Great Holiday Garnishes

I titled this post “Great Holiday Garnishes” because these food items evoke a holiday feel in me when I see them on a plate. Some garnishes are included in this post because of their holiday color, and others for their flavor.

These garnishes can be added to cakes, pies, cupcakes, trifles, puddings, ice creams, and breads. They can also grace a serving platter or be added to soups, dips, relishes, and appetizers.

Gooseberries – I love the almost translucent beauty of these berries on desserts or alongside a main dish. They can be hard to find, but evoke a creamy, delicate look or a green or red pop of color, depending on the variety.

Pomegranate Seeds – while it might require a little extra labor to procure these seeds, they are such a symbol of the holiday season to me. Not to mention, tasty! I love to add them to sweet yogurt dips or scoops of ice cream for color. Pomegranate seeds also add a punch of reddish pink to pavlova, cupcakes, salads, and serving platters.

Pistachios – whether whole or finely chopped, these nuts add a richness and green color to any dish. I especially like pistachios on top of chocolate desserts.

Cranberries – I never knew that so much labor went onto harvesting these tart berries for culinary enjoyment! Whether you use them dried or whole, the wonderful reddish hues are a wintery classic. I find myself adding cranberries to everything from roasts to ice cream sundaes lately.

Pecans – I included pecans because they find their way into so many fall and winter recipes. It’s easy to sprinkle a handful of these nuts, coated in brown sugar, over the top of a steaming bowl of oatmeal, on a baked sweet potato, over a plate of asparagus bundles, or use chopped pieces to make snowflake shapes on a frosted cake (I’m partial to cream cheese icing, by the way).

Currants – I love the taste of these, but the white variety looks almost ethereal on a plate.  Since currants come in a few colors, you can choose a variety based on your table scheme!