There are few things that make me as happy as a beautiful plate of crudités. I’m aware of the ridiculous nature of that statement, but I’m one of those people who gets incredibly excited at the prospect of a salad bar well equipped with pre-cut vegetables and fruit (I was in absolute heaven on our honeymoon in Hawaii, each new morning meant mountains of fresh cut watermelon.) If I’m being fussy and it’s my get together I like to make a plate of crudités that focus around one or two colours, there’s so much room to be creative within those parameters. I also like to buy a tub of hummus and dress it up; in this photo I’ve added Greek yogurt, za’atar, cumin, a drizzle of olive oil, pomegranate seeds, lime juice, an extra pinch of kosher salt, and fresh cut mint leaves. Another combination I like is grilled or roasted and pureed eggplant, dark sesame oil, black sesame seeds, dried mint, za’atar, lemon juice and zest, Greek yogurt, and finely chopped black or green olives sprinkled on top. Sometimes when I know it’s just me for dinner I’ll make a massive platter of my favourite raw vegetables (endive, cucumber, red pepper strips, snap peas, cauliflower) and make a customized dip of some sort to accompany it and I’ll still arrange them in an aesthetically pleasing way. At the end of the day, if you have the inclination and the time, it can be wonderful to sit down to a plate of super fresh food featuring a wide array of colours and textures.