1. If there's leftovers, I want it to be of vegetables that I want to eat. A person can only each so much celery and that seems to be the number one vegetable left over after all is said and done. Sugar snap peas always taste chalky and bland out of the tray, no thanks!
2. Control over quantity and most importantly quality. How many times have you opened up your store bought veggie tray and the carrots are overly dry and the dip - oh the dip, why is it always tangy? When you cut up your own veggies you have control over cleanliness, it's always important to wash your vegetables with running water before cutting or eating, especially if you aren't going to peel off the skins.
3. Creative freedom. Sometimes my experiments don't work, like when I sliced up red radishes, looked cool but not as tasty as I thought. Sometimes they work out like when I cut up a small head of radicchio into wedges (I'd like to try this with cabbage or even a green leaf lettuce), the purple color added so much and I really like the earthy flavor and crunch. Carrots, zucchini and red bell pepper finish off the tray I made this weekend and is pictured below.
4. Low cost. Veggie trays cost from $6-$10 based on what I've seen at my local grocery store. With red bell peppers 2/$1, carrots $0.59/lb, zucchini is often on sale too which to me is worth doing the prep myself. Ideally I would grow my own vegetables, until then farmer's market finds or the produce section at my local grocery store provides excellent options!
The tray below took about 20 minutes to create from washing, cutting and plating. We plan on grilling the leftover veggies for dinner!
|Homemade veggie tray, could be served grilled as well!|