Too many crudité platters leave me wondering where the buffalo wings are. Not that I'm knocking carrot and celery sticks, but there are other vegetables out there. Mark Bittman, author of How to Cook Everything, has a few suggestions for branching out with veggies, steamed purple potatoes, Belgian endive and jicama sticks among them.
Here, they're paired with a savory miso dip, a lighter, vegetarian alternative to bagna cauda. In its citrus and herb variations, the dipping sauce is also great on steamed fish, pasta or Asian noodle salads.
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Mark Bittman's Nine Interesting Vegetables to Use as Crudités
1. Baby carrots (not the nubby kind sold in bags) with the green tops, tops trimmed to 1 inch and carrots peeled
2. Asparagus spears, trimmed and very lightly steamed (still crunchy and bright green)
3. Green or wax beans, steamed or boiled until crisp-tender
4. Sugar snap peas, raw if very fresh or very lightly steamed
5. Belgian endive leaves
6. Jicama, peeled and cut into sticks
7. Purple potatoes, steamed until just tender and cut into long wedges
8. Small "new" potatoes, steamed whole
9. Red or white radishes, whole or cut in half
Simple Miso Dipping Sauce
- makes about 1 cup (4 servings) -
- 6 tablespoons miso paste
- 3/4 cup warm water or sake or a mixture
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 tablespoon mirin or white wine
- 1 tablespoon rice vinegar, or more to taste
Put everything except the salt in a small bowl and whisk together. Taste and add more vinegar and salt if needed.
serve immediately. To use warm, heat gently but do not boil. Or refrigerate for up to a week (and serve warm or cold.)
Herb: Add 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, basil, Thai basil, shiso, or mint (or a combination.) For a smooth green sauce, combine everything in the blender.
Citrus: Instead of the rice vinegar, add a tablespoon or two of freshly squeezed lemon, lime, orange or tangerine juice.
Soy: A no-brainer. Add a tablespoon or two of soy sauce to the main recipe or preceding variations.