stories
You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Unlimited digital access $11/month.

Get unlimited Monitor journalism.