Radish Flowers and Zucchini Leaves

December 22nd, 2012 by Tonya Zavasta

This simple garnish can be used as a plate decoration, or as part of a fruit and vegetable arrangement. Radishes are easy to find year round, cost very little, are very versatile and look very festive as part of any holiday decoration.  You can make these carvings a few days in advance and store them in a sealed plastic bag in the fridge until ready to display.

For this composition you will need 2-3 radishes, 1 zucchini (or a cucumber), 2 cranberries, a sharp paring knife, and a bowl of icy cold water for soaking the carvings.

Radish Flowers

Flower # 1: Radish Flat Top Flower. (Steps 1-3 on the picture)

  • Choose a big round radish.
  • Cut off the top part (green stem) about 5 mm.
  • With the knife, chip into checkerboard pattern top, positioning the knife at about 45 degree angle towards the center of each groove.
  • Visually divide the radish into 5 petals. Going around the sides of the radish make a slanted cut down, aiming towards the base of the flower to make the first petal. Be careful not to cut all the way through. Make the second petal the same way, also cutting through the first petal (it creates a small petal). Make 5 petals in total. The last cut will also go through petals 1 and 4 simultaneously.
  • Place the radish flower into a bowl of ice-cold water to open up the petals a little. It will take about 30 minutes.

 

Flower # 2: Radish Chrysanthemum Flower. (Steps 4-5 on the picture)

  • Choose a big round radish.
  • Cut off the root and stem end of the radish.
  • Use a knife to make vertical cuts almost down to the stem end. Be careful not to cut all the way through.
  • Make the next set of vertical cuts perpendicular to the first.
  • Place the radish flower into a bowl of ice-cold water to open up the petals. It will take about 30 minutes.

 

Flower # 3: Radish Zigzag Flower with Cranberry Center. (Steps 6-8 on the picture)

  • Choose a big round radish. It will make 2 flowers.
  • Using a knife, cut in a zigzag manner towards the middle of the radish all around, making sure the tip of the knife reaches the middle of the radish, and all the cuts meet up.
  • Remove the top. If the halves don’t easily separate, run the knife over the same cuts again, inserting it a little deeper.
  • Using the tip of the knife, carve out a hole in the middle big enough for a cranberry.
  • Place the radish flower into a bowl of ice-cold water to open up the petals. It will take about 30 minutes.
  • Insert a cranberry into the center when ready to garnish.

Zucchini Leaves (makes 2 or 3):

Zucchini Leaves

  • Choose a zucchini with dark smooth skin.
  • Cut it diagonally into sections about 2-2.5 inches long. Then cut each section in half lengthwise. Each section will provide 2 leaf diamond-shaped pieces.
  • Hollow out the bulk of the white flesh with the help of a knife.
  • Trim each piece to shape it like a leaf.
  • On the green side, cut a groove to represent the mid-rib, and then cut diagonal grooves to represent the veins.
  • Cut notches around the edges of the leaf.

When ready to display, arrange your carvings on a plate, or in any other arrangement of your choice. Enjoy your food creations!

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