Made a Crudite 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 is really 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 poor veggie platter that spends its time in the shadows of the more indulgent holiday fare?

My veggies varied just slightly, but from the website, here’s the craft stuff you’ll need:
– Styrofoam cone – 8×3″
– disposable veggie tray (you will be hot glueing the tree to the tray, so plastic, disposable works best BUT you could forego the glue and just set the tree on a nice dish, too)
– hot glue gun & glue sticks (optional)
– round toothpicks
– flat toothpicks, or toothpicks with one flat end (this is slightly different from the website’s suggestion – more later)
Linzer tart cookie cutter (for tiny star shape cutter)
– wire cutter or strong scissor (to cut skewers)

Look at these beautiful veggies!  For my broccoli, I used a 3lb. bag of florets from Costco, and the local grocery store didn’t have broccoliflower (pooh!), so I’m not sure if you need all the broccoli/broccoliflower stated (I seemed to have more than enough with the bag of florets I had).  I did use the whole head of cauliflower, and probably the equivalent of a small bag of baby carrots (you serve all the extras on the side).  I also used one red bell pepper and one yellow one – I didn’t cut up extra for serving, just served the leftovers along side the tree).
357Veggies

I kept the styrofoam cone in the plastic wrapper it came in, and just made sure the outside was clean.  This helps keep any foam dust from getting on your veggies!  I hot glued the cone to an inexpensive holiday plate 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 to the size I might need them, and as I moved up the cone I eventually started cutting the toothpicks in half 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 the tree to look like garlands.  I found that if you cut your bell pepper in slices that would make intact “circles” and then cut those in half, the shape of the bell pepper helps the strip conform to the roundness of the tree better (rather than slicing them top to bottom and trying to bend the strips more).  Adding carrots in the holes to wedge the bell pepper strips in helps a bit, too.
357GreensDoneV 357GarlandStartH

With the garland going, I also 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 more strips from the yellow bell pepper for a yellow garland as well.  Then I added carrots in sparse areas, and pickled pearl onions as well.  This is where the flat toothpicks come in – when the veggies are so soft, the toothpick goes right through them, and you don’t want your guests to poke themselves on the partially exposed toothpicks!  The original tree also had even smaller stars cut from the bell pepper, which were so cute – but I didn’t have a smaller cutter, so I didn’t do those.  The decorations were cute as they were anyway.
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357OnionsOnV 357AlmostDoneH

And, served!
357Served

Everybody loved the tree.  On the way to the dinner, we realized we had forgotten to add the cherry tomatoes that were supposed to go on too, though!  There were extra at the house, so we added them there (the top photo is after the tomatoes were added), but this tree really is only limited to whatever you want to decorate with (I found this mini cutter set that would work great for different ornaments on the tree, as well)!  You could 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.  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 Crudite 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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