“I’m into very colorful food obviously, lots of flavor but I think we eat with our eyes first, so it has to look great. The presentation has to be great.” Giada DeLaurentiis
When I entertain, I often turn to the garden to enhance the presentation of foods served. I like to pair seasonal foods with florals also seasonally growing in the garden. I walk outside and just snip some flowers to add interest to a dish. Most flowers will hold up without water long enough for this star role. The elegance and simplicity of a bloom, leaf or berry cluster will add beauty to any dish and elevate it to art. It enhances the visual appeal of a dish before it has even been tasted, engaging another one of our senses. Research has shown that when we find food more appealing visually, not only do we enjoy it more, we absorb more nutrients!
By turning to the garden, nature has done the work for you and it is easy to enhance a dish. If you don’t have access to a garden, pick up supermarket flowers you can snip for presentation. When I started this blog, it was to share my how-to in entertaining. Using natural elements to celebrate food is definitely one of my signatures and easy to duplicate in your own entertaining. Lift a dish from the ordinary to the extraordinary with the creative art of food presentation. Remember if the flowers will come in contact with food they should be washed and free of pesticides.
A single magnificent ranunculus is a punctuating mark on a gorgeous charlotte aux fraises, recipe here
A few helianthus blooms brighten mason jar fruit salads
A bright orchid filling a void in the center of a platter of jalapeno poppers. Recipe here.
Coneflower on a tray of individual Mason jars of ginger carrot soup. Recipe here.
Pansy-topped shortbread cookies, where the garnish is also edible. Recipe here.
The adornment on this box hints at what’s inside!
A bright Asiatic lily adds some punch to a tray of lentil bruchetta which would be otherwise drab.
Coconut layered cake edged with Etoile Violette Clematis. Recipe here.
A yellow spring tulip brings out the citrus notes of this triple lime mini bundt cake. Recipe here.
Serving a cheese platter on a hosta leaf adds a colorful punch. Recipe here.
Even the winter garden offers food garnishes! Swedish Cookies, recipe here.
A quick walk through the garden offers seasonal highlights such as this azalea cluster with a seasonal glazed rhubarb pound cake. Recipe here.
Milkweed blossoms adorning whipped cream reveals the secret ingredient of this raspberry pie from Salt Water Bistro in Rockport Maine
These helianthus blossoms contrast brightly with this blueberry cake. Recipe here.
A raspberry panna cotta cake is circled with mini geranium blooms. Recipe here.
The same cake, served in fall, was adorned with orchids this time.
The “heart” of adornment: a February tulip on a Valentine cookie monogram. Recipe here.
Lemon and pansies, always a pretty combination. Lemon tart recipe here.
Yellow daisies hint at the lemon in these lemon-ginger scones. Recipe here.
A gorgeous rose draws attention to the raspberry layer of this kir royale panna cotta, recipe here
Goat Cheese Stuffed Hisbiscus Flowers,
Edible nasturtium blossoms add visual appeal to grilled tuna at Primo Restaurant in Rockland, ME
Even a plain pitcher of water can be embellished with flowers!
Make a gathering more memorable by taking a few minutes to kick presentation up a notch. Your guests will rave about how great your meal tasted and made them feel special.