Carving decorative vegetables is an art form that uses a tasty pallet. Vegetables can be cut and arranged into a mosaic, ready to eat or can be used as a decorative centerpiece to compliment their accompanying dishes. Artful veggies are a great way to attract kids and kids at heart to try vegetables.
READY TO EAT CUT VEGGIES
Easy Vegetable Blooms
Use a slice of celery stalk as a “stem.” Sliced and halved cucumber slices make perfect “leaves.” A halved cherry tomato makes a cheery “flower center” and carrots in circles or strips can be arranged as “petals.” Of course there are many variations. Green pepper strips can be used for stems or leaves. Red and yellow pepper rings can create a flower outline with slices of radish layered for centers. Create “grass” at the bottom of the plate by drizzling a favorite dressing up and down.
Don’t leave off veggies you think your kids don’t like. One half of a cherry tomato is not so intimidating as a bowl. Kids often need to be exposed to a food at least ten times before they try it. Kids are also more likely to try something they were involved in making. Let kids make their own “blooming” salads.
Slice one end off of a cucumber. Slice off just enough of the bottom of a cucumber so that it will sit. Starting at the cut end, slice off peel almost to the other end. Now make a thin slice from the same end and stop before you get to the peel on the other end. Gently lift this still attached slice and stand with a tooth pick to create a sail. Fill the cucumber boat with slices of carrots, flowerets of broccoli, cherry tomato or any small pieces of favorites.
Make an individual boat for each guests and create “waves” around the boat with a tasty dressing.
Peppers with Personality
Pick up a pepper, red, green or yellow. Hold it with the stem side facing you. Almost every pepper has a personality. The stem makes an interesting nose and the creases are a perfect place to pop in black-eyed pea eyes. You can create small slits and insert slices of other veggies for ears, depending on what creature you “see.” Using these “creatures” on a tray of greens makes a great conversation piece for your table or buffet.
Especially fun if you’re serving stuffed peppers, choose a pepper of any color or a combination ensuring that each one stands well. Cut off the top and put aside. You can create a trio by putting dressing in one pot and putting carrot sticks, pepper slices or celery sticks and standing in the others. Another nice touch is to put fresh cut flowers into one!
Carving decorative vegetables to serve or to decorate is fun to do and sure to bring smiles to the table