Dinner Party Ideas: Vegetable Crudite Edible Centerpiece Recipe

Includes video demonstration and recipe for easy summer entertaining

Summer is my favorite season for entertaining because it makes throwing dinner parties so easy. Step into a garden or farmer’s market, and you have all the inspiration (and ingredients) you’ll need to wow guests outdoors in wine country style. One of my favorite recipes for parties is this vegetable crudite edible centerpiece–a healthy, easy appetizer that doubles as decor. It’s perfect for a cocktail party reception or served as a seated first course.

Because my husband grew up in Hawaii and my parents are from Greece, we often blend Asian and Greek influences into our meals–sometimes with ingredients and other times with decor. We chose to use Japanese bento boxes to display this garden-fresh appetizer recipe in the video, but wooden flower boxes can also be used, as pictured above. (Our favorite bento boxes, made by Kiwami, can be purchased for about $40 at Korin.com.) Communal bentos also make dining more interactive and conversational for your guests.

Because you won’t be laboring over the stove when guests arrive, you’ll have plenty of time to chat with your friends and family at the table. Fresh veggies, such as red peppers, endive, cauliflower, zucchini and baby carrots, can be served with extra virgin olive oil and zesty, simple dips, such as my own family recipe for Greek Goddess Dip. You’ll find the complete edible centerpiece recipe below and on Jordan’s website).

Watch this video to learn how to create your own edible centerpiece. Tips for advance preparation and keeping vegetables fresh overnight are also included.

Edible Centerpiece Vegetable Crudité with Greek Goddess Dip Recipe


For the crudité ~

  • 2 large carrots, peeled and cut into 3” batons or a bunch of baby carrots
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and cut into 3” batons
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into batons or triangles
  • 2 celery spears, peeled and cut into 3” batons
  • 1 bunch of radishes, washed and trimmed (larger radishes may be sliced or halved)
  • 1 basket cherry tomatoes
  • A selection of your favorite herb sprigs and lettuce leaves (such as basil, radicchio and endive)

For the dip ~

  • ¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp mint, chiffonade (shredded)
  • 2 Tbsp dill, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp tarragon, chopped
  • 1 tsp dried leaf oregano, crumbled
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 lemons, zested
  • ¼ cup capers, drained and chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Jordan Estate Extra Virgin Olive Oil for garnish


  • Rinse and cut the vegetables into small bite-size shapes. Arrange in bento boxes or a divided dish that can be used as a centerpiece. To prepare the crudités in advance, place the cut vegetables in zip-lock bags or an airtight container, cover with moist paper towels and store in the refrigerator for up to two days.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together yogurt, sour cream, herbs, cumin, lemon juice, lemon zest, and capers in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper; cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Prior to serving, stir dip, transfer to a decorative bowl and garnish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

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As one of eight children, Nitsa Knoll doesn’t remember a time when she wasn’t helping host parties for her Greek family in Southern California. She naturally gravitated toward planning beautiful events with bold colors and flowers as focal points. Today, she spends her days overseeing events and hospitality at Jordan Winery, where she works alongside her husband, Todd Knoll. With an eye for design, her creative mind is constantly at work, planning the next dinner party or designing a new floral arrangement. She finds constant inspiration from the trees and flowers growing at Jordan Estate and throughout Sonoma County.

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