When it’s this hot outside and fresh produce is abundant, cooking should be optional. No matter what your mother told you, it really is okay to have a snack platter for dinner. We’re not talking about the sad celery and carrot tray with the industrial ranch dip. No. We’re talking about a rainbow of vegetables with fresh dips that contain even more vegetables. Small servings of olives, almonds, lean meats and creamy cheeses provide protein to make this a satisfying meal that feels a bit like a party.
Use whatever you have on hand to create combinations that suit your dietary needs like vegan, paleo, and keto options. Control fat and protein portions with small containers and scale the platter to fit your family size by prepping only what you need. Add berries and sliced fruit or make a fruit dessert platter with a dip. Our Snack Platter Dinner features:
- Sliced Aloha pepper, carrots and cucumber we had in the fridge.
- Grape tomatoes and radishes from Susie’s Garden Patch at HCC Realty Farmers Market/Colonial Village.
- Unsalted almonds, kalamata olives, crisped prosciutto, turkey salami, and Gouda and Havarti cheeses. Again, use whatever you have in the house.
- Homemade Pico de Gallo featuring red onion and tomatoes from Susie’s Garden Patch.
- Creamy Avocado Cilantro Dip (which doubles as a dressing) with cilantro from Juda Springs Farm at North End City Market and Fage Greek yogurt, which is an excellent source of protein.
- Simple Homemade Guacamole also put Susie’s red onions to good use and we used a bunch of their fresh garlic in our Homemade Hummus, which we make in large batches and freeze.
We even chopped up the leftover veggies and used them the next day in garden salads with pico and avocado dips in place of dressing. It doesn’t get much easier than this, folks.Print
A hearty snack platter filled with veggies, dips, and protein perfect for a light summer dinner.
For the Platter
- Vegetables of choice, enough for a generous portion per person
- Lean protein of choice such as high-quality cold cuts, even a sliced leftover chicken breast would work
- 1–2 ounces of cheese per person, use something creamy like Havarti or Gouda or flavorful like a sharp cheddar, feta or blue
- Small servings of olives and unsalted almonds or pistachios
For the Dips
- Make or purchase dips that are made with vegetables such as Pico de Gallo, Hummus, Creamy Avocado and Cilantro Dip, and Guacamole
- If you’ll have leftovers, be sure to choose dips you can use in other meals.
- Choose a platter that is large enough to hold all ingredients. This will vary depending on the size of the crowd you’re feeding.
- Gather various small bowls for dips, nuts, etc.
For the Dips
- Prepare all dips according to directions and portion into small bowls.
- Place nuts and olives in small bowls and place all the bowls onto the platter. Refrigerate the platter or dips if needed while prepping the vegetables.
For the Platter
- Slice vegetables of your choice and place onto the platter among the bowls.
- Slice the cheese and proteins and place on the platter with the vegetables.
- Serve immediately and watch it disappear. Use small spoons, forks, toothpicks, etc., and serve with chips or a fruit platter with dip for dessert, if desired.
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Located at 10258 Hwy 20 in Garden Prairie, IL, Susie’s Garden Patch has been a family-owned and operated farm since 1985 and offers self-pick, CSA, and farm stand options. Though not certified organic, Susie’s Garden Patch employs organic practices and integrated pest management as well as sustainable practices with minimal chemical us. Call for farm stand and self-pick hours: 815-597-3011 or visit them at the HCC Realty Farmers Market/Colonial Village on Friday mornings or the Belvidere Farmers Market at Dodge Lanes on Saturday mornings.
Check out our Eat Local Series for more summer produce inspiration.