How to Garnish

Dazzle your guests with a stunning candied lemon rosebud accenting a luscious cheesecake. Wow your family with a delicate tomato rose topping off a platter of creamy fettuccine.

Garnish Recipes

Entice little ones with a plate trimmed with fun gelatin cutouts and colorful carrot flowers — the list of eye-catching garnishes is endless.

In this article, we’ll show you how to add excitement to any food with eleven sections of creative garnishes. With easy-to-follow step-by-step instructions and clear how-to photos, you’ll soon progress from a basic radish fan to an impressive chocolate lead with ease.

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Tools for Garnishing

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
This chocolate garnish was added to the cake just before serving.

To prevent drying out, keep garnishes away from air and heat. If possible, protect them with an airtight covering of plastic wrap.
It’s always best to make garnishes just before serving, but some can be prepared ahead of time and assembled on the plate at the last minute.
Store garnishes like you would similar foods. If made with ingredients that are normally refrigerated, wrap in plastic wrap, or store in an airtight bag or container, and refrigerate.
If the ingredients are crispy or dried, or if they need to firm up, do not refrigerate. Store in a cool, dry place for several hours or overnight.
Some cut-up or carved vegetables can be prepared in advance and covered with ice water until you are ready to assemble the finished presentation. Be sure to drain and dry them off well before placing the garnishes on the plate.
Add garnishes to the food just before serving.

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Citrus Garnishes

Wash fruit; dry thoroughly. Cut strips of peel from fruit with vegetable peeler.

Place the strips of peel on cutting board. If necessary, scrape cut side of peel with paring knife to remove white membrane.

Cut peel into very thin strips.

Combine equal amounts of sugar and water in small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon. Boil 3 minutes.

You will need about 1-1/2 cups each of granulated sugar and water for each piece of whole fruit.

Carefully add strips of peel to boiling mixture.

Reduce heat to low. Simmer 10 to 12 minutes or until peel turns completely translucent.

Place wire strainer or sieve over bowl. Spoon strips of peel into strainer or sieve; drain thoroughly.

Add additional sugar to a re-sealable plastic food storage bag. Add strips of peel; seal bag. Shake until strips are evenly coated with sugar. Remove strips from bag; place on waxed paper to dry thoroughly.

Garnish as desired.

Citrus Knots

Place a citrus knot on top of a lemon meringue, orange cream, or key lime pie to give a hint of what’s inside.

To tie citrus knot garnishes:

Wash citrus fruit; dry thoroughly. Cut strips of peel from fruit with vegetable peeler.

Place the strips of peel on cutting board. If necessary, scrape cut side of peel with paring knife to remove white membrane.

Cut strips into 3-1/2 X 1/8-inch pieces.

Tie each piece into a knot.

Garnish as desired.

Citrus Loops

At your next dinner party, garnish the edge of each water glass with a citrus loop. This also works well on the edge of salads placed in beautiful bowls.

To make citrus loop garnishes:

Wash citrus fruit; dry thoroughly. Place fruit on cutting board; cut crosswise into thin slices with utility knife.

Cut each slice in half crosswise.

Carefully cut each half slice between peel and fruit with paring knife to loosen peel from fruit, cutting about three-fourths around the inside of the peel. (Fruit should remain attached to about one-fourth of the length of the peel.)

Holding free end of peel, carefully curl it under, tucking it up against attached part of peel.

Garnish as desired.

Scored Citrus Slices

Pair scored citrus slices with fresh herbs and garnish on pork or fish dishes.

To score citrus slice garnishes:

Wash citrus fruit; dry thoroughly. Cut a shallow groove into the peel with citrus stripper or tip of grapefruit spoon, cutting lengthwise from stem end to other end.

Continue to cut grooves about 1/4 inch apart until completely around fruit.

Place fruit on cutting board; thinly slice crosswise with paring knife.

Garnish as desired.

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Fans, Flowers, and Butterfly Garnishes

Maybe it’s the joy of summer that inspires us in the kitchen. Color is blooming all around us, flowers look fresh, butterflies playfully dart all around. Despite their seasonal inspiration, you can use these garnishes all year long.

Mini Strawberry Shortcakes

Make strawberry shortcake, one of America’s all-time favorite desserts, extra-special by adding a dollop of whipped cream and a strawberry fan.

To make strawberry fan garnishes:

Select a medium sized, uniformly shaped strawberry with hull attached. Wash and dry thoroughly.

Place the strawberry on cutting board. Cut four or five thin slices with a paring knife lengthwise through the strawberry, leaving slices attached just below the hull.

Fan slices apart slightly, being careful to keep all slices attached to hull. Place on plate or food to secure in position.

Garnish as desired.

Cherry Flowers

Add a hint of color to individual servings of rice pudding by trimming with a cherry flower and a small sprig of mint.

To make cherry flower garnishes:

Place a cherry on cutting board. Cut it into six wedges with a sharp paring knife, being careful not to cut through bottom third of cherry.

Use the tip of the knife to gently separate and spread the cherry segments to resemble flower petals.

If desired, place a tiny piece of candied fruit or peel in center of flower and accent with leaves of fresh mint.

Garnish as desired.

Sugared Fruit

Trim a silver tray with elegant pastries with delicate sugared fruit.

To make sugared fruit garnishes:

Wash fruit. Gently blot dry with paper towels or let air-dry on paper towels.

Beat egg white in small bowl with fork until foamy.

Brush egg white onto each piece of fruit with paintbrush or pastry brush, coating all sides of fruit thinly and evenly.

Place fruit on waxed paper that has been covered with granulated sugar. Sprinkle a light even coating of sugar over fruit with teaspoon.

Let sugared fruit stand at room temperature until coating is dry. Trim with nontoxic leaves, if desired.

Garnish as desired.

Sugared Flowers

Spruce up tortes, fruitcakes, or steamed puddings with a cascade of sugared flowers.

To make sugared flower garnishes:

Wash fresh, small, edible flowers such as geraniums, roses, nasturtiums, violets, and marigolds. Gently blot dry or let air-dry on paper towels.

Beat egg white in small bowl with fork until foamy, as pictured above.

Brush egg white onto each flower with paintbrush, coating both sides of petals thinly and evenly.

Spoon additional superfine sugar into sieve. Sprinkle a light, even coating of sugar over each flower. If any areas are not coated, repeat layers of egg white and sugar.

Let sugared flowers stand at room temperature until coating is dry.

Garnish as desired.

Lemon and Lime Butterflies

Add a flourish to baked cod by serving each portion with a delicate lemon butterfly.

To make lemon and lime butterfly garnishes:

Wash citrus fruit; dry thoroughly. Starting at one end of lemon, cut a thin strip of peel around fruit with vegetable peeler or citrus stripper.

Repeat, starting at the other end.

Place both strips on cutting board. Using paring knife, cut peel into very thin strips, each about 1 inch long.

Place the partially peeled lemon on cutting board. Cut off ends at place where peel has been stripped; discard ends.

Thinly slice remaining lemon crosswise. Cut each slice into thirds.

To make a butterfly, arrange two lemon wedges on desired food or plate, with points of wedges touching at center.

To make antennae, carefully place two strips of peel where pieces touch.

Garnish as desired.

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Chocolate Garnishes

There’s nothing like a creatively placed swirl, drizzle, curl, or flourish of chocolate to elevate an everyday dessert to gourmet status. It’s one of the easiest ways to add drama and an impressive finishing touch. Try these quick tricks with chocolate next time you want to step it up a notch.

Chocolate Curls

Create a halo of chocolate curls on top of your favorite sweet treat. Or, top cups of coffee with dollops of whipped cream and chocolate curls. Make brownies extra special by frosting them with vanilla buttercream frosting. Then, top each one of the brownies with a chocolate curl.

To make chocolate curl garnishes:

Place square or bar of semisweet chocolate on cutting board; shave it into small pieces with paring knife.

Place shavings in measuring cup. Add shortening. Use 1 teaspoon of shortening for every 2 ounces of chocolate. Fill a saucepan one-quarter full (about 1 inch deep) with warm, not hot, water.

Place measuring cup in water to melt chocolate, stirring frequently with rubber spatula until smooth. Be careful not to get any water into chocolate.

Remove measuring from saucepan. Let chocolate cool slightly.

Pour melted chocolate onto back of baking pan. Quickly spread chocolate into a thin layer (about 1/4 inch thick) with metal spatula.

Let stand in cool, dry place until chocolate is firm. Do not chill in refrigerator. When chocolate is just firm, use small straight-edge metal spatula to form curls. Holding spatula at a 45-degree angle, push spatula firmly along baking pan, under chocolate, so chocolate curls as it is pushed. If chocolate is too firm to curl, let stand a few minutes at room temperature. Refrigerate again if it becomes too soft.

Using small skewer or toothpick, transfer curls to waxed paper. Store curls in a cool, dry place until ready to use.

Garnish as desired.

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Chocolate Cutouts and More

For your child’s next birthday party, place a chocolate cutout alongside each serving of cake. Have the child help you by choosing the cookie cutter shapes he or she likes best.

To make chocolate cutout garnishes:

Place square or bar of semisweet chocolate on cutting board; shave it into small pieces with paring knife, as pictured above.

Place shavings in measuring cup. Add shortening. Use 1 teaspoon of shortening for every 2 ounces of chocolate. Fill a saucepan one-quarter full (about 1 inch deep) with warm, not hot, water.

Place measuring cup in water to melt chocolate, stirring frequently with rubber spatula until smooth, as pictured above. Be careful not to get any water into chocolate.

Line inside of baking sheet with waxed paper. Pour melted chocolate into prepared baking sheet; quickly spread chocolate into a thin layer (1/8 to 1/4 inch thick) with metal spatula.

Let stand in cool, dry place until chocolate is just firm. Do not chill in refrigerator.

Cut chocolate into shapes with hors d’oeuvre or cookie cutters, placing cutters as close together as possible.

Carefully remove cutouts with metal spatula. Store the cutouts in a cool, dry place until ready to use.

Garnish as desired.

Baker’s Tip!

For ease in cutting chocolate, slightly warm cookie cutters with hands before cutting out shapes.

Chocolate-Dipped Fruits & Nuts

For the perfect ending to a rich meal, serve cups of steaming hot coffee. Garnish each saucer with a chocolate-dipped fruit or nut.

To make chocolate-dipped fruit and nut garnishes:

Place square or bar of semisweet chocolate on cutting board; shave it into small pieces with paring knife, as pictured above.

Place shavings in measuring cup. As shown above, fill a saucepan one-quarter full (about 1 inch deep) with warm, not hot, water. Place measuring cup in water to melt chocolate, stirring frequently with rubber spatula until smooth. Be careful not to get any water into chocolate. Remove measuring cup from saucepan.

If using fresh fruit, wash and dry well. Dip fruits and nuts, one at a time, into melted chocolate, until chocolate coating comes about two-thirds of the way up the side. Allow excess chocolate to drip off.

Transfer dipped fruits and nuts to waxed paper. Let stand in a cool, dry place until chocolate is firm. Do not chill in refrigerator.

Garnish as desired.

Melting & Piping Chocolate Drizzles

For a quick finish to cream puffs or éclairs, drizzle each pastry with chocolate before topping with toasted sliced almonds or pecan pieces.

To melt and pipe chocolate drizzle garnishes:

Place squares or bars of unsweetened, semisweet, or milk chocolate on cutting board; shave it into small pieces with paring knife, as pictured above.

Place shavings in measuring cup. Fill a saucepan one-quarter full (about 1 inch deep) with warm, not hot, water. Place measuring cup in water to melt chocolate, stirring frequently with rubber spatula until smooth, as pictured above. Be careful not to get any water into chocolate. Remove measuring cup from saucepan. Let chocolate cool slightly.

Fill plastic bag about half full with melted chocolate. Seal bag securely.

Cut off very tiny corner of bag with scissors.

Gently squeeze bag, piping chocolate onto cake, cookie, ice cream, or other dessert using an even, steady flow.

Garnish as desired.

Chocolate Shapes

For a dazzling display, bend chocolate into the shapes that you desire.

To make chocolate shape garnishes:

Place squares or bars of unsweetened, semisweet, or milk chocolate on cutting board; shave it into small pieces with paring knife, as pictured above.

Place shavings in measuring cup. Fill a saucepan one-quarter full (about 1 inch deep) with warm, not hot, water. Place measuring cup in water to melt chocolate, stirring frequently with rubber spatula until smooth, as pictured above. Be careful not to get any water into chocolate. Remove measuring cup from saucepan. Let chocolate cool slightly.

Fill plastic bag about half full with melted chocolate, as pictured above. Seal bag securely.

Cut off very tiny corner of bag with scissors, as pictured above.

Gently squeeze bag and pipe chocolate in a steady flow onto sheet of waxed paper, making a variety of small shapes. Stop squeezing and then lift bag at end of each shape. Create flowers, hearts, Christmas trees, lattice shapes or any lacy pattern.

Let stand in cool, dry place until chocolate is firm. Do not chill in refrigerator. When chocolate is firm, gently peel shapes off waxed paper. Store shapes in cool, dry place until ready to use.

Garnish as desired.

Melting & Piping White Chocolate Drizzles

These drizzles not only look great against a brownies, they also melt in your mouth.

To melt and pipe white chocolate drizzle garnishes:

Place white chocolate baking bar in small resealable plastic freezer bag.

Microwave at medium (50% power) 2 minutes. Turn bag over; microwave at medium 2 to 3 minutes or until white chocolate is melted.

Knead bag until white chocolate is smooth.

Cut off very tiny corner of bag with scissors.

Gently squeeze bag, piping white chocolate onto cake, cookie, ice cream, or other dessert using an even, steady flow.

White Chocolate Curls

Decorate cannolis and other delicious desserts with these curls.

To make white chocolate curl garnishes:

Place white chocolate baking bar on cutting board; shave it into small pieces with paring knife.

Place white chocolate shavings and shortening in measuring cup. Use 1 teaspoon of shortening for every 2 ounces of chocolate.

Microwave on high (100% power) about 1-1/2 minutes or until melted, stirring after every 30 seconds of cooking.

Pour melted white chocolate onto back of baking pan. Quickly spread chocolate into a very thin layer (about 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick) with metal spatula. Refrigerate white chocolate about 10 minutes or until firm, but still pliable.

Use small straight-edged metal spatula to form curls. Holding spatula at a 45-degree angle, push spatula firmly along baking pan, under chocolate, so chocolate curls as it is pushed. If chocolate is too firm to curl. Let stand a few minutes at room temperature. Refrigerate again if it becomes too soft.

Using small skewer or toothpick, transfer curl to waxed paper. Store curls in a cool, dry place until ready to use.

Garnish as desired.

White Chocolate Cutouts

These shapes are fun for kids and adults.

To make white chocolate cutout garnishes:

Melt white chocolate baking bar in small bowl set inside larger bowl half filled with very hot water, stirring occasionally. Do not use shortening.

Line cookie sheet or baking pan with waxed paper. Pour melted white chocolate onto waxed paper; quickly spread chocolate into a thin layer (1/8 to 1/4 inch thick) with rubber spatula.

Refrigerate until white chocolate is just firm, about 15 minutes.

Cut chocolate into shapes with sharp knife. You can also use cookie cutters, if desired.

Immediately lift cutouts carefully from waxed paper with metal spatula or knife. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Garnish as desired.

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Bell Pepper Garnishes

Whenever possible, it’s a good idea to make garnishes before you get involved in the final tasks of meal preparation. Especially when you’re entertaining, you don’t have much time for details at the last minute.

Some garnishes, however, don’t fare so well if they are made too far in advance. But that’s not the case with many creative and colorful vegetable garnishes. Most can be made as much as a day ahead, then placed in airtight containers or wrapped in clear plastic wrap and refrigerated until the next day.

Look for vegetables that are evenly shaped, blemish-free, and at the right stage of ripeness to get the best results. In general, the firmer the vegetable, the easier it is to work with and the longer the finished garnish will stay fresh and attractive.

Bell Pepper Rings

Use bell pepper rings to garnish a burger.

To make bell pepper ring garnishes:

Make circular cut with paring knife around top of pepper.

Pull stem from pepper; scoop out seeds and membrane with a spoon.

Rinse pepper under running water to remove any excess seeds; drain well.

For rings, thinly slice pepper crosswise; remove any excess.

Garnish as desired.

Bell Pepper Cup

Use a pepper container in place of a bowl when serving creamy dips or guacamole. Or, use a bell pepper cup to hold celery and carrot sticks as an edible centerpiece.

To make bell pepper cup garnishes:

Place bell pepper on cutting board. Cut about 1/2 inch around stem with paring knife; discard stem.

Remove and discard membrane and seeds. Wash the pepper under cold running water.

If necessary, cut a thin slice off bottom of pepper to create flat surface. Stand pepper up. Fill as desired.

Garnish.

Bell Pepper Basket

For an inventive presentation, fill pepper with single servings of tuna, egg, or ham salad. Serve on a bed of red-tipped romaine.

To make bell pepper basket garnishes:

Place pepper, stem end down, on cutting board. Break off stem if necessary, to get pepper to sit upright.

Starting slightly off center, make a vertical cut from top of pepper just down to middle of pepper with paring knife.

Make a second parallel cut 1/2 inch from first cut, creating the basket “handle.”

Make a horizontal cut from side of pepper to first cut in pepper.

Remove piece of pepper. Turn pepper around; repeat on other side.

Carefully remove membrane and seeds from pepper with paring knife; discard.

Wash pepper basket under cold running water. Fill as desired.

Garnish.

Bell Pepper Triangles

Float a bell pepper triangle on the top of your favorite creamy soup.

To make bell pepper triangle garnishes:

Stand bell pepper, stem side up, on cutting board.

Cut a slice, about 1/4 inch thick, off each side of pepper with paring knife.

Remove membrane and seeds; discard.

Cut each pepper slice into a rectangle 1-1/4 inches long and 3/4 inch wide.

Starting one-third of the way from one long side of each rectangle, cut down remaining length of rectangle, ending 1/4 inch from other end.

Turn rectangle around; repeat on other side.

To make each triangle, hold the two outer corners of a rectangle and bring both corners to center.

Overlap ends to secure. If desired, place triangles in ice water to crisp. Remove; drain well.

Garnish as desired.

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Carrot Garnishes

Colorful carrots, crunchy peppers, and rotund radishes are just a few of the versatile vegetables that lend themselves to the art of food presentation.

Here are instructions for a garden’s worth of garnishes that will make your reputation as a creative cook really grow. We’ll talk about the different carrot garnishes.

Carrot Curls

Perk up a bowl of rice pilaf by trimming it with several carrot curls. Turn an ordinary club sandwich into a company combo but spearing it with a small wooden skewer laced with a carrot curl. One of the best ways to add color to broth-based soups is to float a carrot curl in each serving.

To make carrot curl garnishes:

Peel carrot with vegetable peeler; place on cutting board. Cut off ends with paring knife; discard tops.

Cut paper-thin lengthwise strips from carrot with vegetable peeler.

Roll up strips into curls; secure with wooden toothpicks. Place carrot curls in ice water to chill thoroughly. Remove from water; drain well.

Carefully remove toothpicks before using.

Garnish as desired.

Carrot Flowers

Coax the children into eating their carrots by cutting the carrots into flowers. You can even make their favorite flower, such as black-eyed Susans or daisies.

To make carrot black-eyed Susan flower garnishes:

Peel carrot with vegetable peeler; place on cutting board. Cut off ends with paring knife; discard ends. Cut carrot in half crosswise.

Cut out a thin, shallow lengthwise wedge from side of carrot. Lift out wedge with tip of knife; discard wedge.

Give carrot a quarter turn. Cut out another wedge, as directed in step one. Repeat, turning and cutting two more times.

Cut carrot halves crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices.

Sprinkle chopped capers or caviar onto center of each carrot flower. Use chives or thin strips of green onion tops for stems and cilantro or parsley sprigs for leaves.

Garnish as desired.

To make carrot daisy garnishes:

Peel carrot with vegetable peeler; place on cutting board. Cut off ends with paring knife; discard ends, as pictured above. Cut carrot into 1/2-inch-long pieces.

For each flower, set one carrot piece upright on board. Place the apple cutter/corer directly over the center of the carrot piece. Press down firmly and evenly, stopping about 1/2 inch from bottom.

Push down on the carrot piece with your thumbs as you remove apple cutter/corer.

Carefully cut out center core of carrot at the base with tip of paring knife. Fill center of each flower with a black olive.

Garnish as desired.

Carrot Stars

Create colorful canapes by spreading cracker or party rye bread slices with your favorite cheese spread. Top with carrot stars.

To make carrot star garnishes:

Peel carrot with vegetable peeler; place on cutting board. Cut the carrot with a paring knife at the spot where carrot begins to have a diameter of less than 1/2 inch. Discard thin end. Cut off stem end of carrot and discard.

Stand carrot on wide flat end. Cut a thin lengthwise slice from one side of carrot piece.

Repeat four more times, turning carrot slightly after each cut, to make a pentagon shape with five equal sides.

Cut a groove in center of each flat side using citrus stripper or tip of vegetable peeler. Cut carrot crosswise into thin slices with paring knife to form stars.

Garnish as desired.

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Cucumber and Zucchini Garnishes

Spice up everything from plain tomatoes to seafood bisque by using cucumber garnishes. Cucumbers make great garnishes.

There is a lot of cutting involved, but cucumbers hold up well and are easy to manipulate. Zucchinis can be used interchangeably in many of the cucumber garnishes.

Cucumber Twists

Brighten a Thai dish using these easy garnishes. You can also twist a slice of cucumber and slip it onto a platter or pan-fried pork chops.

One popular method of using this type of garnish is to use it as the centerpiece of a platter. Surround with salami or ham, cheese cubes, hard-cooked egg wedges and olives or peppers.

To make cucumber twist garnishes:

Place a small cucumber on cutting board. Cut off ends of cucumber with utility knife; discard ends. Diagonally cut cucumber into thin slices.

Cut slit through each slice just to center.

Holding each slice with both hands, twist ends in opposite directions. Place on plate or food to secure in position.

Garnish as desired.

Variation: Substitute lemon, lime, or orange slices for diagonally cut cucumber slices; continue as directed.

Cucumber Ribbons

Even an ordinary dish can become company fare if you dress it up by spiraling a few cucumber ribbons the serving plate.

To make cucumber ribbon garnishes:

Place cucumber on cutting board. Cut off ends with paring knife; discard ends. Cut thin lengthwise strips from cucumber with vegetable peeler, making sure there is a line of green peel on both sides of each strip. Continue cutting strips until you reach seeds.

Turn cucumber, leaving about 1/2 inch of green peel before starting next strip. Repeat cutting of strips. Repeat turning and cutting once more.

If desired, trim edges of cucumber strips to straighten sides. Place strips in ice water to chill thoroughly. Remove from water; drain well.

Gently gather cucumber strips with fingers to form decorative ruffle. Place on desired food or plate to secure.

Garnish as desired.

Zucchini Flowers

For an elegant plate, accent the center of a fish dish with a zucchini garnish.

To make zucchini flower garnishes:

Place zucchini on its side on cutting board. Cut off both ends with paring knife; discard ends.

Cut thin lengthwise slices from zucchini with vegetable peeler, making sure there is green peel on both side of each strip. Continue cutting slices until you reach seeds.

Turn zucchini and continue cutting slices, always making sure there is green peel on both sides of each slice. Turn one more time; repeat.

Cut ends off slices with paring knife to make an even edge.

Make additional cuts about 1/16 inch apart along one edge of each slice, cutting almost to opposite edge.

Roll up each slice.

Insert small piece of wooden toothpick through each base to secure rolls.

Garnish as desired.

Variation: Substitute yellow summer squash for zucchini. Continue as directed.

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Vegetable Garnishes

Nothing beats a pretty arrangement of fresh garden vegetables. We’ve already shown you how common salad vegetables can be used as garnishes.

We have some great ideas for some of your other vegetables, from the green ones to the ones that come in bunches.

We’ll show you what to do with onions. We can chat about celery garnishes. If you’re not a fan of radishes, after you learn how to use them for garnishing, you might agree that they’re as good as roses. And, if you’re still interested in vegetables, learn how to prepare fruits and vegetables with our easy step-by-step instructions.

Green Onion Curls

No Asian meal is complete without a heaping bowl of rice. Dress ip the bowl with a delicate green onion curl.

To make green onion curl garnishes:

Place green onion on cutting board. Cut off roots with paring knife; discard roots.

Cut onion crosswise into one 3-inch piece, leaving about 1-1/2 inches of both the white onion and green top portions.

Make lengthwise cut from white end of onion almost to center of piece; repeat to slice end into thin slivers.

Place onion in cold water (not ice water). Let stand 30 seconds or until ends curl slightly. Remove from water; drain well.

Garnish as desired.

Celery Curls

To make a chilled pasta dish main dish look elegant, serve it on your prettiest salad plates with a celery curl on the side.

To make celery curl garnishes:

Trim ends from celery rib; cut into 3-inch pieces. Cut each piece lengthwise in half.

Make lengthwise cut from end of celery piece almost to center; repeat to slice end into thin slivers.

Place in ice water and refrigerate until ends curl. Remove from water and drain well before serving.

Garnish as desired.

Matchstick/Julienne Carrots

Julienne carrots are cut into very thin four-sided strips, also known as matchsticks.

To make matchstick, or julienne, carrots for garnishing:

Cut a lengthwise strip from carrot so that it can lie flat on cutting board.

Cut carrot into 2-inch lengths. Place flat side of piece down on cutting board. Cut lengthwise with utility knife into thin slices.

Stack a few of the slices. Cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Repeat with other slices.

Garnish as desired.

Matchstick/Julienne Turnips

Turnips are another vegetables that can be made into matchsticks.

To make matchstick, or julienne turnips, for garnishing:

Cut turnip lengthwise into quarters.

Place flat side of quarter down on cutting board. Cut lengthwise with utility knife into thin slices.

Stack a few of the slices. Cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Repeat with other slices.

Radish Fans

Team a radish fan with some fresh basil leaves; use to trim a chicken main course.

To make radish fan garnishes:

Place radish on cutting board. Cut off top and bottom tip of radish with paring knife; discard.

Cut parallel 1/8-inch-thick crosswise slices about three-quarters of the way into radish, making sure not to cut all the way through radish.

Place radish in ice water. Chill in refrigerator several hours or until radish fans out. Remove; drain well.

Garnish as desired.

Radish Rose

Accent a bowl of creamed peas, beans, or asparagus with a radish rose.

To make radish rose garnishes:

Cut off top and bottom tip of radish with paring knife; discard.

Set radish upright on cutting board. Cut a thin vertical slice down one side of radish with knife, cutting about three-fourths of the way into radish.

Make three or four additional slices down sides of radish, spacing slices evenly around radish.

If desired, make a second series of cuts about 1/8 inch inside the first set.

Place radish in ice water until it opens slightly. Remove; drain well. Trim with celery leaves, if desired.

Vegetable Ties

Bundles of vegetables tied with onion or leek strips are ideal for buffet-serving. Guests can place the bundles on their plates quickly and easily.

To make vegetable tie garnishes:

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil.

Place several green onion tops (or leek tops) on cutting board. Cut tops lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips with paring knife.

Carefully add strips to boiling water in saucepan.

Simmer 30 seconds; drain. Place strips in ice water to cool. Remove; drain well. Set aside.

Peel carrots with vegetable peeler; place on cutting board. Cut off ends with utility knife; discard ends. Cut carrots crosswise into 4-inch pieces.

If desired, cut a thin lengthwise slice from carrot to prevent carrot from rolling as you make additional cuts; discard slice. Place the carrot, cut side down, on cutting board. Cut each piece lengthwise 1/4-inch-thick slices.

Cut 1/4-inch-thick slices lengthwise to make thin, julienne sticks.

Carefully add julienne sticks to boiling water in large saucepan. Simmer 1 minute or until crisp-tender; drain well. Add carrot sticks to ice water to cool thoroughly. Remove; drain well.

Cut green onion strips crosswise into 6-inch lengths.

For each bundle, place green onion strip on cutting board. Place 10 to 15 julienne carrot sticks crosswise on strip. Tie strip securely around sticks.

Garnish as desired.

Variation: Substitute fresh whole green beans for julienne carrot sticks. Prepare beans as directed in step 8 for carrots. Tie with green onion ties as directed.

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Fruit Basket Garnishes

Layered White Bean and Tuna Dip

Shrimp with Peanuts

Pineapple Crab Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad

Place watermelon on its side on cutting board. Cut a thin piece off bottom of melon with chef’s knife to create flat surface.

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Cut a thin piece of the bottom of watermelon.

Cut off top one-third of watermelon; reserve fruit for snacking.

Set watermelon upright on its flat surface. Remove pulp from watermelon using long-handled spoon, leaving shell intact.

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Remove pulp with long-handled spoon.

To scallop edge of watermelon bowl, place open end of drinking glass against melon so top edge of glass is aligned with top edge of bowl. Draw a pencil line around glass edge to form scallop shape. Repeat around entire edge of watermelon.

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Draw a pencil line around the watermelon using a glass edge.

Carefully cut along pencil lines with utility knife to form scalloped edge; fill bowl as desired.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Cut along pencil lines.

Garnish.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Garnish watermelon bowl.

Place watermelon on its side on cutting board. Cut a thin piece off bottom of melon with chef’s knife to create flat surface. Stand watermelon on the flat surface.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Cut off a thin piece of melon bottom.

To make basket handle, start slightly off center of middle of melon and draw a pencil line crosswise about one-half of the way down side of watermelon. Draw another line parallel to first to form strip about 2 inches wide.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Draw a line down the side of the melon.

Turn watermelon around; repeat pencil lines for other half of handle. Draw pencil line horizontally around melon to make guideline for top of basket.

Cut along pencil lines of handle, being careful to cut only to horizontal pencil line indicating top of basket.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Carefully cut along pencil lines.

On one side of handle, cut along pencil line for top of basket, being sure to insert knife into watermelon pulp as far as possible. Carefully remove watermelon as piece is loosened.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Remove watermelon piece.

Set removed fruit aside for snacking or another use. Repeat cutting on other side. Trim away pulp from under handle with utility knife.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Garnish with Watermelon Basket.

Remove pulp from inside of watermelon with long-handled spoon, leaving shell intact. Fill as desired.

Pineapple Boats and More

Cut pineapple in half lengthwise through crown.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Cut pineapple in half.

Remove fruit from shells with curved knife, leaving shells intact.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Remove fruit from shell.

Remove the core from each pineapple half; discard core.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Remove core from pineapple.

Coarsely chop pineapple; place chunks in pineapple boats to serve. Add other fruits, if desired.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Chop pineapple pieces.

Dairy Garnishes

Josephine’s Tea Cakes

Mini Neapolitan Ice Cream Cakes

For butter curls, place butter curler in hot water. Starting at far end of 1 butter stick, pull curler firmly across the top of the butter. Place finished curl in ice water. Repeat for desired amount of curls, dipping curler into hot water before starting each curl.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Pull curler across top of butter.

For butter balls, place butter paddles in ice water until cold. Place 1 butter stick on cutting board; cut into 1/2-inch pieces with paring knife.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Cut butter into 1/2-inch pieces.

Using fingers, shape butter pieces into balls. Chill until firm, if necessary.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Roll butter pieces into balls.

Roll each ball between scored sides of paddles, moving paddles in small circles in opposite directions.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Roll each ball between scored paddles.

For molded butter, allow one butter stick to stand at room temperature. Place candy mold in ice water until cold. Press butter firmly and evenly into mold.

Gently remove molded butter from candy mold using tip of paring knife.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Remove molded butter with paring knife.

Place bell pepper on cutting board. Cut lengthwise in half with paring knife. Remove stem, membrane and seeds; discard. Cut one 2 x 1 ½ inch rectangle from each pepper half.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Cut a rectangle from the bell pepper.

For tail, trim both long sides of 1 pepper rectangle at an angle. Make zigzag cuts along wide end of same rectangle.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Trim rectangle at an angle for tail.

Cut remaining pepper rectangle in half lengthwise. For chicken’s comb, cut zigzag edge along 1 long side of 1 rectangle half. If desired, trim comb to make proportional to egg.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
For comb, cut zigzag edge.

Cut a small triangle from remaining rectangle half for beak; set aside.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Cut a small triangle for beak.

For eyes, cut 2 tiny pieces from olive slice; set aside.

To assemble egg chicken, cut a long thin lengthwise slice from egg with paring knife; discard. Place egg, cut side down, on cutting board.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Slice egg with paring knife.

Cut a horizontal slit in wide end of egg. Insert tail, peel side up, into slit. Cut a lengthwise slit in top of narrow end of egg; insert chicken’s comb into slit.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Insert tail peel side up.

Cut a hole in front of narrow end of egg; insert beak. Position an olive piece on either side of beak for eyes.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Cut a hole in front for beak.

Garnish as desired.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Garnish with hard cooked egg chicken.

Fill plastic bag about 12 full with cream cheese using spoon. Seal bag securely. Cut small piece off bottom corner of bag with kitchen scissors.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Cut small piece from bottom corner.

Position sealed end of bag in your writing hand. Position fingers near opening of bag; place other hand under bag.

For squiggles and lines, hold plastic bag at 45 degree angle about 1/4 inch from surface of food. While gently squeezing bag, guide bag to create desired design. At end of each squiggle or line, stop squeezing bag and lift away from food. Trim with fresh dill weed, if desired.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Guide bag to create desired design.

For puffs and dollops, hold plastic bag at a 90 degree angle. Position opening just above food and gently squeeze, lifting bag slightly while squeezing. When puff or dollop is desired size, stop squeezing and lift up bag. Trim with fresh dill, if desired.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Gently squeeze bag to create cream cheese puff.

Bacon Garnishes

Easy Corn Chowder

Roast Herbed Sweet Potatoes with Bacon & Onions

Baked Chicken with Bacon-Tomato Sauce

Tailgate Potato Salad

Red Cabbages and Apples

Place bacon slices on cutting board. Cut each slice crosswise into 3 pieces with a paring knife.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Cut each slice in three places.

Loosely roll up bacon pieces; thread about 1/2 inch apart on metal skewers.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Thread rolled-up bacon pieces onto skewers.

Place skewers, 1-1/2 to 2 inches apart, on unheated rack of broiler pan. Position under preheated broiler so rack is apart 5 inches from heat source. Broil 4 o 6 minutes or until bacon is crisp, turning every 2 minutes. Cool. Carefully remove curls from skewers with fork. Drain on paper towels; cool completely.

©2006 Publications International, Ltd.
Garnish as desired with bacon curls.

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