Having parties is a great way to celebrate and bond with family and friends. When you are planning for a big event or a small get together, appetizers are often expected. Some people prefer to indulge their guests by serving up sumptuous entrees, and they don’t want to splurge a lot on starters. The thing is that you really don’t have to spend a lot of money on appetizers because there are affordable yet luscious alternatives, such as fruit and vegetable platters.
Making a fruit or vegetable platter is really quite easy. But before you go out and buy all your ingredients, consider these tips. Read on so that you’ll be able to create platters that are worthy of a classy hotel or restaurant.
1. Choose items that are in season.
There is one major advantage of opting for fruits and vegetables that are in season – you’ll be able to avail of fresh produce at a cheaper price. We all know how costly it can be to host a party. So, to save a few bucks, which you can then splurge on your entrees or desserts, go for fresh items in season.
2. Pick out attractive colors.
When picking out fruits and vegetables, be sure to consider color. Remember, we eat first with out eyes. Hence, present your guests with succulent and appealing platters. Combine reds and greens, together with neutral tones. For example, have some red and green bell peppers, as well as crunchy carrots, cauliflower and tomatoes. Fruits also exist in a variety of wonderful hues. With the types of berries alone, you’ll have purple, blue and red already. Add some juicy red watermelons, vivid kiwis, luscious grapes, and so many others. When arranging them, form sections of each color. Place contrasting colors beside each other or maybe put neutral-toned items beside brightly colored ones.
3. Provide food with different textures.
Some like to munch on crunchy stuff, while others prefer to sink their teeth into something softer. So, serve trays that contain fruits or veggies with different textures, like crispy carrots with semi-crunchy blanched broccoli or cauliflower, and spongy mushrooms. For fruits, the texture of succulent berries and grapes contrast nicely with crisp apples and pears.
4. Offer several kinds of dips.
Fruits and vegetables are good enough to eat on their own. But it’s customary to also provide a dip as this adds more depth when it comes to flavor. Though you are only required to offer one kind of dip, well, you can keep things interesting by supplying 3 or 4 kinds. There are so many varieties of dips to choose from. You can either buy a few popular dips or maybe make some on your own. Main ingredients for dips usually include cheese, cream, yogurt, honey, caramel, vinegar, and several types of herbs, spices, and seasonings.
5. Cut in bite-size pieces.
Fruits and vegetables must be small enough so that guests won’t have a hard time eating them. Vegetables, like celery and carrots, are kept long and slender. As for cruciferous veggies, like broccoli and cauliflower, these are typically chopped into florets. When it comes to fruits, there are so many interesting ways to slice them. You can have wedges of watermelon, oranges and other round fruits, or create cubes of pineapple or melon.
Claire Kendall is a freelance blogger who provides creative material for Just Catering. This is a prime company that offers events planning services, as well as catering for San Francisco Bay Area.