Christmas Tree Veggie Appetizer with Lemony White Bean Hummus




Around the holidays many of us are asked to bring food to holiday gatherings. Instead of bringing the usual chips and dip or Christmas cookies, how about a veggie Christmas tree with lemony Whity Bean Hummus! This 3-D appetizer piled high with veggies and surrounded by hummus will be a hit at the party and will delight kids. You can also feel happy that you are contributing a healthy item to your holiday gathering. I made this last night for a neighborhood Christmas party. My mom saw it and loved it, so we made another one for a ladies night Christmas party that she was going to. For both of us, it was a  HUGE coversation peice!

WHAT YOU WILL NEED FOR THE TREE
Toothpicks
Floral foam cone (about 9 inches)
3-4 collard green or kale leaves, whole
3-4 broccoli crowns
red, yellow or orange pepper
pint of cherry tomatoes
Pint of miniature white button mushrooms
Bag of baby Carrots
1 starfruit

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Remove stems from collard green leaves and wrap them around the floral cone to cover the surface. Secure with toothpicks and trim any excess.







  2. Now you are ready to start attaching broccoli branches. Cut broccoli into peices with short stems. ¬†Break several toothpicks in half. Insert sharp end into the stem of one peice of broccoli and use the broken end to push it into the floral cone. Start attaching broccoli covering the top and working in rows until you reach the bottom. You can leave a few spaces here and there for the veggie “ornaments”.




  3. Use whole toothpicks to attach mushroom and cherry tomatoes as ornaments in the spaces created by the broccoli. Cut the baby carrots into two smaller halves and include those as well.



  4. Now that your ornaments are up, you can make the “garland” for the tree. Cut the top off of a pepper. Then with a small paring knife start at the top and cut one continuous 1/2 inch strip until you reach the bottom of the pepper. Don’t worry if your pepper garland breaks. You can fasten it together!

  5. Starting from the top take the pepper garland and fasten it at the top. Drape it from top to bottom, using about 5-7 toothpicks to fasten it in place between the branches. If your garland has broken, use toothpicks to fasten it onto the cone with the ends touching each other. You should be able to drape your garland 2-3 times around the tree.

  6. Now the star!! Take your star fruit and cut into large star shaped slices. Take the prettiest slice and attach it to the top of your tree with a toothpick.



  7. Place tree on a plate and spread your lemony hummus dip around it like snow! (recipe below)


LEMONY WHITE BEAN HUMMUS
Ingredients
2 15-oz cans white beans like Great Norhern or cannellini drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons of tahini paste
2 tablespoons olive oil
juice and zest of half a lemon (more to taste)
1 clove of garlic
1/4 tsp of salt (more to taste)


Combine ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth.

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