The way in which vegetables are served depends largely on the method of preparation. However, a point that should never be neglected, so far as cooked vegetables are concerned, no matter what plan of serving is followed, is to see that they are always served hot. To make this possible, the dishes in which they are served should be heated before the vegetables are put into them and should be kept hot until put on the table. When a vegetable dish has a cover, the cover should be kept on until the vegetable is served and should be replaced after the first serving, so as to keep the remainder hot.
Because of the possible variety in the preparation of this class of foods, numerous ways of serving them are in practice. When a vegetable is baked in a large baking dish, the dish should be placed on the table and the vegetable served from it either on the plate or in individual dishes. If individual baking dishes are used, these should be set on small plates and one put at each person's place. Boiled or creamed vegetables may be served at the table from a vegetable dish, being put on the plate or in small dishes, or they may be served in individual dishes in the kitchen, and a dish placed at the left of each person's place. When the large dish or the baking dish is placed on the table, it should be placed where the vegetable may be conveniently served by the host if it is to be put on the dinner plate or by the hostess in case it is to be served in individual dishes at the table.
In addition to being served in these ways, vegetables also lend themselves to various attractive methods of serving. For instance, a vegetable prepared with a sauce is frequently served in patty shells, timbale cases, or croustades. When this is done, the case in which the vegetable is served is, as a rule, placed directly on the dinner plate. Potatoes that have been mashed are often forced through a pastry tube either to garnish another dish or to make a dish of potatoes more attractive. For instance, when mashed potatoes are to be served, a solid foundation of the potato may be arranged in the center of a dish and a little of the mashed potato then forced through the tube to make a design over the top. Before being served, the dish should be placed in the oven and the potato browned on top. A little thought on the part of the housewife will enable her to work out many other attractive methods in the serving of this food.