We use many fresh locally grown herbs at the hotel. Our Executive Chef even planted an herb garden right outside the conservatory. Using fresh herbs to garnish is not only flavorful it also adds to the presentation of the plate.
A garnish can be as simple as a sprig of a fresh herb. A touch that sets off the food and tantalizes the eye. All it requires is a few minutes of time and a little imagination. Often, the simplest garnishes are the most elegant, and gardeners have a world of choices literally at their door.
When you choose a garnish, consider four things: color, texture, shape and taste...
If you need a touch of green with a hearty pasta dish, basil may be a natural choice. Fresh basil has a solid, shiny appearance, and a robust taste with intense flavors.
Another popular garnish is an orange twist or lemon zest. For a twist on the traditional, use a knife to peel a lemon apple-style so that you end up with long, spiraling strips of peel. Use these to bundle asparagus spears and serve with broiled or poached fish. Seasonal fruits add sparkle to your meals. A slice of kiwi adds a delicate green and an interesting pattern. Try partnering it with grilled steak or chicken. Dried Cherries are a luscious deep red color and have an irresistible texture that makes them great with all kinds of delectable desserts.
P.S. Don't forget to pick up your favorite herbs next time you visit the local Farmer's Market!