Checking out the summer salad trends…
Cooling, easy, healthy and flavorful…all the things you want when the temperature spikes and the produce market is overflowing. We’ll discuss the buzziest, trendiest and SE…OMG (iest) food on the planet… to discover what’s new in salads.
The Green Stuff
Stretching this category a wee bit…teehee
In the weeds…
This two-for category is going to cover the backyard variety and the back alley variety.
Since ganja, maryjane, pot, more marijuana lingo, etc… has hit mainstream consumership as a beneficial health remedy the culinary crossover is unsurprising. CBD is a hot topic in cooking and is finding a salady home via infused oils (olive, grapeseed, coconut and avocado oils, just to name a few). CBD extract is not known for its fab flavor, so creative masking techniques (a la creative vinaigrette recipes) are piquing interest in the community that supports and uses. There is also a BIG online component to this as well…very trendy with social and search.
The backyard bitters (aka. weeds) are getting some love this season. The foraging trend has ebbed into this really great sustainability/eco-friendly piece. The rise in the reduction of agro chemicals (pesticides, weed killers, etc…) has naturally given rise to a weed epidemic. Lucky for us, so many of these weeds are actually quite tasty and chefs are taking advantage (plus, bonus points, for helping out the farmers with their weed problem). Creative culinary recipe development is popping up (weed pun) using dandelion, sorrel, purslane, plantain (not the nanner) and lamb quarters.
Strange and Unusual
Salads are getting a bit…weird
Weird but tasty…
The culinary trends that have dominated the savory/hot food categories are tossing up in the salad bowl. And, for salads, that’s kinda different.
Smoked lettuces, vegetables and fruits are dominating the popular flavor profile spectrum creating a rich and robust diversity to salads. Think smoked citrus vinaigrettes, smoked berries as toppers, smoky avocados as fillers and smoked root veggies as meaty alternatives.
Funky, fermented and sour are also strong flavor contenders in the salad category. The good-gut ferments like kimchi, kombucha , kefir, miso and raw cheeses are just the tip of the funky iceberg (lettuce-ha ha ha, dad jokes a plenty today).
The meatless meat fun is branching into the salad realm as well. The monstrous popularity of the Impossible Burger, that spanned a number of spinoffs (the Archie Bunker of food stuffs), is making moves on salads. Creative types are thinking outside of the taco salad box too- think meatless kofta topped mediterranean salads or meaty yet meatless antipasta courses.
Exploring Far off Flavors…
without leaving your kitchen
Passports not needed…
I love love love that the Asian greens are popping in popularity with salads. These far-east flavorful greens are some of my personal favorites for culinary development, hot or cold. Here are some of the trending lettuces, sprouts and cabbages to get your hands on; Tatsoi, all the Choys (bok, gai, sum and yau), water spinach, Chinese celery, gai lan and mizuna. Trend on the rise!
Follow the Spice Trade Route for inspiring salad flavors. From Northern Africa, Middle East, Asia and Mediterranean Europe, these are the grand slam trends in salads. Fragrant cardamom, ginger, coriander, sumac, turmeric, cumin, tamarind and exotic peppers (think Szechuan peppercorns) are spicing up every where from vinaigrettes to pickled vegetables. Look for the country specific spice blends like; Berbere (Africa), Baharat (Middle East) or Chaat Masala (India).
If you're looking for some assistance with your summer salad recipe development or developing catchy, sticky and overall delicious food content...let's connect.