- November 9, 2007 at 1:01 pm #254123
Using edible containers to serve up food is eye-catching and
impressive. If you’re creative with the containers or packaging,
guests are likely to appreciate that as much as the contents
themselves. Broccoli, cauliflower, pumpkins, and gourds make
exceptional containers for dips and more.
Broccoli makes a lovely container for dips. Choose a nice, full head
and cut the stem near the base to keep it from tilting. Carve a
hollow in the top of the head to insert a small, clear, glass bowl.
This bowl will keep the dip from oozing through the stems.
Cauliflower is a great, dense vegetable that you can hollow out and
fill with a colorful dip. Cut the stem so that the cauliflower sits
level on the platter. Then carve a crater in the top with a knife. If
the cauliflower is dense enough and there are no spaces between
florets, spoon the dip directly into the hollow. If the head is not
solid, insert a small clear glass bowl to hold the dip. Place the
whole head on a platter and surround with crudités, such as carrots,
peppers, zucchini, and broccoli. Don’t forget to use the florets you
remove from the cauliflower as additional crudités.
Think of this type of squash as more than a Halloween decoration. A
smaller pumpkin makes a great container for all sorts of foods,
including salsa. You can also use a bigger pumpkin for a more
dramatic presentation. Just carve off the lid with a knife like a
Halloween jack-o-lantern. You don’t have to remove all the strings
and seeds, however. You can use the pumpkin to hold a small amount of
food by simply inserting a small bowl in the opening. You can also
use the bowl to keep gifts like spiced nuts dry and away from the
moisture of the pumpkin’s insides. The diminutive cousin of the
pumpkin is Jack Be Little. You can hollow out a few of these cute
little squashes to hold a variety of foods. Remove the strings and
seed so that you can spoon the salsa directly into the Jack Be Little.
If you can find a red cabbage with the outer leaves still attached,
it can make a pretty display. As with some other vegetables, you may
have to carve out a hollow with a knife. Then insert a clear glass
bowl to hold the dip and to prevent any leakage. A pretty alternative
is the Savoy cabbage, which is a crinkly version of the regular green
Talk to the produce department people in your supermarket and ask
them to save you a cabbage that hasn’t had the outer leaves removed.
One of the most fascinating squashes around is the gooseneck squash.
It fully lives up to its name, with a long curving neck and a bulbous
base. Lay it on its side and cut out a cavity with a knife in the
thick bulbous base. Slice a section of the roundest part of the
bottom of the squash to keep it from rolling. Pile it with a tasty
treat, like marinated olives. Depending on the size of the base, it
may not hold a lot, but the overall presence is decorative and
impressive. Squash are available during the late summer and fall.
And, of course, some old standbys are more readily available year-
round, including acorn and butternut.
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