Vegetable Garnishes

Published July 20, 2012

Have you ever wondered how the restaurant chefs prepare those beautiful vegetable garnishes that appear on side of your entrée? Many of these embellishments are easier than you think to prepare and can be made a day ahead of dinner parties. If a social gathering is in the near future you may want to consider preparing a few of these garnishes to add a little drama and colour to your plates.


Radish Chrysanthemum

Not necessarily a new garnish but a good one for most parties. You have probably seen the radish rose from years gone by but this is a little modern twist on a good idea. The radish is clipped of any greens and cleaned thoroughly. Cut a small piece off one end so the radish is able to sit upright on the plate. With a sharp knife, make small, parallel cuts into the radish in one direction and repeat in the other direction. This will make a criss-cross pattern. Repeat this process on other radishes and place them in ice water overnight in your refrigerator. The next day the radish should be opened up like a flower.


Green onion Stem

To make a pretty stem for this radish garnish, simply cut the green portion of the green onion into 5-6 inch lengths. On your cutting board, begin to slice the green onion from the center to each end in tiny slices. Work in one direction first and then repeat in the other direction. Place the green onion stems in cold water overnight in the refrigerator. In the morning the onion stems will have fanned out in each direction.


Carrot Flowers

These little garnishes are easy and very pretty for salads and vegetable plates. Long, narrow carrots work beautifully for this idea. Clean the carrot of any dirt and debris. With a peeler, carefully peel the outside cover off the carrot and rinse. Take a small melon scoop or tiny teaspoon and run it down the side of the carrot as it carves out a small section. Repeat this process 4-5 times around the diameter of the carrot. Clean off any leftover scrapings. Using a sharp knife, slice the carrot horizontally into 3-5mm pieces. Each piece should look like a miniature flower head.

All of these ideas are simple and can be done in minutes. If you plan ahead and prepare them the night before your event, they will be ready to use in a pinch.