Garnishing Food
An important part of food preparation is presentation. Believe me, I've been working on
my presentation skills and it can seem like a daunting and difficult, even unnecessary task
but even the simplest of foods can become special when presented attractively. A touch of
garnish,a unique serving dish or a colorful arrangement not only makes food more
appealing visually but also piques one's appetite.

Making food look beautiful doesn't have to take a lot of money or for that matter, time. A
bit of imagination is all that's required. The following tips are suggestions which you can
follow exactly or just use as a starting point to stimulating your own creativity.

Use a hollowed-out round loaf of bread [like pumpernickel] to serve thick soups or dips
in. The bread which has been removed can be cubed for dipping.

Hollow out large tomatoes or bell peppers to use as dip containers.

Choose platters of a size that you can easily fill. Food is more appetizing when it appears
to be abundant.

When using a garnish, either use an ingredient that's in the recipe or one that will
compliment the flavor. For example, if a recipe calls for chives, use snipped chives as a

Croutons are an ideal garnish for a soup or salad. You can add interest by making your
own croutons in different and unique shapes. Use small pastry cutters to cut bread, brush
with butter and bake at 350 for 20 minutes or until nicely browned.

Cheese shavings or curls are a delicious and attractive touch to a green salad.

Chocolate shavings, curls, and fans are dramatic on desserts and are easy to create.

Fruits and vegetables can be made into decorative shapes and added to platters or salads.
The simplest method is to cut the fruit or vegetables to offer the greatest amount of surface
available [generally a square]. Use small pastry cutters to cut out a variety of shapes.

Parsley is an old standby that can be used with almost anything. For something different,
try sprigs of basil, mint, tarragon or other fresh herbs.

When arranging a platter of food, try moving the focal point off-center as a change from
the norm.

For an attractive display, combine a variety of vegetables [or other food] with different
textures, colors and shapes.

Apple slices and small clusters of grapes are not only an attractive garnish but an edible
addition to a cheese tray.

I never put anything on a plate or platter that isn'y edible. Why take the risk?

Edible flowers can be a beautiful addition to your presentation. Just make sure that
whatever you choose is safe for human consumption

tom saaristo
© Thomas Saaristo  All Rights Reserved