The Grill-Meister is my best taste tester for my new recipes. He can dissect the ingredients I’ve assembled into what I think is a masterpiece and hit on the one thing that could be improved, which I really like. I listen to his feedback and my recipes get better. He said something that struck me earlier this week when I served the Spiced Middle Eastern Lamb Patties from Epicurious:
What I really love is all that stuff on the side; the condiments and the garnishes just make the dishes you serve.
That got me thinking about my cooking and how I believe that a dish really does get completed by its accompaniments. All of my favorite meals include sauces, dips, condiments and garnishes, even if it’s just a sprinkling of herbs or chopped nuts. And I always feel pampered and pleased when someone else has prepared the meal and included the “little something extra” (lagniappe, as the French would say).
Garnishes and condiments are a supporting cast that add color and texture and provide complementary or contrasting flavors that highlight the main dish and make it a star. And they are so visually appealing: the food looks like artwork when it has been adorned.
So – just gotta garnish!
A tray of garnishes for Turkey Cevap, a recipe to be published next week