Spring is now in full swing. Blooming plants, mild temperatures and, if we're lucky, bright sunny days. The freshness of this season can prove to be a creative starting point for creating a spring menu to offer in your establishment. Here are the suggestions of Simone Agosta, chef and Techfood Academy Manager.
What are the main ingredients of this season?
With spring, the supermarket counters are filled with fresh vegetables and greens. This season offers many foods, such as broad beans, artichokes and asparagus. The latter are low in fat and rich in fibre, ideal for a detox recipe to be offered to customers who are already worried about the swimsuit fitting. Among the other purifying spring vegetables are chicory and dandelion, typical plants of wild cooking characterized by a particularly bitter taste.
As for fruit, however, the queen of spring is the strawberry. This vitamin-rich fruit is used above all in recipes for desserts, ice creams and sorbets, but it can also be used in the preparation of strawberry risotto. For the less traditional, it can also prove to be the key ingredient for a different salad than usual: add this fruit to a bed of lamb's lettuce covered with parmesan flakes and season with excellent balsamic vinegar. A mix of unexpected flavours, but which will prove to be very successful.
With the warm season, the desire to taste cold dishes grows. Some simple and original recipes to amaze customers.
A spelled salad with broad beans, shrimps, artichokes and emmenthal or a vegetable pasta salad with asparagus, peas, spinach, courgettes and a pinch of leek to make the taste more decisive. You could also refer to the Tuscan tradition with panzanella with asparagus, squid and prawns. For a more rustic flavor, use wholemeal bread instead of the classic one. The advice is to place the classic cold pasta in last place, to give more space to imaginative recipes.
Spring is perfect to usher in the picnic season. A restaurant could offer take away lunches to eat outdoors. What dish would you recommend for a tasty take away?
For a take-away spring menu, my advice is to focus on omelettes and savory pies that can be cooked in the blink of an eye thanks to Combi Wave , the multifunctional Techfood oven. You cannot miss the baked omelette with broad beans, to be flavored with feta cheese or smoked bacon. The elongated shape of asparagus, on the other hand, is very suitable for savory pies.
Don't forget the fruit. A real must that cannot be missing in your take away proposal is the strawberry salad, to be flavored with lemon juice. Those who like to change the rules, on the other hand, recommend the strawberry, mint and mozzarella skewers, flavored with a balsamic vinegar glaze.
For those who already feel the weight of the swimsuit test, which light recipes would you suggest?
Lots of vegetables, fibers and..long walks! To vary the offer of salads, I suggest a salad of raw spinach, raw artichokes, hemp seeds, flakes of Parmigiano Reggiano, apple and lemon. A dish that goes from vitamins to proteins with little fat and lots of taste.
Food can prove to be a useful tool to train the typical allergy symptoms of the spring period. What would you suggest to create a menu dedicated to this disorder?
It is good to keep in mind first of all that some foods should be preferred to others based on what causes allergies. For example, for those who are very sensitive to grasses, it is good to think of an offer without barley, rye and wheat, but rich in meat and fish. So green light for main courses, with an eye to seasonal products, such as mackerel, sardines and squid.
Love it or hate it, this season can really prove to be an imaginative starting point for creating an original and tasty spring menu that will amaze your customers. These are the recommendations of chef Simone Agosta, what are yours?