There’s always someone at the table who doesn’t eat turkey — but who might have an appetite for vegetables arranged to look like a turkey. This edible centerpiece is a way to include more vegetables in a meal that may be dominated by less healthy comfort foods. Serve it year-round — not just at Thanksgiving — as an alternative to ordinary crudite platters. The creation features at least five types of vegetables, including two or three different-colored bell peppers for the body.

Things You'll Need

Wash all vegetables thoroughly to remove any wax coating or pesticide residue. Wash, peel and cut whole carrots into sticks, but leave baby carrots alone.

Cover the platter with a leafy green vegetable, such as leaf lettuce or kale, arranged so that the curly edges of the leaves point toward the outside of the platter.

Cut two celery stalks about 2 inches above the line where the stalk meets the leafy green stalks. Pull off the leaves, but leave the thin leaf stems to resemble the turkey’s legs and feet. Place these a few inches apart at the bottom of the tray, with the “leg” end overhanging the platter slightly.

Arrange the vegetables in neat, curved rows to make the rounded turkey feathers, starting with a short row about one-third of the way from the bottom of the platter and working your way to the top of the platter with a long, curved row. Alternate with a different vegetable or different-colored vegetable on each row. For example, start with four or five rows of bell pepper strips in alternating colors; add a row of celery sticks, cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas; and finish with a row of carrot sticks in a fan shape.

Fill in the empty bottom one-third of the tray with sliced cucumbers or grape tomatoes to make the turkey’s body. Build them up in a slight mound, but try not to cover up the feather vegetables so much that they are inaccessible.

Cut off the bottom of a whole bell pepper — orange or yellow is best — so you have a piece with three rounded domes for the head. Place this on the body of the turkey, positioned toward the top of the body portion. Position one of the domes of the pepper so it points toward the top of the platter, with the other two at the bottom.

Cut a small strip of a red bell pepper into a squiggly shape. Set this piece on the bell pepper bottom piece with one end at center and the rest hanging down to form the turkey gobbler.

Cut off the tip of a carrot or cut a wedged shaped piece from a different colored bell pepper to form the beak. Set this piece over the end of the gobbler piece that rests at center, with the point of the triangle pointing downward. Insert a toothpick through the pieces if they don’t balance well.

Cut a small black olive in half for eyes and set them evenly apart on top of the “head.”