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Crudités Garden

Cook Time:
3 hrs
Prep Time:
30 mins

Chef notes

This is an edible terrarium filled with "soil" made from black olive herb breadcrumbs. The garden is lined with rows of seasonal baby vegetables and miniature jewel lettuce heads. We created this on a large scale to feed hundreds of guests at events during cocktail receptions and we have been serving this for many years. Here, we do a smaller versions for a fun centerpiece that your guests can enjoy instead of flowers.

You can use this edible "soil" in salads, on top of casseroles, sprinkled on grilled chicken or fish and on top of creamy dips. It's completely versatile and provides a salty, crunchy punch to many dishes.

Special equipment: Food processor, acrylic tray with the approximate dimensions 30"L X 10"W X 4"H, gardening gloves, a small trowel for serving and small copper watering cans for the dressings.

Swap option: Kalamata olives instead of oil-cured black olives

Technique tip: When you dry the breadcrumbs in the oven, make sure not to over-toast the crumbs because they can burn and become bitter tasting.


Edible "soil"
  • 4 pounds oil-cured black olives, pitted
  • 5 pounds panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup garlic cloves
  • 1 cup parsley
  • 1 cup lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • Radishes with tops
  • Red peppers
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Red endive
  • White endive
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Celery
  • Green peppers
  • Patty pan squash
  • Romanesco
  • Jicama
  • Cauliflower
  • Ranch
  • Green goddess
  • Carrot ginger


For the edible "soil":


Pulse olives in food processor until it's a paste.


Mix all ingredients in large mixer.


Spread on to sheet pans with parchment paper and dry out in the oven on the lowest temperature for 3-5 hours until crispy.


Cool completely.


Put in food processor and grind into soil texture. Store in airtight zip locks until ready to use.

To assemble:

Dump 3 inches of "soil" into lucite tray. Stick vegetables into "soil." Serve portions onto plates using gardening gloves and small trowel. Serve dressing in small copper watering cans.