Cut slanted gashes in large radish. Slice several smaller radishes thinly for petals. Insert slices in gashes in large radish. You may have to cut some of the slices in half. Crisp in ice water.
Good for eating as is, radish roses may also be the center of attraction on a canape or hors d’oeuvres tray. They make a perfect garnish for a salad whether it’s a platter or an individual one.
Creative garnishes: Spring Narcissus flowers
1. Cut slices from pared white turnip or yellow rutabaga. Cut out round shape with small biscuit cutter or trace any round kitchen object about the size of the turnip slice. 2. Cut V-shaped notches in 6 equidistant places around circle. 3. Cut off tiny corners of each petal to form rounded petals. 4. For center, cut small, thick slice of carrot. Cut a cone-shaped piece from center of slice to resemble cup of flower. Fasten to center of flower with small piece of wooden pick. 5. Cut stems of celery. Fasten three flowers to each stem of celery.
Decorate a glazed ham with the separate turnip flowers. The narcissus will beautify any meat, fish, vegetable, or salad platter.
Pare white turnip. Make wedge-shaped cuts all around turnip with a small knife to form petals, as on carrot cattail. With brush, paint edge of each petal with diluted red liquid food color. Cover with foil or transparent plastic wrap until ready to use.
Turnip roses, nestled in cabbage leaves or other greens, are most often found on a smorgasbord table. Borrow from it and use them on salad and cold-meat platters at a buffet party.
Do-it-yourself garnishes: Lemon Rose
Cut a thin slice across bottom of lemon, but do not cut completely through. This will be the base on which the rose stands. Without removing knife, continue to cut in spiral fashion from point at which base is attached. Cut through thin outer skin only, saving center section for later use. Recurl spiral of rind onto base as it curls naturally. Cover with foil or transparent plastic wrap until ready to use. Cut lime, tomato, and cherry tomato roses in the same manner.
Roses made from citrus fruits make a fish or meat platter extra special. Try them, too, as a garnish for a dessert, particularly steamed puddings. A tomato rose can also garnish a main-course platter, or it can be stuffed with seasoned cream or cottage cheese, egg, chicken, or fish salad. Use tiny cherry tomato roses as hors d’oeuvres on wooden picks to dunk into a tasty dip or fill with a pickled cocktail onion or egg butter.
Use firm, fresh mushrooms. Stem and skin. Cut center design by marking out and making 3 vertical cuts to form a triangle. Make a slanted cut parallel to each of the primary cuts and remove thin wedges. To spiral, cut the remainder of the mushroom cap: Make curved cuts from center design to outer rim of cap. Make slanted cut parallel to each of these primary cuts and remove a very thin wedge from each curved cut. To cook the mushrooms and keep them as white as possible do this: For 8 to 10 mushrooms, combine 1/2 cup water, l/8 teaspoon salt, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon butter or margarine in saucepan. Bring to boiling; add mushrooms; cover; simmer 5 minutes; drain.
Tiny mushrooms may be served raw as a garnish. Usually, the larger ones are cooked as above to keep them light in color, then used to pretty up a meat or fish platter. One mushroom, beautifully fluted, is the final touch the French add as a garnish to their famous “mushrooms under glass.”
Cut oranges in half crosswise. Cut saw-toothed design from center to edge and remove wedges.
These fluted orange halves add a bright and festive note to roast meat or poultry. They can be used by themselves or can be topped with a lime rose as we did on our cover. To roast pork as shown, score fat on loin of pork. Roast, uncovered, at 325 F until meat thermometer registers 185 F (allow about 40 minutes per pound). Brush pork with corn syrup 40 minutes before the end of cooking time.