Crudités need to be both cut and served as quickly as possible / Jason Lowe
Serves 4-6

An old-fashioned starter – or snack – that needs to be both cut and served as quickly as possible. Remember, most vegetables can be served raw, including asparagus and small tender artichokes, so do give them a try. Vary the colour of the veg you use as much as possible for maximum visual effect.

Feel free to vary the sauces you serve with this – anything from lemon and herb-flavoured mayonnaise to pesto – it is, as ever, wholly up to you.

4 green asparagus spears with the woody ends removed
4 white asparagus spears with the woody ends removed, and peeled all the way from just below the tip
8-12 radishes with their leaves left on, if they are in good condition
8-10 small carrots such as chantenay, halved if large
4 spring onions, trimmed and halved if large
A handful of green beans, trimmed
Any other seasonal vegetables, such as mange tout or sugar snaps
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to serve
4-5tbsp good-quality mayonnaise
2-3tbsp chopped herbs such as chives, chervil and tarragon
A good squeeze of lemon juice

Put the vegetables in iced water for about 30 minutes, then, when the time is up, drain. Cut the asparagus in half lengthways and arrange all of the vegetables on a large sharing dish.

Mix the mayonnaise with the herbs and lemon, transfer to a dipping dish, and place in the centre of the vegetables.