Crudités with Warm Olive Oil Dip

Crudités with Warm Olive Oil Dip

Warm, flavored olive oil brings a platter of raw vegetables to life.
TIME 30 to 60 minutes
MAKES 8 servings
3 to 4 pounds assorted raw vegetables, like carrots, cucumbers, radishes, bell
peppers, and celery
1 cup olive oil
1 tablespoon minced garlic
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Prepare the vegetables by trimming, coring, peeling, or removing seeds as necessary. Cut them lengthwise into sticks or crosswise into coins or slices; you want pieces you can easily pick up with your hands and use for dipping.

2 Put the vegetables in small bowls or on a platter. If you’re serving right away, refrigerate them until everything is ready. If you’re preparing them in advance, cover the vegetables with clean damp towels and refrigerate them for up to a few hours.

3 Put the oil, garlic, and a sprinkle of salt and pepper in a small saucepan over low heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the oil is warm and fragrant and the garlic puffs and turns golden but not brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve the oil warm alongside the vegetables.

  • Other vegetables work in a crudité spread, even if you can’t (or don’t want to) eat them raw. You can cook small waxy potatoes (red or white; peel on; halved or sliced), green or other long beans (trimmed but left whole), and rutabagas or sweet potatoes (peeled and sliced). Boiling or steaming is easiest since you can nab them from the heat while they’re still crisp and immediately “shock” them in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Grilled and roasted vegetables can also work, again provided they’ve still got a little crunch when you try to pick them up.
  • A few vegetables work either cooked or raw: asparagus, broccoli or cauliflower (cut into florets), beets or turnips (peeled and sliced), and sugar snap peas (trimmed but whole).
  • To add more flavor to the oil: When you warm the olive oil in Step 3, add 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, oregano, or thyme leaves or 1 teaspoon dried, or a mashed anchovy or two. (The flavored oil is also perfect for dipping bread and brushing on sandwiches.)

  • Some other vegetables for crudités: zucchini, jícama (peeled), cherry tomatoes (served with toothpicks), scallions (trimmed but left whole), button mushrooms (whole or halved), daikon or kohlrabi (both peeled), and fennel (trimmed and sliced).
  • To prepare crudités up to a day in advance, refrigerate the cut raw vegetables in ice water to keep them crisp and the parboiled vegetables (see the Variations) in airtight containers. Before serving, drain the raw vegetables and pat them dry with towels.

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