Be fearless in your choice of “accessories” and you’ll create some memorable dishes. Here, a piece of broiled halibut is garnished with fresh-snipped dill and other herbs, then draped with a “scarf” of prosciutto. Photo courtesy of ParmaHam.com.




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KAREN HOCHMAN, Editorial Director of THE NIBBLE, prefers plating and garnishing to the actual cooking.



November 2005
Updated April 2009

Home / Product Reviews / Main Nibbles

Garnish Glamour

Page 2: Garnishing Savory Dishes


This is Page 2 of a three-page article. Click on the black links below to visit other pages.

Garnishes can include herbs, sauces, breads (crackers, croutons), flavored oils...fruits are also a delicious garnish counterpoint to many savory dishes. Think outside the box: dried apple chips on a sweet vegetable soup, such as tomato or root vegetable, is an exciting choice. Layer your garnishes: In addition to the apple chips, for extra flavor and color, snip fresh chives or dill atop that soup!

Three Ways To Garnish A Bowl Of Soup

There are many, of course, to garnish a bowl of vegetable soup. You can choose a different garnish from each row in the chart below. But, these photos show that you can garnish a bowl of soup in many ways.

Carrot Soup Celery Soup Tomato soup
Heavy cream is drizzled to make a design on top of this cream of carrot soup. In this cream of celery soup, a crouton is topped with melted cheese and fresh herbs. Tomato soup gets a garnish of lump crabmeat, fresh basil, shredded Grana Padano cheese and snipped chives.

Photos courtesy of Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.

Garnishes For Savory Dishes



  • Whipped cream, sour cream, or yogurt flavored with dill, Parmesan, or other matching flavor
  • Crème fraîche
  • Cream dabbed onto plate or
    piped from a pastry bag
  • Grated or shaved cheese
  • Edible flowers like
    hollyhocks, nasturtiums,
    pansies and violets
  • Herb blossoms (if you grow herbs and your plants are in flower, snip them; or look to buy herbs that are flowering)
  • Shot glasses or soy sauce
    bowls with sprigs of
    flower blossoms as plate
    centerpieces (arrange
    food around them)


  • Peel curls: citrus fruit, carrot
  • Skewered mixed color
  • Sliced star fruit

*Cut with hors d’oeuvre “cookie cutters”; use lemon juice to prevent discoloration

Herbs, Spices & Seasonings
  • Basil (especially Thai and
    purple basil)
  • Bay Leaf
  • Capers & caperberries
  • Chives
  • Dandelion
  • Dill
  • Display spices*
    *Not meant to be eaten, but to provide artistic flourishes or otherwise showcase the food, e.g. clove-studded apple slices, scatterings of mustard seeds, beds of kosher salt for oysters
  • Pink peppercorns
  • Rosemary
  • Tarragon
Oils &
Prepared Foods
  • Cheese wedges or rounds
  • Prosciutto-stuffed peppers
  • Rolled prosciutto, Parma or
    serrano ham
  • Stuffed dates or prunes
Roe & Seafood
  • Crabmeat, baby shrimp or a
    large shrimp, a scallop or piece of lobster meat
  • Carrot peel curls
  • Chiles
  • Curly cress
  • Cherry tomatoes
    (halved or skewered)
  • Grape tomatoes (orange,
    red and yellow)
  • Gherkins, slicked pickles and
    pickled vegetables
  • Microgreens (baby arugula, mustard greens, mizuna,
    purslane, rapini, tatsoi,
  • Miniature vegetables
  • Mixed skewered olives or
    olives and cocktail onions
  • Mushrooms (enoki, trumpets,
    other exotic varieties)
  • Scored cucumbers
  • Scored yellow and green
  • Sprouts (pea, radish,
Snack-Type Foods
  • Smoked or flavored nuts



Check farmers markets for beautiful microgreens and herbs you won’t generally find in other markets. And if you have a garden or window box...grow your own!

Continue To Page 3: Garnishing Sweet Dishes

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