I remember reading a news article long ago about a chef whose signature dish was a noodle dish with mystery crunchy bits on top. When asked "What's on the noodles?" he answered simply..."Noodles" The noodles for the topping had been cut into small pieces and browned in butter until crunchy. Remembering that story inspired me to point out that you can do the same thing with raw fruits and vegetables and other dishes. Top them with...raw fruits and vegetables.
One of the tastiest ways to do this is to create raw relishes. You cut up your vegetables and the other ingredients, season them as desired, and spoon them on top of your entrée. You can basically use any raw vegetables you want for this, but you’ll get the best results if you use ripe, flavorful ones. You can add a little fresh fruit or vegetable juice or some extra-virgin olive oil; I like Colavita the best of the grocery store brands.
Here are some combinations I like:
1. Red onion, pear, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh thyme, and sea salt
2. Homegrown tomato, basil, Kalamata olives, extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt, and optional small mozzarella cheese cubes
3. Homegrown tomato and its juice, chopped parsley, chopped white onion, 1 clove chopped garlic, fresh lime juice, and sea salt
4. Sliced red apple, finely chopped celery, 1 T. freshly squeezed orange juice, cranberries, walnuts or pecans
Relishes are fun to experiment with, and they can enhance all kinds of cooked dishes as well as raw ones. Try them on your fish or chicken as well as on your sliced vegetables, salads, and raw sandwiches.