One method for cutting vegetables into fancy patterns is to either slice them really thin and make ruffles or turn them into flowers. To turn carrots into flowers, prepare the carrot, cut out wedges, slice the carrot and garnish. Add cucumber ruffles. Cutting fancy vegetables takes roughly 30 minutes and requires a sharp paring knife, a carrot, a cucumber, chives, parsley and either caviar, olives or capers.
- Prepare the carrot
Wash the carrot well. Peel it, and place it on a cutting board. Use a sharp knife to cut off each end straight. If the carrot is very long, cut it in half.
- Cut out lengthwise wedges
Use the tip of the paring knife to slice into the carrot at a 45-degree angle. Only press the knife tip in approximately a quarter-inch. Repeat the procedure so that you cut a lengthwise wedge out of the carrot. Remove the wedge, and turn the carrot a quarter turn. Repeat the procedure. In all, cut out four evenly-spaced wedges.
- Chop the carrot crosswise
Carefully chop the carrot crosswise into quarter-inch slices.
- Finish the carrot flower
Use a caper, caviar or an olive piece as the center of the flower. Garnish with chives for stems and parsley for leaves.
- Add cucumber ribbons
Wash a cucumber, and cut off the ends. Use a vegetable peeler to cut thin strips lengthwise. There should be a thin line of green on either side of the strip. Chill the strips in ice water for an hour. Remove from the water, and pat dry. Gather each strip into a ruffle, and add to the plate with the carrot flowers.