Garnishes play more than just acting as a finishing touch to your dishes. How a dish is presented serves as a teaser for what is to come and sets the tone for the overall meal. A well-presented plate of food must always have a beautiful garnish. However, garnishes serve more than just a beautifying purpose. Some act as a tie up to balance a dish while others are added to enhance its aroma and flavour. Here is a list of top garnishes that will elevate any of your dishes and cocktails.
One of the most common garnishes seen in multiple dishes, desserts, and cocktails, the lemon wheel adds a citrus flare and a refreshing touch to your cooking. You can use them either fresh for drinks and cold desserts or caramelise them to add sweet and sour notes to your meats and cakes.
This leafy vegetable pairs well with pastas and hot soup. The vibrant green of the parsley adds a bite of freshness to the dish and serves as a beautiful contrast to a creamy soup or a marinara-topped pasta.
Fruits and berries
These garnishes add a fruity note to your dishes and can be used fresh or dried, depending on what suits your style. You can achieve dried fruits and berries using your oven or a food dehydrator. For the fresh ones, citrus peels can be used for a variety of ways. Orange zests can be added to baked goods or ice cream and it pairs well with cocktails and drinks.
One of the most versatile cooking ingredients, sugar can be used to make garnishes with varying styles. Sugar can be caramelised and turned into candy, which can decorate ice creams and gelatos. Others use sugar to make white fairy floss, which is a wispy type of garnish with a silky and dense mouthfeel. It can be used as a garnish on cocktails, cakes, puddings, and ice cream.
A favourite dessert and snack commonly used in many celebrations; chocolate can also serve as the perfect garnish for your dish. Depending on your dish, you can use chocolate to make curls, wafers, shells, or cigarettes. It can also be shaped to look like a tree bark or turned into a sphere. Be careful to only use only enough chocolate for garnishing as it may overpower the dessert or dish.
Nuts and other crumbles
Toasted nuts add a crunchy and crispy texture to a multitude of dishes such as soups, salads, and desserts. Chopped nuts can also be cooked with melted sugar to form brittles that can serve as an eye-catching garnish. The toasted flavour adds a depth and an interesting mouthfeel to your dishes.
With these simple garnish ideas, you can elevate your home cooked meals to new heights. You can be freely creative with your garnishing and try many different combinations and decorations. Hopefully, these tips can kickstart your garnishing journey.