Garnishes are the little extra something that can make an otherwise ordinary plate or platter special. Garnishes can make what you serve prettier, or cuter, or simply more finished-looking. I’m constantly trying to invent new ones to add to the repertoire. This week I came up with the idea of constructing a double radish Santa. Super quick and easy, you could make one for each person’s plate!
Red radishes (one for each garnish)
Daikon radish (very large; each one will have two slices of daikon)
Black peppercorns (2 for eyes for each Santa; because sometimes they crumble as you attempt to press them in, be sure you have a few extra)
Red mini peppers (one for each garnish)
Trim the top and bottom off each red radish.
Use a vegetable Parker to take the outside peel off the daikon radish.
Slice the daikon radish into 1/4″ slices. Use a small round or flower-shaped cookie cutter to cut a base for each garnish. (Don’t have cookie cutters the right size? No worries. This would look fine if you simply cut a 1 1/2″ square from the daikon to use as a base.0
You will need to cut a smaller round to go on top of the red radish. It will become the brim for the Santa hat.
Using a small paring knife, carve little holes where the eyes are going to be, then press peppercorns into them, using the flat side of a table knife blade.
Cut the stem end off each mini pepper. Leave an amount that seems the right size for the Santa hat, taking into consideration the size of your red radish, which is Santa’s head.
Press the toothpick through the middle of the base, then the middle of the red radish sitting on top, then up through the brim and the red hat. The toothpick stake will help keep it all together. Place a sprig of rosemary on the plate next to the Santa, or a little piece of flat parsley.
The next iteration. Next time, I’m going to put some cream cheese (flavored or plain) into a piping tube and I will pipe on a beard and I’ll add a little drop for the Pom on the end of the hat. Whether augmented like that or left plain, they are sure to be a hit!