There are basic rules for garnishes. One that I follow 99% of the time is that a garnish should be edible. I’m not totally faithful to this rule because I have been known to add a little paper umbrella or something of that nature. Also, because I avoid sugar and make an effort to eat low-carb food I will sometimes use sprinkles that to me are not edible because they contain sugar, just because they look really good. I usually pick them off. It is rather like wearing an uncomfortable pair of incredibly good-looking shoes. You can’t keep them on long, but they’re great for making an entrance.
The second rule for garnishes is that they should be appropriate to the item on which they’re used. Don’t use a chocolate spiral on spaghetti, and don’t sprinkle parsley on ice cream. You get my drift.
The garnishes I will show you here take just a few moments, but they will make your guests think you went to a special culinary school. They’ll take one look and think “Toto, we aren’t in Kansas anymore.” Pure magic!
FOUR TYPES OF GARNISHES
“Garnishes are like food confetti!”
Here’s a small taste – no pun intended. I can hear you all saying: “How did you do that?” Well, first I grew a lemon tree. Really. (It was so exciting. I picked six lemons from it last year, and this year the aroma from the blossoms is heavenly.)
LEMON PINWHEELS! Get yourself a lemon somehow, somewhere. (No, you don’t have to grow it, like I did.) Cut it into thin slices. With a sharp paring knife, cut small triangle shapes at even intervals around the lemon slice. Throw it on your chicken piccata. Use it to dress up lemon ice cream. Cut it in half and stick it on a glass of iced tea. Dress a plate with it. Beautiful!
See what an impact the lemon pinwheels make circling the bottom of the plate on which the margarita glass with the fried squash blossoms is nested?
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