Made a Crudité Christmas Tree (357/366)

357VeggieTreeTop“I never thought it was such a bad little tree. It’s not bad at all, really. Maybe it just needs a little love.”
Linus Van Pelt, “A Charlie Brown Christmas”

When you go to a dinner party or family gathering, the dish that gets the least love by far (but really is one of the best for you) is the veggie platter.  Well, when I saw this Veggie Christmas Tree (thanks, pennyhart!) on the glory that is the Interwebs, I just had to make it.  What better way to dress up the lonely crudités that spend their time in the shadows of the more indulgent holiday fare?

Here’s the craft stuff you’ll need:
– Styrofoam cone – 8×3″
– Disposable veggie tray (you hot glue the cone to the tray, so recyclable plastic works best, BUT you could alternatively just forego the glue and set the tree on a nice serving dish instead)
– Hot glue gun & glue sticks (optional)
– Round toothpicks
– Flat toothpicks, or toothpicks with only one pointed end
Linzer tart cookie cutter (for tiny star shape cutter)
– Wire cutter or strong scissors (to cut toothpicks)

I used a 3lb. bag of broccoli florets from Costco, a head of cauliflower, and probably the equivalent of a small bag of baby carrots.  I also used one red bell pepper and one yellow one.  Prep your veggies beforehand so you don’t have to stop the decorating fun to cut more.  Whatever’s not used to make the tree can be served around it!
357Veggies

I kept the styrofoam cone in its plastic wrapper and just made sure the outside was clean.  This helps keep foam dust from getting on your veggies!  I hot glued the cone to an inexpensive holiday charger I got at the grocery store, and then started building my tree.  This came together really quickly – the pre-cut, pre-washed broccoli florets are really great for this!  I kept a paring knife handy to trim florets as needed, and as I moved up the cone I started cutting the toothpicks shorter with kitchen shears.
357ToothpickBroccoliH357BroccoliInV
357LayerBuildingV 357FirstLayerH
357BuildLayersH 357TreeGrowingV

After my basic tree form was completed (yay!) I started decorating by placing strips of bell pepper diagonally down around the tree to look like garlands.  I found that if you slice your bell pepper into rings and then cut those in half, the natural shape of the bell pepper helps the strip hug the tree well.  Adding carrots in the holes to wedge the bell pepper strips in helps a bit, too.
357GreensDoneV 357GarlandStartH

With the garland going, I added my star (cut with a mini cookie cutter out of the yellow bell pepper).  So cute!  Once the red garland was done, I added a yellow pepper garland as well.  Then I added carrots and pickled pearl onions in any sparse areas.  This is where the flat or single-point toothpicks come in – when working with soft veggies, the toothpick goes right through – and you don’t want your guests to poke themselves on partially exposed toothpicks!
357GarlandGoingH 357StarOnTopV
357OnionsOnV 357AlmostDoneH

And, served!
357Served

Everybody loved the tree.  My decorations varied from the original, but this tree really is only limited to your imagination, your tastes, and whatever tools you have to use (I found this mini cutter set that would work great for different ornaments on the tree, as well)!  You can also make a smaller tree by using a 6×3 cone instead, and serving more veggies on the side – a lot of people don’t want to mess up the tree because it looks so nice, so having more around might be good.  This is a great way to dress up your basic veggie platter, it comes together quickly, and it’s really a lot of fun.

Season’s Eatings!

Related Links:
Veggie Christmas Tree
Wilton Mini Cookie Cutter set of 12
Ateco 12 Piece Aspic/Jelly Cutter Set, .5 Inch

Comments
2 Responses to “Made a Crudité Christmas Tree (357/366)”
  1. Ying says:

    What a gorgeous party appetizer! Thanks for sharing the idea – it WAS fun making one!

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