n.A decorative, edible accompaniment to finished dishes, from appetizers to desserts. Garnishes can be placed under, around or on food, depending on the dish. They vary from simple sprigs of parsley or exotically carved vegetables on plated food, to croutons in soup, to chocolate leaves on top of chocolate mousse. Garnishes should be not only appealing to the eye but also should echo or complement the flavor of the dish. garnish v. To decorate or accompany a dish with a garnish.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.