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1 posts from April 2019

April 2, 2019

Lighter Menu Ideas for Spring

By Piet Jones

Spring_menu_saladWinter menus are filled with deeply flavored braises, heart stews and chilis, and rich roasts that are perfect for the cold months. But as winter begins to wind down, they’re beginning to taste a bit too heavy and cloying. Spring is coming and taste buds are crying out for lighter, brighter fare.

The obvious answer is to dust off and freshen up the salad section of your menu, and that’s not a bad place to start.  A beet salad that sold well over the winter can give way to crisp spring greens, say arugula or watercress.  Candied pecans used as a sprinkle might be replaced with the tangy tartness of grapefruit slices—or the more exotic pomelo.

But don’t limit your spring cleaning to just the salad section.  Early spring greens can be incorporated into many other dishes, be it small plate or entree, to complement or contrast the main taste of the dish.  Dandelion greens may add a little welcome bitterness while tender pea shoots bring sweetness to the plate.

While the seasons are transitioning, try serving up those greens lightly tossed in a cold vinaigrette or slightly wilted and warmed to retain the freshness and texture.  This is the perfect opportunity to use exotic oils, like walnut or hazelnut, to add a hint of flavor since wilting will mellow the flavor of the greens.  Create an emulsion with the oil and a little butter to help keep it from feeling too greasy while still adding an appetizing sheen.

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