No fête is complete without a tray of snacks, and a Halloween celebration is no exception! I for one enjoy a plate of fresh veggies to balance the intake of candy and sweets on this spooky holiday, and healthy Halloween snacks are hard to come by. Luckily, a collection of deeply pigmented, foreboding crudités keeps things on theme. Now, admittedly, vegetables aren’t quite party ready on their own, and that’s where a silky smooth aioli steps in to crank up the delicious factor! Aioli takes a little practice to master, but with the helpful tips below you should be well on your way to dip heaven.
The board pictured features butterhead lettuce wedges, chicory leaves, persian cucumbers, purple carrots, blanched broccolini, blanched haricots verts, steamed mini purple potatoes with smoked paprika, and jammy 7-minute eggs with flake salt. I like to include some blanched and steamed vegetables for some variation in texture, and you could include roasted veggies as well! Keep scrolling for recipes for blanched vegetables, steamed potatoes, and 7-minute eggs for your healthy Halloween board.
When deciding which veggies to include on your own board, any darkly colored or green vegetable gives off a festive air! I would’ve loved to have included slices of peppery Japanese black radish on this board too (the black and white color is just soooo halloween), but I wasn’t able to find any!
Making successful aioli is sort of like having an encounter with a ghost– it’s totally unpredictable and inexplicable. Similar to making mayonnaise, sometimes aioli comes together, and other times it breaks, becomes bitter, or separates later. Hopefully, with these tips, you’ll be successful in your ghost hunting:
- Good olive oil is a must. I’m not Ina, and I don’t often say that good olive oil is required, but with aioli, it is. The majority of the aioli’s flavor will come from the olive oil, so we want it to taste good!
- Unless you’re making 4 or more cups of aioli, whisking by hand is the way to go. A food processor or immersion blender can do a wonderful job making aioli, but only if there is enough volume for the blades to work with. If there isn’t enough volume, the liquid can get trapped beneath the blades, and will be less likely to emulsify properly.
- Whisking by hand is tiring, and you must whisk very quickly in order to form an emulsion. Something that can make whisking by hand easier is stabilizing the bowl so that you can whisk with one hand and drizzle oil with the other. One way to do this is to fit a bowl into a heavy pot with a damp towel between them.
- For easy drizzling of the oils, pour from a vessel with a neat and narrow pour spout and rest it on the side of the bowl as you whisk. For the first few drops of oil added, you could also use a straw (dip one end of the straw into the oil and cover the other end with your finger to transfer) or a pipette if you wanna get real scientific with it.
- Whether or not your aioli will be successful is determined in the first few steps. Getting an emulsion established can be a delicate thing, so it is important to add ingredients slowly and in a mindful order. The order of operations I’ve put into the recipe below is egg yolk, 1 tsp lemon juice, refined oil, olive oil, then the remaining lemon juice and flavorings. The reason for this is as follows: An egg yolk is already a natural emulsion of fat and water. A tiny bit of lemon juice is added a little at a time to push that emulsion’s capacity for liquid further. Then, refined oil, which is less prone to emulsifying than olive oil is added literally one drop at a time (so tedious, yet so necessary) to establish the toughest part of the emulsion. (Aioli can be made with only olive oil, but I’m not made of money so I went for half and half!) Once the refined oil has successfully established an emulsion, you can relax a bit. I add the flavorings of garlic, dijon, and tarragon last just in case the aioli never sets up and I have to start over– that way I’m not wasting those ingredients.
- If your aioli does break (separate) you can start over entirely, or, put a new egg yolk in a fresh bowl and slowly whisk in the broken aioli before continuing to add oil.
- To further prevent issues, be sure to begin with a dry and clean bowl and utensils, and all ingredients at room temperature. If you need to hurry the egg(s) to room temperature you can place them in a bowl of warm water.
Keep Scrolling For Recipes For Your Healthy Halloween Veggie Spread!
Dijon-Tarragon Aioli Recipe
Dijon + Tarragon Aioli
- 1 egg yolk at room temperature
- 1/3 cup good extra virgin olive oil
- 1/3 cup neutral refined oil such as canola oil
- 5 tsp lemon juice divided, at room temperature
- 2 small garlic cloves grated on a microplane or pressed
- 3 tsp dijon mustard at room temperature
- 1.5 tsp chopped tarragon
- 1.5 tsp thinly sliced chives
- pinch salt
- pinch pepper
- In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolk 1 minute until slightly lightened in color. Continue to whisk and slowly dribble in 1 tsp of the lemon juice and whisk 30 seconds more. Continue to whisk briskly and continuously, and add 1 drop of canola oil every 5-10 seconds. After several drops of oil have been added, you should be able to feel the mixture thicken up slightly. Thickening means the emulsion is established, and you can begin to add a tiny bit more oil with each addition. Continue whisking, adding a little canola oil at a time, until all of the canola oil has been added.
- Next, as you whisk briskly, incorporate the olive oil by drizzling in a slow, narrow stream. Be patient, drizzling slowly, until all of the olive oil has been emulsified. Finally, whisk in the remaining lemon juice, garlic, dijon mustard, tarragon, chives, salt, and pepper. Voila! Taste and adjust seasoning if desired.
See More Recipes For Dips + Sauces Here!
Blanched Vegetables Recipe
- vegetables such as broccolini, asparagus, or haricots verts
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Add your vegetables to the boiling water and allow to cook until bright green, about 1 minute. Remove the vegetables from the boiling water using a spider or slotted spoon (a pot with a pasta insert also works great for this!) and transfer directly to the ice bath to stop the cooking. When cooled completely, drain the veggies, pat dry, and serve.
Steamed Potatoes with Smoked Paprika Recipe
Steamed Potatoes with Paprika
- small potatoes 1-2” in diameter or potatoes cut into 1-2” pieces
- fresh lemon juice
- smoked paprika
- Steam the potatoes over boiling water for 15 minutes, or until tender.
- Toss the steamed potatoes in a bowl with a bit of salt and lemon juice, then arrange on a dish and dust with a sprinkling of smoked paprika.
Jammy 7-Minute Eggs
Perfect 7 Minute Eggs
- Bring a pot of water to a simmer. Choose a pot that allows all eggs to sit on the base of the pan without stacking, and use enough water so that the eggs will be covered by at least 1 inch of water.
- Meanwhile, place the eggs you’d like to cook in a bowl of warm water for 10 minutes. (This will temper the eggs, preventing the eggs from cracking when they’re lowered into the simmering water.)
- When the pot is simmering, gently transfer the eggs from warm water to the simmering water one at a time with a slotted spoon. Maintain a gentle simmer (not a boil), adjusting heat as needed, and cook the eggs 6.5-7 minutes. (I recommend using a timer!)
- While the eggs cook, fill a bowl with cold water and a few pieces of ice. After 6.5-7 minutes, use the slotted spoon to transfer the eggs from the pot to the bowl of ice water. Allow to sit a few minutes, until cool enough to handle.
- Then, gently tap/crack each egg all over, beginning with the air pocket (the wider end of the egg), and return to the ice water to sit for 10 minutes. (This will separate the membrane from the egg, allowing the shell to peel away easily.)
- Peel the eggs one at a time in the water. Enjoy right away or refrigerate up to two days!