Learn How to Make a Mediterranean Crudités and Tapas Platter.

Crudités and Tapas – Beautiful, tasty and a satisfying appetizer that will wow guests.

This is not your mom’s old veggie tray or the tired carrot and celery platter from the local supermarket.

Today’s crudités platters are creative and include a variety of vegetables and special dipping sauces.

Now instead of the veggie platter being the afterthought it’s ready to take center stage of you next party or barbecue.  With the right mix of vegetables and complimentary dips your crudités tray is sure to be the hit of the party.

Crudités platters are a healthy appetizer option, plus they are beautiful, tasty, and satisfying.

With an endless variety of vegetable, dips and little bite combinations, you’ll always have a go-to stress-free appetizer to serve at any party, potluck or holiday gathering.

Move over charcuterie and make room on the appetizer table for a healthy and gorgeous crudités platter.

 

 

What is Crudités and How is it Pronounced?

Crudités – pronounced cru·di·tés, /ˌkro͞odəˈtā/, is really just an assortment of raw or cooked vegetables served as an appetizer or hors d’oeuvre.  Crudités is typically served with a dipping sauce or sauces.

It’s super easy to put together an amazing and inexpensive crudités platter using a mixture of everyday items and a few special ingredients.  I like to have a balance of flavors – a little savory, a little spicy, a little earthiness, a little nutty, and a little sweetness.

The perfect crudités tray combines a variety of vegetables with different flavors and textures complemented with sauces for dipping.

 

Crudités Homemade Hummus

Steps to Building a Gorgeous and Appetizing Mediterranean Crudités and Tapas Platter

  1. Pick 1 or 2 large platters or boards + 4 or 5 small bowls.
  2. Add 2-3 varieties of cured meat and seafood, like Iberian ham and garlic shrimp.  If you add meat make sure to serve it on a separate platter so vegetarians will be able to eat your Mediterranean crudités and tapas platter
  3. Choose 5-7 types of vegetables.  Add veggies like raw colorful bell peppers, asparagus, broccoli, green beans and snap peas. This is a great way to add unusual veggies you find at the farmer’s market.  *Budget tip – if it’s offseason and you’ll be shopping at the supermarket, buy standard vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower, then add a couple of more expensive options like rainbow carrots and beets or watermelon radishes.
  4. Add veggies like raw colorful bell peppers, asparagus, roasted peppers, eggplant marinated and thinly sliced or any of you favorite both raw and cooked.
  5. Choose 2-3 dipping sauces.
  6. Add 3-5 salty things like olives, nuts, and crackers.
  7. Add cooked veggies for a little variety Try roasted peppers, marinated eggplant, and artichoke hearts.
  8. Serve a crusty loaf of bread on the side or try a Kalamata olive loaf or a roasted garlic sourdough.
  9. Garnish with herbs, edible flowers or whole fruit

 

charcuterie platter

 

The Basics of Putting Together a Mediterranean Crudités and Tapas Platter:

Raw Vegetables:  Sliced bell peppers (use a variety of colors), baby heirloom tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, rainbow carrots, rainbow beets, watermelon radishes (or regular radishes), grape or cherry tomatoes, seedless cucumbers, green beans, snap peas, pea shoots, squash, squash blossoms, and/or zucchini.

Cooked or Marinated Vegetables:  Thinly sliced marinated and sautéed eggplant, marinated artichoke, roasted asparagus, and fire roasted peppers.

Meat: The rule of thumb is 3 or 4 slices of meat per person, but I have lots of meat eaters so I buy a variety of meats and I estimate 2 slices per person of every type of meat on the tray.  Include a variety of flavors and textures, for example, a sliced spicy salami or pepperoni, a sweet and salty prosciutto, like LA QUERCIA PROSCIUTTO AMERICANO – SWEET AND SALTY HAM, dry-cured Iberian Ham and a mild soppressata.

Cheese: Be adventurous – this is a great time to sample unusual cheeses.  Include cheeses made from the milk of a variety of animals, like goat and sheep.   Try a creamy goat cheese from a small farm in Tennessee, a sharp Italian truffle cheese, a triple creme brie, and at least one cheese steeped in wine or spirits. Stick a balance between mellow and mild with sharp and super flavorful.

Bread and Crackers: Choose a variety of crackers, some seeded, some flavored, some buttery, a whole grain cracker and include a mild cracker like a water cracker. Baguettes, Italian bread, olive bread, and garlic-rosemary bread are wonderful choices for your charcuterie board.  Slice your bread thinly to serve.

Fruit & Nuts: Include a combination of dried and fresh fruit and salted nuts.  When you are picking your fruit, keep a couple of things in mind, choose ripe seasonal fruit in a variety of colors, so your board looks amazing!   Try serving Marcona almonds, giant cashews, flavored almonds, pistachios, and walnuts. If you aren’t familiar with Marcona almonds, are exclusively grown in Spain and have been described as a cross between an almond and a macadamia nut – they are yummy and addictive.

Olives:  Add small bowls filled with an assortment of fresh pitted olives, try including a couple of stuffed olives.

Dips:  Add a couple of dips like a creamy artichoke dip, applewood smoked bacon dip, tzatziki, baba ganoush, hummus and/or a spicy shrimp or crab dip.

Fruit Curds and Honey Comb:  I like to include a lemon curd and a grapefruit and rosemary curd + if I can find it a nice piece of honeycomb.  If I can’t find honeycomb I’ll include a bowl of local honey.  Honey is a nice addition to a sharp or creamy cheese and is lovely with ham.

 

cheese, nuts, fruit and honey

 

Prep Your Mediterranean Crudités and Tapas Platter Ingredients

  • Wash and cut raw vegetables the day before your party.
  • Marinate vegetables
  • Cheese can be cut into slices a day before you plan to serve it.  It should be wrapped in wax paper and stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.
  • Sticks of pepperoni, salami, etc. can be sliced the day before and stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator.
  • Berries can be washed, dried and stored in the refrigerator a day in advance.
  • Buy or bake bread the day of your party.
  • Slice brad jsut before the party.

 

How to Serve a Mediterranean Crudités and Tapas Platter

  • Pick your favorite extra large board or platter.
  • There is no rule that everything has to fit on one platter or board. Choose several platters and pile them high with all the yummy ingredients you’ve collected.
  • In my house, we have a couple of vegetarians so I always create at least 2 boards – one with meat and another without.
  • The board or platter should look full and colorful.  Try mounding nuts and berries, stacking cured meat, and fan fruits.
  • Use complimenting bowls for dips and such.

 

 

How to Make an Inexpensive Mediterranean Crudités and Tapas Platter

I have a confession I love putting together my Crudités platter so much that I can absolutely get carried away when shopping for ingredients to feature. My husband now refuses to let me and our youngest daughter go into Di Bruno Bros. or any specialty store unsupervised, since the year I spent more on my charcuterie and Crudités platter than the entire meal for 12 people.  That was the ultimate charcuterie board and I still dream about the truffled pecorino cheese.

I still shop at specialty stores online and always find amazing little tidbits to make my Mediterranean Crudités and Tapas Platter a little more special.  So I came up with a plan to help reduce the cost of building the most beautiful and tasty board.

  • Pick one “luxury” item from each category as your splurge.
  • Shop at a specialty meat and cheese store or grocery they can help you explore different meats and cheeses and will allow you to sample ingredients to help you make the perfect purchase.
  • The remaining items can be purchased from your local grocery chain or club store.
  • To save money and make your board look amazing, fill it with lots of fresh vegetables and fruits.
  • Make a list.  You’ll want 3-4 items from each category.
  • Consider ordering ingredients online.  This is my new favorite way to save money when planning any meal or charcuterie board.  I’m much more focused and disciplined when I shop for food online – I’m not distracted by displays or tempted to buy impulse items.
  • Shop local – discover local farmers, artisanal cheese makers, and specialty food makers in your area.
  • Shop the farmers market

 

Suggested Mediterranean Crudités and Tapas Platter Ingredients

 

cheese

 

Cheese to Splurge on for a Mediterranean Crudités and Tapas Platter

  • Cacio Di Bosco Al Tartufo – A Pecorino with lovely veins of black truffle.  This cheese is perfect for shaving into feathery strips and looks absolutely gorgeous on your Charcuterie board.
  • or Humbolt Fog goat cheese from Cypress Grove in Arcata, California.  This cheese will become an obsession and is usually available at Whole Foods.  Check out their other cheeses, they are all delicious.

cheese board

 

 

Cheeses to Save on for a Mediterranean Crudités and Tapas Platter

  • Grafton Village Truffle Cheddar – a Vermont Cheddar with a hint of truffle, nice earthiness with the familiar high-quality cheddar taste.
  • Chèvre – either flavored or plain.  This soft spreadable goat cheese is delicious and comes with a variety of flavorings and looks amazing on your board.  Try Bucheron Cheese from France.
  • Gruyere
  • Triple Cream Brie or Camembert

sliced soppressata

 

Meat to Splurge on for a Mediterranean Crudités and Tapas Platter

Prosciutto and melon

 

Meats to Save on for a Mediterranean Crudités and Tapas Platter

 

 

 

vegetable platter

 

Vegetable for a Mediterranean Crudités and Tapas Platter

  • Sliced bell peppers (use a variety of colors),
  • Baby heirloom tomatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Cauliflower
  • Rainbow carrots
  • Rainbow beets
  • Watermelon radishes (or regular radishes)
  • Grape or cherry tomatoes
  • Seedless cucumbers
  • Green beans
  • Snap peas
  • Pea shoots
  • Squash
  • Squash blossoms
  • Zucchini
  • Sautéed eggplant marinated and thinly sliced eggplant
  • Fire roasted peppers
  • Charred Asparagus
  • Pickled Green Beans – a new obsession

 

Olives

 

Nuts & Olives for a Mediterranean Crudités and Tapas Platter

  • Marcona almonds
  • Giant cashews
  • Flavored almonds
  • Pistachios
  • Walnuts
  • Wasabi peas
  • Kalamata Olives
  • An assortment of fresh pitted olives
  • Blue cheese or pimento stuffed olives.

 

veggies and dips

 

Savory & Sweet Dips for a Mediterranean Crudités and Tapas Platter

  • Baba Ganoush

  • Spicy Greek Feta Dip – Tirokafteri

  • Greek Melitzanosalata – Eggplant Dip

  • Mediterranean Veggies & Melon

  • Homemade Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce

  • Easy Chipotle Ranch

  • Tzatziki

  • Roasted Beet Dip

  • Spicy Red Pepper Hummus

  • Olive Oil and Balsamic Dipping Sauce 

  • Roasted Garlic and Blue Cheese Sauce

  • Tomato Relish

  • Creamy artichoke dip
  • Applewood smoked bacon dip
  • Spicy shrimp or crab dip
  • Tomato & White Sultana Chutney 
  • Olive tapenade
  • Lemon curd
  • Grapefruit and rosemary curd
  • Honeycomb.  If I can’t find honeycomb I’ll include a bowl of local honey.

 

cheese and crackers

 

Crackers and Bread for youMediterranean Crudités and Tapas Platter

  • Seeded crackers
  • Flavored crackers
  • Buttery crackers
  • Whole grain crackers
  • Baguettes
  • Italian Bread
  • Kalamata olive bread
  • Roast garlic-rosemary bread

I love making crudités, tapas and charcuterie platters and create a new version for almost every event.  I serve them for Thanksgiving, Christmas, other holiday parties, football tailgates, and super bowl parties.

They are so fun to create, absolutely gorgeous to serve, hearty and filling and DELICIOUS!  What will you create?

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