Today’s tasting is a true celebration of spring: a rainbow of the season’s best vegetables served in almost the same state as when they sprouted from the ground. I love offering a few bites for guests to snack on before a dinner party, but my two requirements for appetizers is that they must be (1) incredibly simple for me to prepare, and (2) light enough so as not to dampen everyone’s appetites before the meal. Oh, and if it happens to be really beautiful, that’s always a plus. Instead of arranging vegetable crudité around a bowl of dip on a platter (yawn), why not make it into a stunning centerpiece by displaying the vegetables in tall glasses and vases, almost like a floral arrangement? Cut into long strips and served with arugula pesto and a sprinkling of maldon sea salt, any humble vegetable is suddenly party-ready. By the way, these lovelies were part of a springtime garden party we shot last week… stay tuned for the rest of the details later this week as part of a new series that I’m seriously giddy to introduce! But for now, keep reading for the recipe… 

Spring Vegetable Crudité with Arugula Pesto


For the vegetables:

  • asparagus, ends trimmed
  • red and yellow bell peppers, seeded and cut into long, thin strips
  • grape tomatoes, washed and left whole
  • radishes, washed and left whole
  • haricot verts, ends trimmed
  • any other vegetables that look in-season and delicious at the market!

For the Arugula Pesto:

  • 1 large bunch arugula (about 1 packed cup), trimmed and coarsely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted pine nuts
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste


  1. Arrange vegetables so that they’re standing tall in glasses and vases of varying heights.
  2. Combine arugula, garlic, pine nuts and lemon juice in a food processor with the blade attachment. With the motor running, slowly stream in the olive oil until emulsified. Season with salt and pepper, and serve alongside vegetable crudité.

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Comments (16)
  1. 1
    Amy March 6, 2012 at 6:50 am

    I’m definitely looking forward to all the fresh summer veggies that will be available to us soon! Also can’t wait for the abundance of fresh basil for pesto 🙂

  2. 2
    Eileen March 6, 2012 at 7:28 am

    So fresh and yummy! Love any form of pesto and this one looks so good 🙂


  3. 3
    Kirbi Knop March 6, 2012 at 9:23 am

    You had me at arugula pesto!! What a great idea, I am a huge fan of its flavor. 🙂 Definitely trying this soon!

    Thanks you for sharing!


  4. 4
    Jessica March 6, 2012 at 10:11 am

    Looks so pretty and healthy!

  5. 5
    Ivy March 6, 2012 at 10:37 am

    What a creative idea! I love how you can dress it up or down, depending on the type of container you use. I could see this being used at a casual wedding’s cocktail hour, too. I’m definitely using this at my next dinner party!

    • Camille Styles March 6, 2012 at 6:44 pm

      Would be GORGEOUS at a springtime wedding – great call!!

  6. 6
    Lotoya March 6, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Ooohhh this vegetable post made me happy today. I love love love crudite platter (I agree super boring) this festive display will sure we a hit and create conversation. Thank You Camille for my next party tip.

  7. 7
    Sarah Morgan // Hemenway Street March 6, 2012 at 11:21 am

    This looks delicious…and so pretty!

  8. 8
    Kathryn Claire Cumming March 6, 2012 at 4:51 pm

    a beautiful way to display vegetables! You are right, so much more interesting then lying flat on a platter…

  9. 9
    erin March 6, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    nice take on a classic! consider yourself pinned! 😉 x

  10. 10
    caitlindentino March 7, 2012 at 6:14 pm

    I have been doing a variation on this with my favorite CB2 glasses, but I love love love the small round vases too. Will need to pull those out next party, as I think a crudite is always welcome. Great tip – thanks!!

  11. 11
    Laura March 9, 2012 at 4:58 am

    This reminds me of my mum’s British farmhouse kitchen table in the spring! And the arugula pesto sounds incredible!

  12. 12
    marla August 30, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Stunning crudite!