A bit of red and green garnish turns almost anything into holiday fare.

Since so many of our foods are white or beige, they can use a colorful lift.

While a baked brie topped with cranberry relish and rosemary is a holiday staple in our home, we love garnishing other foods with crisp, flash-fried herbs.

Try it: You’ll discover a colorful, flavorful garnish that can be added to just about everything.

And, it takes less than a minute to cook the cleaned herbs.
 
 
FLASHED FRIED HERBS

Basil, parsley and sage can be flash-fried as a tasty garnish. Combine them with a red garnish for a Christmas effect.
 
Ingredients

  • 1 bunch fresh herbs
  • 1/4 cup cooking oil
  • Salt
  •  
    Preparation

    1. WASH, pat dry and pinch the leaves from the stems.

    2. HEAT the oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, fry 6–8 basil or sage leaves, or equivalent parsley, at a time until crisp, 2–3 seconds.

    3. TRANSFER the herbs to a paper-towel-lined plate. Sprinkle with coarse salt and set aside until ready to use.
     
     
    DON’T WANT TO FRY?

    You can use the herbs in their raw state, or try these green garnishes:

  • Arugula
  • Baby spinach
  • Bell peppers, diced
  • Green beans, sliced
  • Other herbs: cilantro, dill, mint
  • Pickles, chopped
  • Scallion leaves, sliced or chopped
  • Snow peas or sugar snap peas, sliced
  • Watercress
  •  
    RED GARNISHES

  • Beets, sliced or diced
  • Bell peppers, diced
  • Cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
  • Cranberry relish
  • Pomegranate arils
  • Red caviar
  • Red condiments, e.g. chile sauce
  • Red grapes, sliced or diced
  •  

    Christmas Soup Garnish
    [1] A white soup or any white food—goat cheese, chicken breasts, fish, mashed potatoes, noodles, grains—gets a lift from pomegranate arils and fried herbs. Here, parsley is flash-fried (photo courtesy Chef Adrianne).

    Pita Christmas Trees
    [2] Cut pita rounds into triangle “trees,” and add a wood toothpick for the stem. Top with hummus and garnish with a small dice of red and green bell pepper. For more color, buy green hummus, or blend thawed green peas into regular hummus (photo courtesy Tribe Hummus | Facebook).

    Christmas Scallops Appetizer
    [3] Raw sea scallops are a favorite of ours. Serve them atop a slice of watermelon radish, or plate them as a first course as shown. Garnish with a bead of salmon caviar or an dab of chile sauce, plus a leaf of parsley (photo courtesy HMF | The Breakers).

     

      


    THE NIBBLE Blog – Adventures In The World Of Fine Food

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