Better Vegetable Platter with Tandoori Spice Carrots and Lemon Broccolini

How to make a better vegetable platter with recipes for tandoori spice carrots, lemon broccolini, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes - any seasonal veggies - and an easy cream cheese to dip!

This post is sponsored by Arla. Here’s how to make a better vegetable platter with recipes for tandoori spice carrots, lemon broccolini, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes – or swap in any seasonal veggies – with a quick and easy cream cheese to dip! 

When I was younger and much, much rounder, I remember learning the word for the baby carrots, celery sticks, and raw broccoli that sat alongside the other—let’s be honest, better—appetizers at parties: crudité. In my mind, they were taking up precious space. Filler, like the kale leaves underneath a deli platter that make it pretty but aren’t edible. Not until I lost 135 pounds did I begin to look at the vegetable platter differently. Suddenly, I got it. At a party, where I’d ordinarily be elbows deep in chips, dip, and cheese, the carrot sticks were my allies. Now the ranch dressing? Not quite as friendly.

How to make a better vegetable platter with recipes for tandoori spice carrots, lemon broccolini, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes - any seasonal veggies - and an easy cream cheese to dip!

The vegetable platters of yesteryear might have been pre-packaged, pre-cut veggies with a tub of ranch dip, but now a veggie platter can be a fresh, colorful garden on your table—the prettiest, healthiest centerpiece.

How to make a better vegetable platter with recipes for tandoori spice carrots, lemon broccolini, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes - any seasonal veggies - and an easy cream cheese to dip!

Build a Better Vegetable Platter: Better Veggies

I choose veggies based on look, taste, texture, and season, and like to raw options with 1 or 2 cooked ones like the Tandoori Spice Carrots and Lemon Broccolini I made here!

Tandoori spice carrots = baby carrots seasoned with a warm, smoky, mildly spicy blend of cumin, ginger, turmeric, garlic, coriander, and cayenne. The carrots are roasted until tender but still crisp, to bring out more of their natural sweetness. You can use the small carrots like I found or traditional baby carrots, sold in bags–just be sure to dry them really well with paper towels since they tend to be very wet and water-logged and won’t hold onto the oil/spice mixture quite as well when roasting.

How to make a better vegetable platter with recipes for tandoori spice carrots, lemon broccolini, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes - any seasonal veggies - and an easy cream cheese to dip!

Lemon broccolini = the long spears of broccolini make great dippers, and here they get a quick coating of olive oil, a sprinkling of dried dill, and then a trip in the oven to roast until browned. Last, I squeeze lemon juice and grate lemon zest over the spears for an ultra-fresh, zippy finish.

Keeping fresh vegetables on the veggie platter is still essential for texture and ease. My 3 fresh veggies: Persian cucumbers, which, if you’re not familiar, are just thinner-skinned, slightly sweeter cucumbers that measure about 4 to 5 inches in length. Feel free to use any kind of cuke! Also on the platter: radishes and grape tomatoes.

How to make a better vegetable platter with recipes for tandoori spice carrots, lemon broccolini, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes - any seasonal veggies - and an easy cream cheese to dip!

A Better Vegetable Platter Dip: Arla Herbs & Spices cream cheese

Every veggie platter needs a creamy dip, and one that has some punched up herb flavor. I use Arla Herbs & Spices cream cheese because it has kicks of dill, paprika, onion, and garlic (and I’ll admit I was swayed by that beautiful, beachy, sunset-orange color). The flavor can’t help but complement and enhance the vegetables. It’s silky and creamy enough to be dippable, and light enough to actually enjoy without regrets. Even as someone who thinks ranch dip/dressing is delish (ever dipped your pizza crust in ranch?), this herbs & spices cream cheese is a real cut above the typical dip mix. There are no added hormones* or artificial flavors. This is how I think about it: if I’m already eating good-for-me veggies, why not try for something simply better in the dip department?

*The FDA has determined that there is no significant difference between milk derived from rBST-treated and non-rBST-treated cows.

I hope this serves as some welcome inspiration to upgrade your vegetable platter, if not for a get-together, then for a light lunch or a snacky movie night at home (peek into my life). You can always mix and match veggies based on the season, just make it pretty to make your mother proud ;)

How to make a better vegetable platter with recipes for tandoori spice carrots, lemon broccolini, radishes, cucumbers, tomatoes - any seasonal veggies - and an easy cream cheese to dip!

Better Vegetable Platter with Tandoori Spice Carrots and Lemon Broccolini

Makes: Serves 6 to 8

Better Vegetable Platter with Tandoori Spice Carrots and Lemon Broccolini

Ingredients

    Tandoori Spice Carrots:
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 pound baby carrots
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Lemon Broccolini:
  • 1 bunch broccolini
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon dried dill
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons lemon zest
  • 6 radishes, cut in half
  • 8 Persian cucumbers, quartered, or 1 to 2 medium cucumbers, cut into spears
  • 2 cups grape tomatoes
  • Sea salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 package Arla Herbs and Spices cream cheese

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix the cumin, ginger, turmeric, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, salt, and pepper. On a large, rimmed baking sheet, toss the carrots with the olive oil. Add the spice mixture and toss to coat the carrots. Arrange them on the pan in a single layer and bake until browned and tender but still slightly firm, about 20 minutes.
  2. On a separate baking sheet, toss the broccolini with the olive oil. Season with the dill, salt, and pepper. Arrange in a single layer and roast until browned and tender, about 15 minutes. Remove the broccolini to a plate immediately so that it stops cooking and squeeze fresh lemon over the top. Sprinkle the lemon zest over the top.
  3. Arrange the tandoori spice carrots, lemon dill broccolini, radishes, cucumber, and grape tomatoes on a serving platter. Spoon the cream cheese into a small bowl. Serve with small plates and plenty of napkins.
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11 thoughts on “Better Vegetable Platter with Tandoori Spice Carrots and Lemon Broccolini

  1. Janet

    Beautiful! THE answer to that sad little plate of pre-cut, pre-washed, ready-to-eat, carrots and celery that seem to always appear – the obligatory nod to healthy eating – alongside the celebratory cake and other irresistible homemade treats at every office (or other) get-together. I can’t wait to show up with this!

    Reply
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  4. Bariatric Eating

    This looks delicious but more importantly, this recipe is indeed healthy and it can be a great addition to your healthier and diet meal.

    Reply
  5. Ethan

    Lemon Broccolini looks amazing!

    This is similar to what my clients eat. Real food.

    I will have to find a substitute for the Arla cream cheese as I have never seen that before.

    Reply

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