Summer Veggie Tray with Artichoke Avocado Pesto Dip is an easy to put together appetizer for all your summer parties and picnics. Great way to serve up lots of fresh vegetables with a delicious dip to go with them.
Summer veggie trays and fruit platters are all the rage right now. Charcuterie too. What I love about them is literally anything goes. What kind of vegetables you use, how you arrange them, the kind of dip you make to go with. Like fruit platters, the sky is the limit with veggie trays.
It stays over 100 Deg F here in Vegas during the summertime so cooking is often not something I want to do, standing over a hot stove, turning on an oven or even grilling outside. We still do all of those but often meals are salads, fruit, veggies and popsicles. I love having a wide variety of fresh veggies on hand, prepped and ready to eat. They make for a great quick snack for myself and my kids. I prep all the veggies and keep them in containers with ice to keep them crisp and fresh and it makes them easy to grab for a healthy snack all summer long.
Dips are easy and quick to make as well. My artichoke avocado pesto dip is a big hit with my family. My kids love the color since they are both big fans of guacamole, and I love the flavor as well as the color. When my kids want some veggies and dip I spoon a few tablespoons into a cup then let them fill with veggies. This is a great way to serve veggies and dip at a picnic or party as well. You can have your veggies displayed nicely in a tray like I have done here, and have cups on the side so guests can fill up with any veggie combination they like. Write their names with a permanent marker on the cup so they keep their own cups for refills.
Doesn’t it look so good? Bright and summery and delicious!! Things have been a bit whirlwind here – long vacation to Hawaii ( lots of posts coming up soon for that) lots of recipes for Discover blog, lots of recipes for this blog, lots of photos to edit first. And another trip back to Hawaii coming up. With my husband’s hectic work and school schedule that is just getting busier there is a chance he will be taking classes next summer and no vacation at all. So we are taking a second trip to Hawaii soon just in case. And because life is short, so we see the world. Experiences > material things.
For the Dip
- 1 Jar Artichoke Bruchetta
- 1 Jar Basil Pesto
- 2-3 Avocados ( 3 if smaller, peeled and pits removed)
- 1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes
- 2-3 tbsp Lemon Juice
- 1/2 -1 tsp Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black Pepper
- 2 tsp chives, minced
- 1-2 lbs each depending on how many guests/freshness of vegetables at time of buying/serving
- Endive - Washed and leaves separated
- Asparagus - bottom 2 inches cut off, washed
- Snow Peas or Sugar Snap Peas - washed
- Rainbow Carrots - Orange, Yellow or Purple, washed, peeled and cut into 2”-3” sticks
- Bell pepper - Red, yellow, orange - stem and seeds removed, sliced into sticks
- Broccoli - washed and cut into florets
- English Cucumber - washed and sliced diagonally
- Grape tomatoes - washed
- Radishes - washed, root and leaves sliced off
- You can also use whatever veggies you like/that are in season. Cauliflower, celery, mushrooms, green beans, jicama, baby corn, marinated artichoke hearts, zucchini or summer squash. Whatever you like works!
Using a food processor combine the artichoke bruschetta, basil pesto, avocado, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Puree until mostly smooth. Add more lemon juice, salt and pepper if desired, more red pepper flakes if you would like a spicier dip. Transfer dip to a serving bowl or divide amongst cups.
Fill cups with a variety of the prepared vegetables or arrange vegetables in a tray to look like a garden with the bowl of dip at one corner. Serve immediately.
Some of the vegetables can be prepared a few days ahead of time and kept in ice water to stay fresh. Others need to be purchased and prepared day of serving. Depends on how perisable they are. Endive is more fragile and perishable than carrots or bell peppers. Dip can also be prepared ahead of time and kept in an airtight container with a piece of plastic wrap pressed against the surface and a lid on the container.