“Nadege, How do I move beyong the Green, Yellow, and Red Peppers as a form of garnishment?” After laughing hysterically, because really, it was so true, I figured Haitian cuisine needed to step it up in terms of garnishing. So below are some tips.

Green Onion Curls
Cut off roots with a paring knife. Cut a 3-inch piece from each stalk, leaving about 1-1/2 inches of both the white and green portions. Make lengthwise cuts in the green portion, repeating to slice the green end into thin slivers.

Place onion in cold water, and let stand 30 seconds or until ends curl slightly. Drain well, and store refrigerated in an airtight container until needed. This garnish is great to use perhaps in a martini glass if serving a soup shot or shrimp cocktail. Great against red colored items.

Tomato Roses
Core the tomato, then cut a thin slice off the bottom. Starting at the top, peel the tomato skin off in a continuous strip with a paring knife, using a gentle sawing motion.

To form the “rose,” roll the strip into a coil, and tuck the end under the “rose” to secure it. Add parsley or other green herb leaves for a finishing touch. This is a great way to enhance a platter that has a simple appetizer such as Akra or a meat item. The color contrast will be great.

Strawberry Fans
Choose strawberries with intact stems. With a paring knife, make 4 or 5 lengthwise cuts, almost to the stem end. Fan slices apart, but be careful to keep the stem end intact. Great way to spruce up a dessert plate.

Using Fruits & Vegetables as your holders

Red Cabbage makes a beautiful dip holder. Cut the top of the cabbage. Using a knife, remove about 2/3 of the inside of the cabbage, forming a bowl.

Without peeling off completely, pull off outer layer of the cabbage, almost creating a collar around the cabbage. Fill with various dips. Can also core green and red peppers and use as holders.

Cantaloupes and honey dews are great ways to serve your fruit salads or other salads. Using a sharp knife, cut cantaloupes or honeydews in half in a zig zag pattern. Remove seeds and voila!

Leafy Greens

Leafy Greens such as Kale and other curly greens are great way to spruce up flat platters. They add color and depth to almost any plate. Lay a few leaves down before added things such as kabobs and fruits. Leafy greens are great against dark foods, red foods or colorful items.

Below are some tips to

Nadege Fleurimond is the owner & business manager of Fleurimond Catering, Inc., www.fgcatering.com, an off-premise catering firm serving the NY/NJ/CT/MA areas.

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