Complimentary Mother’s Day Garnishes
Plate garnishing can be easy and inexpensive. These simple Mother’s Day garnish ideas can be accomplished with basic items already stocked in your kitchen! Items such as nutmeg, paprika, parsley, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, gelatin, whipped topping, lemons, oranges, radishes, carrots and celery.
The key word to remember when choosing a garnish is “complimentary”. The garnish should compliment the food it is placed with, not only in color but also in texture, size, and taste. The garnish around a main dish should never mask or overpower the flavor of the food being presented. When carefully selected and well prepared, food can be attractive by its own virtue. A chef who wants the meal to look as good as it tastes and taste as good as it looks will learn to think color, size, texture, and shape when choosing the best garnish for adding a new dimension to the food and to the whole meal.
For breakfast, you can easily garnish hot cereals with nuts, dried cranberries, raisins, cinnamon, or brown sugar. Scrambled eggs can be garnished with a pinch of parsley, tomatoes, paprika, shredded cheese or diced red peppers. With a simple garnish, you can add extra appeal to your breakfast.
Lemons, limes or oranges can be made into wedges, slices, or curls to garnish any favorite lunch or dinner plate. Parsley can be added with another fruit or vegetable on the side of the plate or on it’s own.
Cherry tomatoes, tomato wedges, cucumber slices, carrot curls and radish flowers can all be used as inexpensive garnishes. Spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg can be sprinkled on sweet potatoes and squash. Paprika can be used on lighter items such as fish, potatoes and cauliflower. Not only do the spices add to the plate appeal, but they also enhance the flavor of the foods.
Zesting of citrus fruits can be used for light garnishing. Zesting is the grating of the colorful outer coatings of lemons, oranges, tangerines and limes. Zest can add to the quality of baked items, stuffing, sauces, soups, meats and desserts. However, zesting should be used with a light touch. Use the zest to sprinkle over desserts, vegetables and meats for a simple garnish effect.
Other uses of citrus fruits is to slice them thinly, cut in wedges, or cut in a ¼” width and curl with parsley. Whole fruit can be cut in half and the open side scalloped. You can then use colored sugar or paprika (on lemons) to color the tops..
Don’t forget about your colored powdered gelatins for garnishes! Simply sprinkle dried gelatin on fruits or whipped toppings to add some color to the plate. All these suggestions can be done quickly and inexpensively.
Drink Garnishes for Mother’s Day
Drink garnishing is a creative way to make your drinks a piece of art! Fresh herbs, citrus shapes, cinnamon sticks, olives, edible flowers, and many other items can enhance your customers’ drink experience. Use small cookie cutters to cut crisp fruit shapes or skewers to add an assembly line of various garnishes. Have fun making different rim garnishes using salts and sugars to add to your drink’s flavor profile. Make your own signature drink and design the garnish to match your restaurant’s personality. Customers will love the delightful twists with every drink.
Chef Neil Doherty’s favorite garnishing items:
Depending on the dish, sweet or savory pickled vegetables can be a great way to accentuate the plating. They can also be added to bar drinks. The famous appetizer skewer for the Bloody Mary is a commonly used example of this.
Items that can be pickled are carrots, onions, cucumbers, cherries, strawberries, peppers, and garlic. Also, consider an array of pickled items from European Imports like Tillen farms, Cocina Selecta, Cocina Viva.
Fried garnishes also work well depending on the dish. Matchstick, julienne, diced, chips, rounds, and spiral cuts can be used with potatoes, sweet potatoes, battered onions, crispy shallots, and crispy garlic.
Crisps, candied pecans, toasted almonds, pistachios, crispy breadcrumbs, and fried capers can also add a nice touch to many dishes.
Color is important in elevating the visual presentation of a dish, and using peppers, beets, radishes, broccoli florets, herb salads, micro greens, and dried fruits for salads or pasta dishes can really make a dish stand out.
Using sauces like Sysco’s Bacon Jam, Hot Honey, Bonne Maman jams and jellies, St. Dalfour jams and jellies, flavored vinegars, and chili garlic sauce are another way to add a special touch.