Garnishes For Meat, Fish, Game and Poultry

Cheryl Cirelli
Turkey with garnishes

Garnishes can be the finishing touch to any dish. They are meant to enhance the appearance of food and make it appealing. Garnishes can be arranged either on the actual food, around it or under it. There are many options for garnishes, from simple ideas such as a sprig of parsley to something more elaborate such as intricately carved fruit and vegetables.

Appealing Meat Garnishes

You can make sure that the garnish you are using complements your meat entrée by using an ingredient that is in the dish. If you season a roast with rosemary, use a fresh sprig as a garnish.

Garnishes for Meat Recipes

Steak with parsley sprig
  • For a pork dish, fruits make great garnishes. Use items such as slices of an orange or spiced apples with pork.
  • Lamb can be served with a garnish such as mint or even fried bananas.
  • Creamed meat dishes may be served with triangles or rounds of toast, in borders or cups of rice or mashed potatoes, in croustades of bread, or in timbale cases or patty shells.
  • If the meat dish you are serving uses complex ingredients, you can use a simple garnish such as fresh parsley or fancy cut potatoes.

Additional Meat Garnishes

Some other garnishes for meat are:

  • Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh herbs, such as tarragon or thyme
  • Lemon wedges
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Colorful sauces
  • Salsa
  • Greens, such as Swiss chard or spinach

Most meat dishes are plain in appearance. By simply adding a garnish, they instantly are transformed into something exciting to look at and appealing to eat.

Delicious Fish Garnishes

Fish with salsa

Fish is a simple protein to serve to guests. It can be bland in appearance, so using a garnish is a must.

Fatty fish such as salmon may be garnished with slices of cucumber or tomato, or whole tomatoes stuffed.

Some garnishes that go well with fish and will add a pop of color are:

  • Fresh lemon or lime wedges
  • Sprigs of fresh herbs
  • Grilled fruits
  • Salsa
  • Grape tomatoes
  • Hot peppers
  • Olives
  • Red and yellow bell peppers

Whatever type of garnish you use for fish, keep it simple so that it will not overwhelm the dish. You simply want it to complement and add some interest.

Appetizing Game and Poultry Garnishes

Chicken legs

Many game and poultry dishes are served on platters. To instantly add some interest, try serving the meat and vegetables on the same platter. Chop up some fresh herbs to sprinkle over the top and you have a stunning presentation that will wow any guest.

Garnish Ideas by Game

  • Roast or fried chicken may be served in a border of celery or fried oysters, or with a simple garnish of parsley or cress.
  • Roast duck is attractive with endive and slices of oranges and olives or with rice cups filled with currant jelly.
  • Roast goose goes nicely with broiled sausage, dollops of gooseberry sauce, apple or barberry jelly, or cooked rings of apple.
  • Roast quail pairs well with artichokes and cubes of currant jelly.
  • To spruce up a plain chicken dish, use rows of fresh green beans or glazed carrots around the meat to add color.

Additional Garnish Ideas

Other garnishes to consider include:

  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Mixed greens
  • Simple side salad
  • Sauce or salsa

Perfect Touch

Foods can be garnished with just about anything. When considering a garnish for your dish, think about the colors, size and taste. The garnish should add some color and perhaps some extra flavor. You do not want it to cover up the dish you are serving.

Garnishes For Meat, Fish, Game and Poultry