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Today was our playgroup Thanksgiving brunch at the park and I could not wait to try out my idea for a Veggie Turkey Platter. I've made a lot of cute food, but had not tried anything for Thanksgiving, yet. I saw a lot of the different veggie platters with a turkey theme on Pinterest, but most of them are laying flat on the platter. I like my veggie platters to be centerpiece worthy and have some height to them, so I started brainstorming some ideas to build a turkey standing upright and decided to give it a shot. I was so happy with the results!
This is not a difficult design, like my Veggie Skull, but it can be a little tricky to slice and arrange the carrot "feathers." The most important thing you need to know if you want to make this is that the "feathers" will start to wilt, depending how thin they are. (I don't want to see any Pinterest fails happen, so keep this in mind.) I did the "feathers" pretty thin, but I suppose you could alter the design to accomodate thicker carrots. To have them look fresh for your event, you want to build your turkey as close as possible to the event time.
Here's what you need to make a Veggie Turkey Platter:
1 purple cabbage
1 yellow squash
4 large purple carrots (2 cut into sticks, 2 cut into "feathers")
4 large orange carrots (2 cut into sticks, 2 cut into "feathers",one end reserved for the beak)
1 red pepper (cut into sticks - 1 piece reserved and cut for turkey face)
1 orange pepper (cut into sticks)
1 yellow pepper (cut into sticks)
1 bunch celery (cut into sticks)
1 bunch broccoli
4 persian cucumbers (cut into sticks)
1 bunch purple kale
1 bunch curly kale
Japanese Nori or seaweed sheets (cut into circles for the eyes)
1 veggie dip
Here is what you do:
I always use the simple, plastic veggie trays for my veggie platters because they are a nice size, and they have a circle in the middle that I can sit a round fruit or vegetable in without it moving when I transport it.
I decided to use a purple cabbage for the turkey's body. It was pretty easy to cut into to make a space for the squash I wanted to use for my head and neck and a slot for my turkey feathers.
Just a few toothpicks will hold the squash head in place.
Here are the markings for the slot that I'm going to put the feathers in. I basically sliced this section out with my knife.
To create my feathers, I used colorful carrots that I got from Trader Joe's. You could certainly use standard orange carrots.
To be able to cut thin slices of carrots, I braced the carrot I wanted to slice in between two other carrots. You could also use two knives. This keeps the carrot from rolling and allows you to keep the tips of your fingers.
Then I slid all the carrot slices into the slot in the cabbage. This part is a little tricky. You don't really want to shove them in. You want them to sit nicely. Shoving them in will make them explode out. If you need to, use your peeler or knife to shave down the ends to fit more in, go for it. I cut my ends into a V shape to fit in better.
Once you have all your "feathers" placed in the slot, at little wedge pieces of carrot. I used these to fit into all the spaces between the feathers, so there are no gaps. This locks all the feathers in place. Again, do not force these in. They should fit nicely, like a puzzle, and make it so the feathers aren't shifting and moving. Pushing too hard will make pieces shift and pop out.
Cut a piece of red pepper for the turkey's face and secure with a small piece of toothpick. First stick the toothpick into the squash. Then press the pepper onto it. Then, use an nice end of a carrot for the beak and secure with a small piece of toothpick. Cut two small circles for eyes out of the Nori.
Then I lay a bed of kale in my tray. The kale should fill the entire tray and make a full nest for the cut veggies. You can then arrange your cut veggies in your tray. I like to put my dip in a cup right onto the tray.