Food must look as good as it tastes to be appetizing and appealing to the palette. Setting a table and plating food is an art. Garnishes do not have to be fancy. They can be as simple as an herb sprig, or grated rind. Here are some simple ideas:
- Use dishes and serving pieces that contrast the color of the foods to make the food stand out.
- Garnish with a fresh herb from the recipe, like a sprig of rosemary, parsley or a basil leaf.
- Use a mold to serve rice or grains; this gives them height. Garnish with green leafy vegetables or herbs.
- Flavored oils or sauces can be squeezed onto plates in a design before spooning food onto them.
- When using lemon, lime or orange in a recipe, grate the rind and add to the recipe.
- Take a scallion and pull back the leaves for an arty effect.
- Use olives on a toothpick and set on the side of a plate.
- Large colorful leafy greens can be used to line a plate, or to serve a vegetable.
- Think about color contrast and texture when serving your dish. If the dish is orange in color, such as a squash or sweet potato, look for a contrasting color to present the dish. This makes the dish stand out and appear less monochromatic.
Photos above by Mark Greenberg