Add Fruits and Veggies to Your Super Bowl Menu

by in Food Network Chef, Holidays, February 1st, 2012

fruits and vegetables
The Super Bowl is such a great athletic event. It’s also a day that honors another great sport: cooking. People get out their smokers and their spicy chicken wing recipes. Others grab their salsa recipes and tortilla presses. It’s definitely a day to bust out some of your favorite all-American recipes. What I find people struggle with is something to put out on the table that’s relatively light, something with vegetables or fruit. Are we looking for something to replace those wings or hot dogs? Absolutely not. Just something else that can complement it.

Here are some suggestions and tips for that “light” (albeit out of place) touch for your Super Bowl spread:

  • Fruit can be a great guest at your party. Skewer some tomatoes and grapes and serve them with bowl of yogurt flavored with a few spoonfuls of honey, a squeeze of lemon juice and a pinch of ground cinnamon. Or just serve them plain.
  • Make a vegetable platter. What are my favorite vegetables? Raw carrots, cucumbers, celery, red bell peppers and cauliflower. Veggie platters allow people to nibble.

  • Try a more unusual vegetable in your mix. White mushrooms, for example, have a great texture when eaten raw. Wipe thoroughly with a damp towel to remove any dirt on the surface, trim the bottom part of the stem and make them a part of your spread.
  • To make your vegetables more distinctive, try rolling some in spices. Carrots are great with some sesame seeds, cucumbers pair well with poppy seeds, peppers with a small sprinkle of Cayenne pepper and cauliflower with some ground cumin. Give your spices even more flavor by warming them in the oven for a minute before dusting.

Or try them with a Simple Garlic Dip recipe like this:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
15 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Kosher salt
4 ounces cream cheese
½ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon hot sauce
1 bunch scallions, green and white parts both, thinly sliced

In a medium pan over low heat, warm the olive oil and stir in the garlic. Season with salt and cook until the “raw” garlic taste disappears and the slices are tender, 3-5 minutes.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle, blend the cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Season with salt and add the garlic, hot sauce and the scallions. Blend until smooth.

alex guarnaschelliEvery week, Alex Guarnaschelli, host of Alex’s Day Off, shares with readers what she’s eating — whether it’s from the farmers’ market or fresh off the boat, she’ll have you craving everything from comfort food to seasonal produce.

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