You don’t need to be an artist to present your food like a professional. Use these handy tips to add art to your plates. These are sure to liven-up the food presentation at your next party.
Cut off roots with a paring knife. Cut a 3-inch piece from each stalk, leaving about 1-1/2 inches of both the white and green portions. Make lengthwise cuts in the green portion, repeating to slice the green end into thin slivers. Place onion in cold water, and let stand 30 seconds or until ends curl slightly. Drain well, and store refrigerated in an airtight container until needed.
Trim ends with a sharp paring knife, then cut 1/8-inch-thick slices, being careful not to cut all the way through. Place in ice water and refrigerate several hours until radishes fan out. Drain well before using. Add a sprig of parsley for contrast, if desired.
A creative way to present your pineapple and other summer fruit is to use the pineapple as a bowl. One pineapple will provide 2 bowls. To create a base, cut a thin slice from each half of the pineapple. With a large cutlery knife, cut the pineapple (including the crown) in half. Remove the core of each pineapple half by creating a V cut from top to bottom of the core. Using a curved, serrated knife, remove the fresh pineapple from each half.
Core the tomato, then cut a thin slice off the bottom. Starting at the top, peel the tomato skin off in a continuous strip with a paring knife, using a gentle sawing motion. To form the “rose,” roll the strip into a coil, and tuck the end under the “rose” to secure it. Add parsley or other green herb leaves for a finishing touch.
Choose strawberries with intact stems. With a paring knife, make 4 or 5 lengthwise cuts, almost to the stem end. Fan slices apart, but be careful to keep the stem end intact.
Garnish your salads or main entrée with a carrot curl. Before slicing, use a vegetable peeler to cut a strip of the peeled carrot. The carrot strip must be rolled and secured with a toothpick. Place in a cold glass of water in the refrigerator. Wait 2 to 3 hours and remove from water. When toothpick is removed, the peel should remain curled, stretch the curl out and place on the plate as a colorful garnish.
Top entrees and soups with gremolata, an Italian garnish consisting of chopped parsley, garlic and lemon peel. Try other combinations of herbs and citrus peel to play off the flavors in the main dish.
Let us know if these tips have helped you. Share your tips with us in the comments section.