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I LOVE Halloween. I love the costumes, the decorating, the parties and events, and of course the food! This year, I made a Ghost Veggie Platter to bring to a party and it was a big hit! I love making simple, healthy, whole food look beautiful and fun. Last year, I did a skull veggie platter, which was quite time consuming and took some artistic skill to execute. This year, I decided to try an easier design. The ghost was quite simple to put together and still got the big veggie centerpiece impact.
Here's what I used to make this:
4 heads of cauliflower
2 heads of broccoli
2 green peppers
2 red peppers
2 yellow peppers
3 orange peppers
1 large cucumber
5-6 large carrots
1 bunch celery (some with nice leaves)
1 bunch scallions
1 bunch green curly kale
1 bunch purple curly kale
1 pack Nori seaweed sheets
a little mayo (to stick the nori)
The red, yellow, and green peppers get sliced lengthwise. The broccoli gets cut into florets. The carrots, celery, and cucumber get sliced lengthwise as well. I like to leave some of these nice and long for a little texture. I DON'T cut up any cauliflower until I've formed the body of the ghost, so I can make sure I have the perfect heads to use. Once done with the body, I cut up the rest into florets.
I started out, like I always do, with a plastic veggie tray that I glued a piece of styrofoam to with ample hot glue. I've used this many times and it seems to hold up well.
Veggie Tray on Amazon: Plastic Serving Tray
*YOU DON'T see it in this photo, but I actually used toothpicks to stack another layer of foam to this because I wanted a little more height. It added about 1 1/2".
Then, I cut off the stem of my cauliflower and filled the bottom with toothpicks so I could attach it to the styrofoam.
Next, I carved out a little of the stem of a smaller head of cauliflower to fit nicely on the curve of my first head, which I also attached with 8 or so toothpicks.
At this point, you kind of have a snowman looking body. To get rid of the indentation around the "neck" I used toothpicks stuck into the areas I wanted to bulk up and and added little florets to them Put it in the wrong spot? Use a pair of pliers to pull it out.
You can see it start to fill in.
When you are cutting up the head of cauliflower, you will have the very top piece from the center with a lot of bulky stem and lots of little florets. I like to use this piece in strips because it fills in the narrowest areas. You can slice it lengthwise.
I used Nori or seaweed for the face. This is the same kind you make sushi out of. I originally tried olives, but they just didn't cut it for the mouth. I told my husband I was going to the pier to get some seaweed, since we live near the beach and I'll be right back (you can actually buy this at any grocery store in the Asian food section) ;) Then I cut the Nori with a scissor and stuck it on with a little mayo.
The ghost's "arms" are secured with toothpicks, and he is DONE!
The KEY to making the veggies look good and stay in place is a nice bed of curly kale. I use the leaves mostly whole with the stems cut off, then lay the rest horizontally around the ghost. The tray should already look full when the kale is in. This will make a perfect bed for your veggies.
I used the whole orange peppers because I really liked the look for Halloween. Hubby cut the tops off with a zig-zag so we could fill them with dip. Then I went to town on filling up my tray with veggies!
I like to add a little height to my veggies, so I put a bunch of scallions in whole. I saved long stems of celery with the leaves still on and cut some carrots and cucumber very long. This creates a lot of texture and interest in the final piece.
It is literally exploding with veggies!
I usually like to add a little veggie picker, too, so it is easier to remove a vegetable without touching everything around it.
Oh and I scattered tiny tomatoes in all the little crevices.
You can see I really utilized the broccoli and cauliflower to stabilize my scallions.
And he was ready to party!!!
Who wants to dip?
Happy Halloween everyone!!!