ADD COLOR TO THE BUFFET TABLE
The Veggie Tray with Ranch Dressing is a healthy recipe to serve at parties. The homemade Ranch Dressing below improves on the grocery store version, flavorful and chemical-free. Salad dressing recipes made from scratch are bound to be healthier than store-bought.
For extra color, hollow out a red cabbage to serve the dip in. The leftover cabbage can be sliced up and mixed with any leftover Ranch Dip for a great side dish the next day. The Ranch Dressing recipe makes enough to serve a large crowd, with plenty of veggies on the side. Or use it in salads; it will keep weeks in the refrigerator. Makes 1 quart, serves 35-45.
- 2 c. mayonnaise
- 1 pt. sour cream
- 1 TBS. dill weed
- 1 TBS. rubbed Italian herbs
- 1/2 TBS. black pepper
- 1 1/2 TBS. VegeSal (found at health food stores)
- 2 TBS. sugar
- 1/4 c. lemon juice
- Green leaf lettuce (to line veggie tray)
- 2 lb. or so carrots (approx. 6 large)
- 1 lb. or so broccoli crowns
- 1-2 cucumbers
- 1 lb. or so red peppers (approx. 3 large)
- 1 red cabbage for holding the dressing
1. Mix the following in a bowl: > 2 c. mayonnaise > 1 pt. sour cream > 1 TBS. dill weed > 1 TBS. rubbed Italian herbs > 1/2 TBS. black pepper > 1 1/2 TBS. “VegeSal” (found at health food stores) > 2 TBS. sugar > 1/4 c. lemon juice
2. To assemble veggie tray, line a platter with some green-leaf lettuce (or ornamental kale). Set the hollowed-out cabbage in the center, filling with the dip just before serving, if transporting the tray. Arrange the following veggies on the platter. The broccoli looks especially appetizing added last, nestled around the edge of the cabbage-dip-bowl.
Use the following:
> Carrots: Peel, slice, and add to a jar, with a splash of white vinegar and salt. Shake thoroughly, drain. You can prep the carrots the day before, draining the vinegar mix off and refrigerating until ready to assemble. This process really brings out the color, avoiding the “dry look”.
> Broccoli: Rub the tops in a bit of olive oil. Again, this brings out the color, tastes great, and is easier than blanching them. Also, they won’t have that dry look. (Steam as mentioned for Green Beans below, if desired.)
> Green Beans/Asparagus/Etc.: Get a big (preferably iron) pan very hot. Add prepped veggies and steam quickly by adding a splash of water and a lid. Broccoli and asparagus will only take a minute or two like this, then cool off quickly by spreading on a cookie sheet and refrigerating. Their color will be bright and the flavor will be fresh.
> Cucumbers: Score lengthwise with tines of a fork; cut into 1/4″ thick slices.
> Red peppers and any other favorite veggies: Cut into strips, to add color to the tray.