The material used for decorating a dish may be cooked or raw. The decorations may be very simple, or more elaborate. In order that any garnish fulfill the purpose for which it is intended, it must be of such color, or combination of colors, as will give the most pleasing effect with the dish to be garnished. Not only this, but let it be something which can be eaten with the dish if desired.
Parsley is much used as a garnish. The curly variety is most desirable. Chervil also makes a very desirable garnish. It has a pleasant flavor, a delicate scent, and a beautiful foliage. The pimpernel is also nice when procurable. It has a dark green color, and resembles the fern somewhat in general makeup, or appearance. The odor is something like that of a cucumber.
The beautiful, delicate young leaves of celery, with the white stems slit and curled in ice water, make a fine garnish. Spearmint makes a pretty and appropriate garnish for roast lamb. Fruit tree leaves, geranium leaves, or autumn leaves are appropriately used in garnishing a dish of fruit. The ice plant is considered especially nice for such garniture.
Turnips of medium size may be scooped and the shells cooked, but not enough to fall to pieces, and used as cups for serving peas. Cups, roses, etc., may be made of mashed potatoes by using the pastry bag.
The garnishes which may be made by cutting cooked vegetables, hard boiled eggs, etc., into various shapes, are many. Jellies molded in various shapes are also frequently used. Whipped cream makes a pleasing and appropriate garnish for many desserts.
Cottage cheese balls, olives, capers, and pimolas are often used in garnishing chicken salad.
References: Pood Products of the World - Green - pp. 205-215; Minn. Exp. Station Bulletin No. 54, p. 59; Art of Cook-ery - Ewing - p. 315; Parloa's Kitchen Companion, pp. 440-442; Elements of Cookery - Williams & Fisher - p. 255; Boston Cook ing School Cook Book - Farmer, pp. 287-288.