We eat with our eyes first and it’s easy to make vegetables look incredibly sexy. Give yourself permission to use your artistic license and let your imagination run wild! Creating beautiful veggie platters are not only functional, making meals easier to serve, but they also make for an awesome table centre-piece, guaranteed to up the wicked factor, on visuals and taste.
When you apply a variety of veg with different cuts, shapes, colors, textures and cooking methods the combinations are endless.
For each board, add everything to a parchment-lined baking sheet and pop in the oven on 200c/400f for 15 minutes to finish before serving. This also makes for a good presentation as is while still an oven pan, call me crazy or lazy but it works great! And it makes for very easy cleanup, bonus!
TIP 1: PREPARE EACH VEG OR ITEM SEPARATELY
Each item full of flavor, as if each was the star of the show, then combine to make one platter.
Crispy Buffalo Tofu with fresh peas for that green color pop on the vibrant buffalo sauce, paired with simple salt and pepper pan-seared (wilted) spinach, pan-roasted red cabbage threads and roasted green beans.
Grilled double halved yellow courgette, pan-seared green onion, wilted baby spinach, scored and roasted garlic buttery King Oyster scallops and grilled roasted cauliflower wedges.
TIP 2: MIX COOKING METHODS.
Using different cooking methods provide delicious taste experiences, textures and flavor opportunities.
Roasted Dijon mustard painted red potatoes, pressed BBQ rubbed brown cluster mushroom steaks, slow-roasted balsamic carrots, quick flashed baby corn, flash seared wilted spinach, pan-roasted and BBQ’d Swede (rutabaga) steaks, oven caramelized red onion bulbs.
TIP 3: VEGGIE PLATTERS LOOK BEST WITH COLORS.
It’s great to do 50 shades of green by using a variety of green veg or mix and match the colors of the rainbow. It all makes these veggie platters look amazing, vibrant, and full of tasty life!
Grilled red onion black pepper pan-roasted green beans, grilled sesame celery stix, grilled red cabbage wedges with smoked salt, cubed and press grilled bell peppers, grilled sage-onion-garlic rubbed courgette.
Pan-roasted tofu with crispy onion flakes, sesame seared spinach, garlic chili roasted broccoli.
TIP 4: PREPARE ONE VEG SEVERAL DIFFERENT WAYS.
Broccoli three ways or five ways with any veg would be amazing! This makes for a great focus item and challenge to practice your skills and really get to know an item.
Classic salt and pepper pan-roasted green beans, grilled ‘chicken’ seasoned tofu, chili-garlic roast broccoli, flash-fried mung bean sprouts, sesame roasted purple tenderstem broccoli, grilled olive oil radishes, steamed tender stem broccoli.
TIP 5: PLAY WITH SHAPES, SIZES, AND CUTS.
By rule of our own, we tend to try to keep things the same size to other items depending on the dish. As an example, if we’re serving a grain dish we’ll tend to keep the added veg around the same size of that grain. Keeping in mind that all the flavors should be able to fit onto a spoon. We just extend that premise onto the board.
Roasted sweet potatoes with togarashi seasoned crumb crust, hot roasted garlicky whole radish, grilled asparagus, salt, and sesame grilled baby pak choi, whole roasted and sliced courgette, flash seared whole red chilies, grilled onion salted tofu, steam-roasted mini carrots, roast garlic, and tenderstem broccoli.
Quick Wicked glossary:
Pan-Roasted means starting off on the stovetop by searing each side until golden brown and then finished off in the oven
Roasted usually tossed with a little oil and seasonings and placed directly in the oven.
Flash seared is getting a very hot pan and quickly searing each side for a quick cook