This Glorious Crudité Platter Will Make the Holidays Feel Extra Special

Vegetables get the VIP treatment.

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

While casseroles, turkey, and mashed potatoes may anchor holiday spreads, the crudité 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 New York City's Eleven Madison Park famously did 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 vegetables to the next level (literally) with a tiered "fruits de terre" tower (hat tip to Botanica in Los Angeles). The crudité 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 vegetables are big enough for easy gripping and dipping.

Who says vegetables don't need butter?

Have some leftover butter from all that baking? Soak your crudités in 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 crudité spread and add a welcome punch of acid ($18,

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