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Sprinkle and Drizzle

Italians love beauty, and they know there are countless creative ways to achieve it. While some design ideas revolve around the careful placement of things, a whimsical approach to finishing off a plate (or your dining table) is the art of “sprinkling” and “drizzling.”

A Sprinkle Here, A Drizzle There

  • What does it mean to sprinkle and drizzle? They are in action what they sound like. Sprinkling is gently taking a pinch or handful of something that adds an extra layer of tastiness or beauty on whatever you are serving. When you drizzle, you pour a thin and steady stream of liquid on a surface to create a pattern, or swirl in an added surprise of flavor a diner will taste while enjoying the main dish. Sprinkling and drizzling aren’t always just about flavor—you can also turn to them if you are serving something that has just one tone and may need extra color.

Where And What To Sprinkle?

These methods can be as creative as you are:

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  • Herbs are natural things to sprinkle and add just before plates leave the kitchen. Toss chopped basil on pasta and mint on any variety of buttered beans or peas, or break up the white space on your plate with chopped parsley.
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  • Sesame seeds, poppy seeds and sunflower seeds add a delicate texture and visual interest to the tops of breads, soups and salads.
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  • Wake up everyday green salads with sprinkles of chopped raw or toasted nuts, dried fruits or pomegranate seeds, unsweetened cacao nibs or the same herbs you use in another dish for dinner that night.
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  • Grated cheese is a favorite sprinkle on pasta, vegetables and soup. For people who can’t tolerate lactose or choose to avoid dairy, nutritional yeast is a dried flake that has the tang of Parmigiano Reggiano and can be sprinkled on salad, popcorn, vegetables, or anything your imagination comes up with.

Where And What To Drizzle?

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  • If you have herbs that threaten to spoil, emulsify them in enough olive oil to make a liquid as thin as your favorite salad dressing. Pour the mixture into a squeezable bottle and store it in the fridge or your pantry. Use it when you want to float basil oil on tomato soup or drizzle it atop a grilled steak or if you’d like to write a message on a special guest’s plate.
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  • Balsamic vinegar becomes robustly sweet when it is cooked down into a thicker syrup in a small saucepan. Drizzle it over chicken or beef for a punch of flavor.
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  • Fruits make wonderful sauces that are perfect for drizzling on ice cream in place of chocolate fudge.