A Big Messy Sexy Veggie Board

Messy is sexy when it comes to food. Big abundant piles of delicious things. Nothing too precious or precise. People should feel like they can just dive in without messing anything up. Food should be welcoming and available and satisfying and imperfect.

That's what I had in mind when I set out this veggie board for a party I hosted this past weekend.
In my head, I just wanted to throw a bunch of beautiful vegetables on the table and let people go for it.

I used my marble pastry slab as a base because it's big, but honestly, I think next time I might just go ahead and throw everything out right onto the table itself. Some parchment paper would work, too, or you can just pile multiple boards and trays so that they overlap. Basically you just want to start out with a big space.

Then you have fun!

Choose whatever is in season. Spring is just starting so for me that meant:
  • Rainbow carrots (peeled with part of the stems still attached)
  • Big fat slices of bell peppers in shades of red, orange, and yellow (no green!)
  • Trimmed and lightly blanched haricot vert
  • Fat red radishes, quartered to reveal that perfect white inside
  • Multicolored cherry tomatoes
  • Crisp cucumber cut into thick sticks
Then tuck in some goodies: olives, salty almonds, chunks of marinated feta cheese, and piles of fresh herbs for a bit of extra pretty (and to fill in white space).

And the dips!

I put out hummus--I cheated and got some at the store that I thinned with a bit of lemon juice and topped with a drizzle of olive oil and sesame seeds.

And this yummy green dip that I call my Awesome Sauce. It's an anchovy and herb aioli that's creamy and packed with salty, tangy, umami flavor. It's awesome with the vegetables and a little different than the usual ranch, etc.

But, like I always say, do your own thing! Prefer ranch? Go with that. No wrong way here...

I love this as an alternative to the typical cheese board. It's crisp and fresh and makes for a really eye-catching centerpiece.

Want more party ideas? I love this Tapas Date Night Party for 2 or this Sunny Citrus-Themed Brunch.  Oh and these DIY Crostini would be amazing with the veggie board, too!

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