What are the tastes of summer? Fresh and flavorful. There are so many great ingredients available to chefs around the US that the dish options for your restaurant’s seasonal creations are seemingly endless.
And the vibrant colors are just as tantalizing as the tastes: Ripe, red tomatoes; Yellow summer squash; Gorgeous green honeydew – the color combination of fresh sliced strawberries, blueberries and blackberries … we could go on and on.
The foods and ingredients you choose to highlight this summer can capture the color of the season in just one dish. Below are great ways to add some healthy color to your summer menu offerings.
Super Summer Sides. Try slicing English seedless cucumbers and mix them with crisp snow peas, fresh mint, chives and a pinch of sea salt; grilled broccolini will only need a light seasoning of sea salt, pepper and garlic to enhance its flavor; or try topping mouthwatering diced seedless watermelon with a hint of fresh chopped mint and coarse sea salt. For heartier sides for lighter dishes, try
a pickled vegetable potato salad featuring Yukon potatoes, with shaved vegetables such as asparagus, cauliflower and celery, mixed with a bit of bread & butter pickle relish and a dash of red wine vinegar for an added punch; or guests will love the filling yet light combination of couscous with fresh zucchini, raisins and pinenuts.
Savory Summer Egg-based Tarts. A great go-to for lunch, brunch or late super menus, the lightness of the whipped eggs and fresh flavors add-ins are perfect day or night. Try an asparagus, leek, mushroom and goat cheese combination or a blend of grilled chicken sausage and cauliflower. Top with some chilled mixed greens with a light dressing, and you’ve got a perfect all-in-one dish.
Summer Desserts. Since strawberries are such superstars of summer crops, it is the perfect time to feature this vibrant, sweet, juicy fruit on dessert menus. Combine berries with other flavors like rhubarb (in a strawberry rhubarb crisp or top vanilla cheesecake with strawberry rhubarb coulis) to create tantalizing summer treats. Guests will also love the refreshingly sweet yet tart taste of strawberry lemonade sorbet or the creamy classic goodness of fresh strawberry ice cream.
Whatever your creative combinations, utilizing the fresh and flavorful foods available this season are sure to have guests returning for more this summer.