Restaurants often decorate plates with sauces, purées, or oils to add color and zest to their preparations. But dressing up plates is not just for professional cooks, and it’s not just about looks. Although I am a professional, 90 percent of a meal’s appeal comes in its presentation, and anyone can make a meal look amazing. It’s all about the details—and they do not need to be fancy.
It’s easier than you probably think to make herb oils, such as the parsley oil shown here. You can use parsley oil as a garnish—try drizzling it over an entrée, or plate your meal and then drip it decoratively around the rim of dish (as I did with my Grilled Lamb Chops, shown at right).
I like using Parsley Oil on spring platings because of its vivid, chartreuse color, but it serves a dual purpose in that it also adds a fresh, bright flavor to dishes.
Makes about ¼ cup
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup minced parsely
Put oil and parsley in a food processor and purée. Strain it through a fine mesh screen, and the resulting oil should look something like the photograph at the top of the post.
In the photograph below, you can see part of the oil-and-herb mixture after it has been puréed in the food processor but before it was strained. (I set aside some of the mixture before straining it because I wanted to use the oil as well as the parsley in my Israeli Cous Cous. I wanted the texture of the parsley, not just the color and flavor.)
Tina’s Tip: You can substitute mint or chives—or any other fresh herb—in this recipe to create garnishes with different flavors and shades of green. If you try something, please let me know how you like it!
Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Note: Hard to believe, but this is our 100th blog post. Thanks for supporting Sage Catering and the Thyme With Sage blog.