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How to Design a Vegetable Tray

Pick vegetables that are fresh and free of mold or bruised spots. Choose an array of colors to make the tray look appetizing.
Purchase enough vegetables so that each guest will have approximately 3/4 of a cup each.
Wash your vegetables thoroughly and allow them to drain on paper towels.
Cut your vegetables with the guests in mind. Leave a small stem on broccoli and cauliflower florets. This enables the person to pick it up more easily to place into the dip. Cut carrots, celery and bell peppers into manageable lengths of about 2 or 2 1/2 inches. They can be dipped easily and eaten in two or three bites each.
Use your paring knife to create radish roses. Cut a flat piece off the top and the bottom of the radish and cut a slit down each side. This forms the rose petals.
Slice off the tops of cherry tomatoes and scoop out the centers with a narrow spoon or a melon baller. Stuff the tomatoes with tuna salad, cottage cheese or another filling. This gives a fancy look to your vegetable tray.
Arrange the vegetables on the tray so that similar colors are separate. For instance, place the cherry tomatoes next to black or green olives and then next to orange or yellow bell pepper strips. This adds visual interest.
Insert tall vegetables, such as green onions or asparagus spears into a narrow glass that acts as a vase. This saves room on the vegetable tray and gives it a variety of heights.
Place a small bowl full of dip into the center of your vegetable tray. Use your favorite dip recipe or ranch dressing, which works well with most vegetables. Offer more than one dip if space allows.
Prepare and cut your vegetables the day before. Store your cut vegetables in zipper-style sandwich bags or a large bowl of ice water in the refrigerator. Place them on the tray right before serving.

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