Simple, basic foods evoke a hearty and homespun feeling, especially when cooked from ingredients that you have grown yourself. Sometimes, though, you've got a special occasion or you just want to show off. Vegetable garnishing has been around for quite a while, and the art has come a long way. Vegetables can be cut and formed into some of the most amazing flower arrangements, impressing your guests while still keeping that homegrown flavor that you planted a garden looking for.
Peel and cook beets until done through and soft. Allow them to cool so that they are easier to handle. Slice the beets into thin rounds. Lay out a paper towel and lay out the beet slices in a line, slightly overlapping each beet over the next one in line. When the line reaches the end of the paper towel, begin rolling the beet slices with the first slice in the line. Roll the slices tightly and keep them connected together as you roll. When the entire line has been rolled, push a toothpick through the roll near the bottom to hold it together. Take a slice off the bottom of the roll so that you can stand the flower up on a plate or tray. Garnish with basil leaves.
Peel yams and slice longways into 1/8 inch thick slices. Boil the slices in slightly salted water for five minutes, until they begin to get soft. Drain the slices and lay them out on a paper towel. Begin at one short end and roll the slice into a spiral. When you reach the end of the first slice, add another slice to add more rose petal. Add two or three more slices until your rose is the size you want. Secure the bottom of the rose with a toothpick. Make more roses the same way. Place all the toothpicked roses into muffin cups and bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, then serve.
Radish flowers are classic and can look like little chrysanthemums. Wash the radishes and trim the stem so that the radish will sit flat on a tray. Using a sharp knife, make a slice in one side of the radish, going from the top of the radish toward the root end, but stopping when you are about 1/4 inch from the bottom. Make another slice right next to the first one, about 1/4 inch away. Continue until you have slices all across the radish. Give the radish 1/4 turn, and slice again the same way you did before. You will end up with a radish with slices all across and all up and down. Slice more radishes in this same manner. Place these radishes in cold water and refrigerate overnight. They will open up in the water and look like miniature mums.