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Ahh, the crudité platter. It’s a staple of any finger food–based buffet – especially when it comes to warm weather’s inevitable backyard parties. To create a showstopping veggie display, check out the tips below (and don’t plan on any post-party leftovers).

Trust your eyes and nose. Rather than making a shopping list, simply buy the veggies that look best in the produce section or farmers’ market. (See this cheat sheet showing what’s in season.) In order to keep everything crisp and fresh, don’t go shopping more than a day before the party.

Try something new. Don’t just stick to the veggie staples. Instead pick something unexpected, like jicama (a sweeter alternative to celery), or try kohlrabi in lieu of broccoli. Surprise and educate your guests by leaving out little cards with some background on the new finger foods.

Get creative. Serve dip in a hollowed-out bell pepper or cabbage. Then, when the veggie tray is finished, you can slice up the cabbage and make some yummy coleslaw.

Our Take the Party Outside: For All-Day Entertaining Boutique opens Tuesday, April 2, at 3PM ET.

By Keriann Coffey, Associate Blog Editor

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April 2, 2013