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Offbeat Vegetable Pairings and Dips

A colorful vegetable tray is a party food standard, but this faithful healthy staple can be woefully uncreative. These off-beat veggie and dip pairings feature some of winter's best in-season vegetables — including potatoes and fruit. To really showcase these healthy nibbles, feature all three on a large platter!

Guacamole

Trade in the old salty corn chips for a healthier kind of crisp and crunch--tasty winter vegetables: Jicama, kholrabi and the typical salad radish's robust cousin the winter radish such as the beautiful pink and green colored China Rose variety. Also, consider including Anaheim or poblano peppers.

French Onion

The sweetness of onion pairs well with tart apple slices. Add a much needed starch component to your veggie tray with a medley of bite-sized, waxy mini potatoes such as yellow fingerlings, purple and red new potatoes. Boil them in their skins or roast with a light coating of olive oil, then chill them and serve with toothpicks. You might also add an assortment of fancy colorful green and black olives that you can customize by marinating in olive oil balsamic vinegar and fresh sprigs of rosemary and oregano.

Creamy Dill

Instead of the same old celery sticks and machine-carved mini carrots make carrot sticks of you own, using colorful yellow, white, red and purple colored varieties where available. Also try florets of unusual multi-colored purple, green and yellow cauliflower, brociflower and brocolini, or Belgian endive, which is in season this time of year.

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