Inventive Thanksgiving Turkey Garnish Ideas

Garnishing a Thanksgiving turkey.One of the most wonderful things about Thanksgiving, obviously, is the plethora of food that must be prepared for the annual feast. Ask any student taking culinary school online and they’ll tell you this festive meal gives them the opportunity to showcase everything they’ve been learning in their studies. While the temptation to completely outdo oneself with cooking each year may be great, it’s important to note that much of what your guests will remember about your meal will center on presentation. This year, make your Thanksgiving turkey stand out in their eyes by trying some of these fantastic and inventive idea for turkey garnishes:

A thyme and basil bed
While it may seem overly simplistic, serving your turkey on a bed of these two herbs can be a phenomenal complement to your Thanksgiving dinner. The basil and thyme will bring out not only the natural flavor of the bird, but also the taste of the herbs that you seasoned the turkey with prior to cooking.

Fruits and vegetables
Slow cooking a variety of fruits and vegetables in the same roasting pan that you cook your turkey in can have a number of benefits. The bird will absorb some of the flavors of the vegetables and fruits as they cook slowly beneath it, while they will in turn have the drippings from the turkey roasting over them during the cooking process. Try putting a grouping of local, seasonal produce, such as onions, carrots, potatoes, pears and cranberries below your roasting tray in the turkey pan. Allow them to cook under the turkey for a couple hours and arrange them around the bird on your serving platter.

Get colorful
One of the best ways to incorporate the spirit of the holiday season into your meal is to add a great deal of color to your entree. Consider gathering some bright fruits in advance of your meal, like cranberries, oranges, pomegranates and grapes. Serve these in an arrangement around your bird either whole or sliced. If you do choose to slice certain fruits, keep in mind that you can use some byproducts such as orange rinds to create a zesty flavor in some of your other dishes or for garnishes on cocktails.

Offer contrast
Of course, it’s also important to ensure that you aren’t using too much of any one color, as a monochromatic dish can lose the attention of your guests fairly quickly. Offer contrast on your serving platter by picking garnishes with two contrasting color schemes. For example, Brussels sprouts might pair well with cranberry sauce or cranberry relish.

Contrary to popular belief, stuffing does not need to operate solely as a side dish. In fact, the stuffing that you cook inside of your turkey can also be used as an attractive garnish. Try arranging it in small piles around the exterior of the bird on a bed of kale, spinach or another type of green.

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