Vegetables get the VIP treatment.

Fall Crudites Platter with Pimiento Cheese and Shiro Miso Dip
Credit: Photo by Victor Protasio / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

While casseroles, turkey, and mashed potatoes may anchor Thanksgiving spreads, the crudités platter is the star of any pre-dinner appetizer-and-cocktail situation. This year, take inspiration from some of our favorite restaurants, and revamp that relish tray. Do as Eleven Madison Park in New York City does and enrobe those carrots, celery, and radishes in butter with a sprinkle of sea salt before serving; fan out radicchio and lettuce leaves to pair with pimiento cheese like they’ve done at Dove’s Luncheonette in Chicago; or take your veg to the next level (literally) with a tiered “fruits de terre” tower (hat tip to Botanica in L.A.). The crudités platter is a vibrant, refreshing precursor to the heavier classics of the holiday–and it sure doesn’t hurt that it’s a beauty to behold.

Fancy Fingerwork

Now is a great time to break out the mandoline or the paring knife and give fresh vegetables the TLC they need; we love cutting cucumbers into delicate fan shapes. Always make sure carrots are scrubbed clean of any debris or imperfections, and make sure your veggies are big enough for easy gripping and dipping.

Who Says Veggies Don't Need Butter?

Have some leftover butter from all that baking? Soak your crudités in some cold water, pat them dry, and dip in a bowl of melted butter. Place them on a tray, and pop it in the freezer, re-dipping for as many layers as your indulgent heart desires. Finish off with a sprinkle of flaky sea salt, sesame seeds, or za’atar before serving—they’ll be gone as soon as they hit the table.

Shortcuts with Style

In case you don’t have the time for pickling, Olympia Provisions has you covered with jars of pickled beets, Walla Walla onions, and cauliflower. They’ll look gorgeous in your crudités spread and add a welcome punch of acid ($15,

Get the Recipe: Crudité Platter with Pimiento Cheese and Shiro-Miso Dip