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Mar 7, 2010 12:43 PM

Beautiful Food

What is the most beautiful dish you have ever made? I am interested in everything and especially salads.

Miss Clawdy

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  1. Tabbouleh - scattered with black olives and surrounded by leaves of chicory. It was a work of art.

    And very tasty.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Harters

      It might have been beautiful, but it wasn't Tabbouleh.

    2. I'm with you, salads are really beautiful. I love colors. Love a panzanella salad with fresh tomatoes, red onion, celery, (as my base) then color like lil carrots, maybe shredded for orange, corn for some yellow, lots of cilantro for some bright green. Even a grilled panzanella!! Yum!

      1. A green salad with parmesan, prosciutto and pomegranate seeds...the seeds look like red jewels and are so pretty, like this one--especially nice for Thanksgiving:

        Okay, I might be disqualified because I haven't made this next one but just had to share:
        AND....Epi's Triple Chocolate Celebration Cake...someone in my office has made this masterpiece twice...the picture here does not do it justice...everyone's jaws dropped each time she made it--what you cannot see very clearly are the gold etchings all around the cake which are made from pastry transfer sheets--this cake is a lot of work but really almost too beautiful to eat:

        8 Replies
        1. re: Val

          I like grape tomatos because they look like jewels and taste amazing

          1. re: kpaxonite

            kp, true! and when you roast those little doggies, they get a bit blackened and taste even more amazing!!!

            1. re: Val

              I have to agree about tomatoes :-). A big pile of colorful heirlooms in the summer is just the most beautiful thing. I like them with purple basil. And oven fries made with purple potatoes and sweet potatoes also-- they're brown and toasty on the outside, but then you bite in and see a burst of color.

              1. re: jvanderh

                I think you are completely right but I just wanted to point out that grape tomatos are not the the same as heirloom ... (At least I dont think there is a heirloom variety of grape but I could be wrong?)

                1. re: kpaxonite

                  There are heirloom tomatoes of all sizes, including grape-- although I was just piggybacking on the idea of tomatoes, and didn't say anything about grape tomatoes.

                  1. re: jvanderh

                    Nothing says freshness like vine picked "fresh" sliced tomatoes, drizzle of olive oil and a bit cracked pepper and salt!

          2. re: Val

            @Val, one of mine was a salad with pomegranate seeds too...of course the edible flowers might have helped a little ;)

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Thank you - the link you gave me made me remeber my copy of Working The Plate which has the recipe for that beautiful salad as well as a lot of other ideas.

          3. Stacked salads because you can alternate layers of colors and it's beautiful. I've never used sliced tomatoes, just diced layers but this is about how I do it:


            I love it w/ seafood, shrimp or crab, and a citrus vinaigrette, fresh fruit like mangoes, papaya, pomegranate seeds, oranges.

            11 Replies
            1. re: chowser

              that reminds me, i once did a pressed "salad" that was my riff on the beet & goat cheese stacks at Spago. when i sliced into it, the striping from the layers of beets & cheese was fabulous. drizzled with a grapefruit & champagne vinegar reduction, and topped with micro greens and crushed really was beautiful.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                That sounds great. I got the idea for the salad from Sardine Factory (I think) but over the years played with what I used in it. The variations are endless.

              2. re: chowser

                oh, I'm with you - love tower dishes. I played with a few and always look for new ideas:

                1. re: lexpatti

                  Nice--is that mango, avocado and shrimp? I love that combination.

                  1. re: chowser

                    Yes, (mango salsa, chucky guac) I've also done it with crab and love that maybe better. I've been wanting to do tower of lobster too but haven't yet. or why not the base be a mix of seafood - yum!!!!!

                    I did a tower of shephard's pie (go to my photos and you 'll see - I can't seem to grab photos from there), it was an inside joke with my son who is a mega foodie, chef in Paris!

                    I'm going to play with terrines when my kitchen is done - been wanting to do a layered salmon, cream cheese, capers, red onion terrine type spread. And a layered polenta, roasted veggie terrine.

                    so pretty when it's in a tower.

                    1. re: lexpatti

                      what did you cook that shepards pie in? It looked really nice..reminiscent of tartare

                      1. re: kpaxonite

                        All the layers were cooked on their own, then layed with a cylinder for presentation purposes. I made a traditional big one but made this individual tower as a joke - my son really does out of this world phenominal dishes, where presentation is art but one time he just wasn't into eating my sister's shephards pie and called it "peasant food!" We won't let him forget. So I did this in honor of him (hubby ate it and loved it though).

                          1. re: kpaxonite

                            my son bought it for me, like this - found one:

                            but you can easily and more cheaply cut the right size pvc pipe too. :-


                            I think he found it at a typically kitchen gadget store

                      2. re: lexpatti

                        Very nice! I like your other shots, too. My simple go-to terrine is Nigella's sundried tomatoes/pesto/provolone. It's pretty with the different colors and great at room temperature. I would never have thought to make it but a friend of mine did and it's so much better than the parts:


                        I think it would be perfect as bite sized layers but not patient enough to make them.

                        1. re: chowser

                          Nice!! I do one similar but without the provolone (I'll have to try it with that layer). I put mine in a little bowl with a half cherry or grape tomato with basil leave on the very bottom (which ends up being the top when you unmold). Kind of like this one but without the pinenuts, although that sounds wonderful too.

                2. If you mean *non* composed salads, I think the colors of a Greek-type salad are lovely. (Black olives, white feta, red tomato, purple rimmed onion, any/all greens.)

                  Alternated overlapping slices of mozzarella and really red tomato is striking.

                  Juxtaposed sliced fresh strawberries and chunked fresh pineapple -- beautiful on an Easter table (near the colored eggs :) !

                  This is a hard question to answer--a knockout loaf of bread or a platter of hot corn-on-the-cob would qualify as beautiful, but I see you're asking for a *dish*. This salad
                  is gorgeous-in-pink. Watermelon, strawberries, bright white jicama, dark green mint.