Crudités with Garlic Mayonnaise is one of my favourite starters. It fulfils all my criteria for a first course: small helpings of very crisp vegetables with a good garlicky home-made mayonnaise. The plates of crudités look tempting, taste delicious and, provided you keep the helpings small, are not too filling. Better still, it’s actually good for you – so you can feel very virtuous instead of feeling pangs of guilt!
Another great plus for this recipe I’ve discovered is that children love crudités. They even love garlic mayonnaise provided they don’t hear some grown-up saying how much they dislike garlic, and you can feel happy to see your children polishing off plates of raw vegetables for their supper, really quick to prepare and full of wonderful vitamins and minerals.
Crudités are a perfect first course for winter or summer, but to be really delicious you must choose very crisp and fresh vegetables. Cut the vegetables into bite-sized bits so they can be picked up easily. You don’t need knives and forks because they are usually eaten with the fingers.
Use as many of the following vegetables as are in season:
A typical plate of crudités might include the following:
Wash and prepare the vegetables. Arrange in contrasting colours on individual white side plates, with a little bowl of garlic mayonnaise in the centre. Alternatively, do a large dish or basket for the centre of the table. Arrange little heaps of each vegetable in contrasting colours. Put a bowl of garlic mayonnaise in the centre and then guests can help themselves.
Instead of serving the garlic mayonnaise in a bowl you could make an edible container by cutting a slice off the top of a tomato and hollowing out the seeds. Alternatively, cut a 4cm round of cucumber and hollow out the centre with a melon bailer or a teaspoon. Then fill or pipe the garlic mayonnaise into the tomato or cucumber. Arrange in the centre of the plate of crudités.
© 2001 Darina Allen. All rights reserved.