We visited a small farmer’s market earlier this week on the lookout for local flowers, but didn’t come across anything that inspired us. There were, however, lots of lush leafy greens, interesting roots, and vegetables in beautiful bright colors. Sometimes all you need are a few veggies and herbs for decorating; a basket full of radishes with lovely leaves can be just as beautiful as a vase of flowers.
The market mash-up is a fun and easy project for creating eye-fooling displays when a vegetable’s foliage doesn’t match up to the beauty of the vegetable itself (and vice versa). While playing with different ways to display our market finds we started “hybridizing” our veggies by combining carrots with bean “leaves” and onions sprouting watercress tops. A row of these unique combinations down the table or lined up on the sideboard makes a conversation-starting centerpiece. We had these on display in the shop earlier this week and they definitely turned some heads! We kept our mash-ups somewhat realistic looking but this could be a fun project to work on with kids who are sure to come up with some really wacky combos. The food doesn’t go to waste either, just plan to cook your arrangements the next day.
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Get started by choosing a variety of vegetables, herbs, and flowers that you’d like to combine. Try to pick things that are visually interesting but that you’d also like to eat later! We started with a carrot that was calling for some nice green “leaves”. Make a small “leaf” bundle that is a similar size to what the actual foliage would be on the vegetable. Put a rubber band securely around the bottom of the bunch and then cover with decorative twine. Make a straight cut across the bottom of the bunch so it sits flat on top of the veggie.
Put a skewer or stick into the top center of the vegetable; the length of the skewer will depend on how much support the bunch needs to stand up. Then press the bunch down onto the skewer. Place your mash-up inside a clear cylinder and if necessary add water up to the level of the foliage to prevent wilting.