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Olives and Pickles for 50 to 60 people- 18 inch Relish TrayThis tray is a stand alone pre-dinner tray for 50-60 people. If served on an appetizer table in conjunction with other veggie trays and appetizers, it will easily serve 100. In formal settings, the relish tray includes any number of marinated or "pickled" things, both fruits and vegetables, but no fresh veggies; spiced apple rings, pickles, pickled peppers, spiced pickled pears, pickled mushrooms are some examples. Everything should be very carefully drained and no dip or dressing is served. If meats and cheeses are added, it edges over into antipasto.
Here are your quantity guidelines.
64 ounces (4 pounds) assorted pitted black and green olives
Tray garnishes/ section dividers- you need about 6 cans (8 cups,) any assortment.
Chill ingredients, drain well. Divide platter with garnishes, then arrange olives and pickles as desired on a large (14-18 inch)chilled platter. Usually served slightly chilled, may be at room temperature.
Prepare fresh vegetables except mushrooms at least the day before the party. Some will keep longer: see table. Wash and cut vegetables in desired shapes and sizes. Rinse in water which has lemon juice, Fruitfresh or a little vitamin C powder added. Arrange in food storage bags, add several ice cubes; seal bags. Store bags in refrigerator vegetable crisper. Drain and change ice daily until used.
A few hours before serving, drain and arrange veggies on trays lined with parsley, lettuce or purple kale, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until serving time. Allow 4-8 pieces per person, depending on occasion and type of use (appetizer, salad, relish). Allow 3 tablespoons thick dressing or 2-3 tablespoons thinner dressing per person.
* For a bright green color, the starred vegetables need to be blanched. Blanching also helps with tenderness (green beans, asparagus). Plunge into boiling water, start counting time immediately. Blanch pea pods only about 30 seconds, in and out. Blanch other vegetables 2 minutes; immediately plunge into ice water. Drain; pat dry with paper towels. Store as above.
Raw Veggie Favorites
Two ounces per person is a good amount for a veggie tray tray.
|Asparagus*, 1 lb||20-35 spears|
|Broccoli, 2 3/4 lbs.||45 - 1 1/4" florets|
|Broccoli florets, 1 lb bag||40 pieces|
use by fourth day
|Carrots, 1 lb||65 3 1/2" sticks|
use by sixth day
|Baby-cut carrots, 1 lb||About 40|
|Cauliflower, 4 3/4 lbs||75 - 1 1/4" florets|
|Cauliflower florets, 1 lb bag||17-20 florets|
use by fourth day
|Celery, 1 3/4 lbs
3 trimmed heads
|100 4x 1/2" sticks|
use by one week
|Cucumber, 1 3/4 lb (2)||45 4 x 3/4" spears, seeded|
use by second day
|Whole green beans*, 1 lb||30-40 beans|
|Jicama, 1 1/4 lbs||40 4 x 1/2" sticks, peeled|
|Mushrooms, 1 lb.||20 whole, 1 1/2 - 2" caps|
use same day washed
|Pea pods*, 1/4 lb||30 pods|
|peppers, sweet mini peppers, 1 dry pt.||18 peppers|
|peppers, bell, 1 pound||about 2 48 3 1/2 x 1/2" sticks or 20-24 dipping chunks ince cut, use by second day|
|tomatoes, cherry 1 pt.||25 - 1" tomatoes|
|tomatoes, grape 1 pt.||about 40 tomatoes|
|Zucchini, 1 1/4 lbs (three 6")||35 - 1/2" round slices, unpeeled|
may also be sliced in sticks
use by third day
|Dip, 2 quarts||50 2 tbsp. servings|
2 small tongs for self service
1 dressing cup (see below) for dressing, made from a small red cabbage, small winter squash, very large bell pepper
2 cups thick dip or dressing
1 pound cauliflowerettes OR 1 1/4 pound peeled jicama
1 dry pint sweet mini peppers OR 2 pounds bell pepper chunks
1 quart cherry tomatoesor grape tomatoes
1 pound baby carrots or carrot sticks
2 cucumbers or zucchini, cut in rounds
1/2 pound celery sticks OR broccoli florets
1 pound specialty veggies- blanched asparagus, pea pods, marinated mushrooms or artichoke hearts
1-2 bunches green onions, trimmed to 6 inch lengths for garnish
1 pint large black olives OR stuffed olives or marinated mild cherry s or pepper rings for garnish
1 bunch parsley, leaf lettuce or purple kale for green garnish
Prepare veggies in advance as outlined above. Make dressing cup: trim a red cababbage flat do it will stand, from the top cut out a slice, then core out most of the cabbage, leaving about 1/2 inch of cabbage leaf wall. Rinse in lemon water, wrap tightly, refrigerate. When ready to serve, arrange on tray and fill with thick dip.
To assemble; Line tray with greens, place dressing cup, alternate vegetable colors white, red, green, yellow/orange. Garnish with olives and green onions. Fill dressing cup. Keep covered and refrigerated until served.