Garnish is such an important part of any food dish be it a salad, side, main course or dessert. Garnish is an edible embellishment used to bring out the beauty of a food item, savoury or sweet. How much ever would one say that it is the taste that ultimately matters, magic really happens when we use the entire spectrum of our senses and sight is one of the important ones. You can see that a lot of times this garnish is the difference that takes the dish from routine to five star category. Such is the power of garnish!
Having said that, we have lot of considerations while choosing to decorate a dish. First and foremost is that the garnish needs to be edible. I would not have a dish with inedible garnishes as I wouldn’t know how many of those to expect and would never be relaxed while eating it. Secondly, the garnish needs to complement the dish well and should preferably have a purpose being there. It could give a clue to the flavour of the dish or complement it. Last but not the least, it enhances the visual appeal of the dish may be because of the colour or decorative form. Lot of times it also indicates what to expect from the dish. For example, a fondant carrot on top of the carrot cake is an indicator garnish.
For me, there has been one more rule that I follow whenever I am making a garnish, I prefer it to be simple and easy to make and hence today I will be sharing a very simply yet stunning garnish made by dehydrating orange slices in an oven. The outcome is fantastic look wise as well as flavour wise. Here is the recipe :
- Oranges thinly sliced with the peel on 1
- Icing sugar for dredging
- Pre-heat the oven to 100 degrees Celsius. Prepare a baking tray lined with silicon mat or parchment paper.
- Thinly slice the oranges and place them on the tray. Dab the slices with paper napkin or towel to get rid of extra moisture. Dredge the orange slices generously with sifted icing sugar.
- Place in a preheated oven and bake for two to two & half hours till the slices crisp up and are firm to touch. Keep an eye so that they do not turn dark. Rotate the trays in between.
- Allow them to cool down and store in an airtight container for a couple of week
See its as simple as that! But it creates a fantastic garnish be it for a dessert or a salad or even on a cocktail glass. You could use the same procedure for lemon, sweet lime or pink grape fruit etc. It is better to cut the slices using a slicer or mandolin so that they are of uniform thickness. This will ensure the same baking time for all the slices. Also the slices need to be as thin as possible so that they will take lesser time in the oven.
Bring out your A game by making these effortless garnish.