Saturday, June 23, 2018

Rainbow Crudités & Rainbow Party Dips

I co-produced a food storytelling event here in NYC this past week.  Since it was Pride week, most of the food we served had a rainbow theme.

We created a huge rainbow crudités and somewhere placed under that rainbow vegetable crudités were 7 matching dips. The dips were one of each color of the rainbow to accompany the vegetable rainbow. 

The dips were relatively easy to create. Mostly I thought up a type or flavor by color and then googled for recipes. Once I selected them, some I riffed on it, some I tweaked slightly.  We had vegetarians and vegans to accommodate so the dips were a range to appeal to all diets. 

A huge special thanks to Chef Eric See at The Awkward Scone for arranging the beautiful presentation of veggies and dips.

The veggies, on the other hand, took more of an effort to put together. Some of the vegetables we selected for the crudités took a bit of running around to find. 
TIP: scope out in advance who carries the harder to get items. 

In case you ever want to create a rainbow crudités as a party appetizer and if you are as ambitious as we were to create 7 matching dips, everything you need to know is here in this post.

I do, however, apologize for the lack of pictures. I was too busy producing to photograph everything properly for a post. However, from the first photograph in this post, you get the idea. 

Rainbow Crudités Vegetable List:
(I left out the amounts. We were feeding 60 people. Adapt the amounts to the size crowd you are feeding)

TIP: In assembling the vegetables to create each color, go for as big a variety of textures and shades of that color. For example, add romanesco to the green section. 
Grape or Cherry tomatoes (raw)
Baby red potatoes (steamed, skins on)
Red bell peppers (raw, cut into strips)
Red radishes (raw, trimmed)

Orange mini tomatoes (raw)
orange bell peppers (raw, cut into strips)
Baby carrots (peeled, raw)
Orange cauliflower florets (raw)

Yellow mini t0matoes (raw)
Yellow Bell peppers (raw, cut into strips)
Corn (cut into wheels and steamed)

Baby asparagus (trimmed & steamed)
String beans (raw, trimmed)
Broccoli florets (steamed)
Persian Cucumbers (sliced)

Purple Yams (peeled, sliced and steamed)
Purple potatoes (peeled, sliced and steamed)
Purple cauliflower florets (raw)
Purple chive blossoms
Purple carrots (trimmed & sliced lengthwise)

Once you have everything prepped, organize them by color and arrange the vegetables on a large platter in a rainbow shape, clumping them together in rainbow order.  

The dip recipes are as follows:

Roasted Red Pepper Tomato Relish
(adapted from
  • 3 large red bell peppers
  • 2 plus 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 pound plum tomatoes, seeded, chopped
  • 4 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  •  2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  • Place peppers on the baking sheet and brush with 2 tablespoons oil. 
  • Roast for 35 minutes until peppers are tender and begin to brown (turn them over about halfway through baking). 
  • Remove from oven, let cool completely.
  • Peel, seed, and slice peppers.
  • Heat remaining 4 tablespoons oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. 
  • Add tomatoes and garlic. 
  • Sauté until tomatoes soften, about 5 minutes. 
  • Add peppers to skillet; sauté about 3 minutes. 
  • Add vinegar. 
  • Season with salt and pepper. 
  • Remove from heat and let cool completely before serving.

Curried Carrot Hummus
(Adapted from Chef Michael Smith)

  • 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 1 teaspoon of coriander powder
  • 1 bag shredded carrots 
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1+1/2 cups of orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon of curry powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1- 15-ounce  cans of chickpeas, drained and skins removed
  • 1⁄2 cup  of tahini
  • 1⁄4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • The zest and juice of 1 lemon

  • Gently toast the cumin and coriander powder in a medium-sized skillet for a minute or two.  
  • Add the carrots, garlic, orange juice, curry powder, and salt. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook until the carrots are tender about 15 minutes.
  • Carefully pour the hot mixture into a blender or food processor and puree´. 
  • Pulse in the chickpeas, tahini, hot sauce, lemon zest, and juice.
  • Slowly stream in the olive oil while blending.  
  • Blend until smooth.
  • Transfer to a bowl and serve. 

Elote Dip
(Adapted from Barefoot in the Kitchen)

  • 6 ears of corn
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise plus 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice about the juice of 1 large lime
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated or crumbled Cotija cheese
  • Roast the corn, still in the husks, in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes. Or if you have discarded the husks before reading the recipe (like me) wrap the corn in aluminum foil.
  • Let cool completely. 
  • Place the corn cobs one at a time in a deep bowl and use a sharp knife to scrape off the kernels. Set aside.
  • Combine the mayonnaise, chicken stock, hot sauce, lime juice, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large saucepan. 
  • Add the corn to the saucepan and set the heat to medium. Warm everything through, stirring occasionally. 
  • Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed.
  • Pour the corn into a serving bowl, sprinkle with cheese and serve. 

Green Goddess Dip
(Adapted from Melissa Clarke at New York Times Cooking)
  • ½ cup packed fresh dill
  • ½ cup packed fresh mint
  • ½ cup packed fresh parsley
  • ⅓ cup packed fresh basil
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 ½ tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  •  Pinch kosher salt, more to taste
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • Place dill, mint, parsley, basil, garlic, onion, lemon juice and salt in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
  • With motor running, drizzle in the olive oil until incorporated. 
  • Add feta and process until smooth; pulse in yogurt and mayonnaise.
  • Transfer to a bowl and serve. 

Blue Cheese Butterfly Pea flower Dip

  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 oz butterfly pea flowers
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 8 ounces crumbled blue cheese
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Heat the cream and butterfly pea flowers in a small saucepan, bring to a boil then reduce the heat and let simmer for 10 -15 minutes or until the cream is reduced by half. 
  • Remove from heat and let cool completely.
  • In a medium bowl combine sour cream and mayonnaise.
  • Strain the blue tinted cream into the sour cream and mayonnaise mixture and stir to combine.
  • Discard the pea flowers.
  • Stir in the crumbled blue cheese and season with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. 
  • Transfer to a bowl and serve. 

Red Cabbage Horseradish Pesto

  • 1/4 head medium red cabbage, chopped coarsely
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews soaked overnight
  • 1/4 cup horseradish
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • Steam the cabbage until it softens, about 5 minutes. 
  • In a food processor, add the cabbage, garlic, cashews, horseradish, and blend. 
  • Add the olive oil in a stream while the processor is running. 
  • Season with Kosher salt & freshly ground pepper to taste.
  • Transfer to a bowl and serve.

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