Food Art: Easy-to-Make Carrot Leaf Garnish

I’ve always liked playing around with food presentation using ingredients that I already have in my kitchen. Leaves, flowers and even ordinary vegetables like carrots can be used to bring a splash of color and texture to any boring dish. Here’s a great video on how to make a carrot leaf that can add a bright dash of color to your next pork roast or salad.

Carrot Leaf Garnish – Cutting the Basic Shape

Take a carrot and cut off a nice block about 5 cm long. You want to cut just outside of the core, just outside the innermost ring that divides the inner core from the outer ring of the carrot. Cut longitudinally downwards to get a nice, smooth surface, about 1 cm thick. Lay your block down flat and start cutting a fish shape out from the center of the block. This is your basic shape. Set aside the extra pieces of carrots which you can use for other recipes.

Carrot fish food art

Carving Your Leaf

Using a sharp, narrow knife, start cutting a line through the middle at a slight curve which will serve as the vein of your leaf. Make one straight cut followed by another cut at a 45 degree angle. Pull out the cut piece up and off. Create the zigzag pattern of your leaf by pressing your knife from the stem, pulling out and then moving forward, and at a 45 degree angle joining the other cut with the first one. Do the same for the succeeding cuts, pressing down first, pulling out and moving and then making another 45 degree angle cut to create zigags until you create the distinctive leaf shape.

carving a fish carrot leaf
Lay the leaf flat down on your cutting board and start connecting your zigzags with the center vein of the leaf. Do this by cutting lines from the top end of the zigzags withe the central vein. Follow this up with more precise cuts at 45 degree angles next to your first lines to give the lines a 3D effect. Do this for both sides of the leaf. This actually is a bit harder than it looks for your first cuts but with practice your cuts are going to be easier and more precise.

Finishing Touches

You can cook your carrot leaves for a few minutes to give them a softer texture and make them more edible. Add them to chicken or beef stock to add flavor.These carved leaf carrots are perfect accompaniments and garnishes for salads, pork steaks, roast chicken and they can also add a dash of color to regular pea soup.

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