Green & Light

Who doesn’t look forward to longer days—and the fresh flavours of spring and summer? Chefs welcome the warmer seasons, with their bounty of produce and the chance to make simpler dishes.

Open a Jar

Pickling and preserving is one of the trendiest trends going, and you don’t have to do it yourself. Get the classic Italian giardiniera: cauliflower, carrots, red bell and/or Serrano pepper, celery. Or sauerkraut. Other tasty vegetable options are available, too—artichokes, mushrooms, onions—you name it. Use them to upgrade salads, or for premium side dishes for steaks and more.

And don’t forget fruits: preserved lemon, for example. Chop it with shallots, fresh dill, olive oil and ground black pepper to make a relish perfect for everything from salmon to bruschetta. Finally, remember that vinegars and fermented sauces (like soy, tamari, Asian fish sauce) give that “pickled and preserved” flavour customers want now.

Just a Sample

Flexibility is key in foodservice. Just look at how customization of ingredients and portion sizes has taken off. Then there’s produce coming in and out of season, and weather that’s affecting appetites. Enjoy the constant change: Your menu strategy could include sampler plates; an especially good fit with spring and summer fare. An array of tempting salads is ideal. Start with grains like quinoa and faro, or pasta and rice (white or brown). Also perfect for the salad mix: a whole range of seasonal greens, or those pickled veggies.

Combining raw, cooked and charred vegetables for salad like one of Canada’s hottest restaurants, Model Milk, is sure to impress. A page from their playbook: start with kale leaves (stems trimmed out and massaged with olive oil to tenderize), roast a few beets and char some fresh cherries; dress with a cherry-lemon vinaigrette and sprinkle with chevre.