Friends are great and all. So are all the health and fitness magazines that tell you to fill a small plate and then mingle with said friends at all your holiday parties. You know, instead of sidling up to the buffet table.
Not that there's anything wrong with that approach.
But can I just put it out there that on New Year's Eve, I'll be sidled right up to the buffet. And I'll be measuring my friendships based on who's right up in there with me.
That's why I'll be the guest who brings a simple, savory vegetable dish to round out the offerings. Sure, it's a veggie and dip platter—but with crisp, hearty, seasonal produce and a sophisticated sauce adapted from Marcella Hazan via Saveur, those plastic-encased supermarket monstrosities will instantly become a relic of years past.
About the author: You may know Carolyn Cope as Umami Girl. She stops by on Tuesdays with ideas on preparing the abundance of fruits and vegetables you might get from your CSA or the market.
- For the Crudités
- 1 pound broccoli florets
- 1 pound cauliflower florets
- 1 head Belgian endive, separated into leaves
- 12 radishes
- For the Bagna Cauda
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 10 anchovy fillets, minced
- Black pepper, to taste
Fill a large pot halfway with water. Add 1 tablespoon Kosher salt. Bring water to a boil over high heat. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl with ice water. When water boils, add broccoli and cook for one minute. Remove with a strainer to ice water. Repeat with cauliflower. When florets are cool, blot dry and arrange on a large platter with endive and radishes.
In a small pot, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat until the butter starts to foam. Add garlic and anchovy and cook, mashing anchovy against bottom and sides of pot with a wooden spoon, until most of the anchovy has dissolved into the sauce, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat, season to taste with pepper, and pour into a small bowl (or serve directly from pot). Serve immediately with crudités.