One of my favorite views on the planet is the swath of colors spread across a farmers market in mid-June. Gone are the days when I wonder what might be there; now it’s almost all there — carrots, turnips, radishes, onions, fennel, herbs, greens, snap peas, the list goes on. Even though our Southwestern sun is out in full force, baby vegetables are not only showing their resilience, they are, lucky for us, abundant and available. Gathering your favorites and arranging them on a board or platter with dips, vinaigrettes or spreads is one of the easiest and most delicious ways to enjoy them.
The French have named this crudités from the word “crudité,” which means rawness, and some consider this to mean everything on the platter must be raw. But I like to think about crudités in a slightly larger context, one in which the goal is to celebrate the best of the season, simply and without fuss, but with room for a bit of creativity and diversity sprinkled in. I love seeing a crudités platter with a combination of raw, roasted and pickled fruits and vegetables.
When I make any kind of crudités platter, it feels very much as if I have brought home a big bunch of various and disheveled wildflowers, and my task is straightforward — arrange a bouquet that shows off their natural beauty and delicate, delightful flavor. Sometimes this might mean roasting, if I happen to find some new potatoes in their prime. Other times it might mean including some pickled garlic scapes, which are one of my favorite treats this time of year.