Exciting salads and side dishes heat up profits any time of the year. From LTOs and seasonal menus to takeout and party offerings, easy upgrades will help you sell more. The Shamrock Foods collection of curated artisanal provisions is a fabulous resource to add signature flair to accompaniments. A splash of aged vinegar, a few shavings of artisan cheese, or a handful of imported olives bring new taste sensations and increase perceived value.
Fire and Savor
Vegetable dishes are coming on strong, thanks to simple culinary techniques that enhance flavor. Yet many operators miss the opportunity to make their sides stand out. For example: Vegetables are more satisfying tossed with oil, salt, pepper and herbs, then popped into a 400-degree oven to cook and caramelize. Including purchased roasted tomatoes or peppers in the dish is an easy upgrade. Savory flavor also comes with a sprinkle of gourmet sea salt; Shamrock Foods offers a nice selection. And if “meatless” isn’t the goal – and trend watchers say it doesn’t always have to be – add a bit of imported prosciutto to caramelized green beans.
Try this: Grill fresh asparagus; drizzle with wasabi sauce or spicy lime dressing.
Sauced and Dressed
The perfect sauce elevates any vegetable or starch to a higher level. Lighter sauces and dressings –especially if they’re zapped with trendy citrus – are great ideas for the season. To make fruit salads with extra appeal, keep things bright and up-to-date with maple-lime dressing.
Fruit and floral syrups from Shamrock Foods are a go-to for unique flavor. Rich cheese and butter sauces are back, too, with a touch of citrus, heat or fresh herbs to put them in the spotlight for spring.
Try this: Sauté red potatoes, green beans and corn; toss with lemon–brown butter.
Art of Starch
Putting housemade breadcrumbs atop salads or vegetables adds excitement. Bonus: It’s a great way to use day-old breads, bagels and even muffins. Start with a coating of premium olive oil and lemon zest on crumbled leftovers, to make a delicious enhancement for fresh spinach salad. Starch standards like rice and potatoes bring new excitement with flavorful additions: Think chopped herbs, sautéed mushrooms, imported pesto and aged vinegars. Last but not least, gourmet par-cooked pastas from Shamrock Foods are ready for delicious springtime sauces.
Try this: Rice-and-chickpea “pancake” garnished with BBQ carrots and pickled onion.
Beans & Grains
Please guests with healthy, flavorful ingredients.
• Add ancient grains like faro, amaranth and millet to vegetables or green salads.
• Combine beans and grains, such as quinoa, black
beans and orange-cilantro dressing.
• Mix cooked imported rice with two or three artisan-brined vegetables from Shamrock Foods.
Tropical Mango Salad
Courtesy of Markon®
Yield: 4 servings
Tropical flavors are on trend – here’s a beautiful blend of colors, too.
½ cup hot water
¼ cup rice vinegar
¼ cup fish sauce
1 Tbsp. sesame oil
1 Tbsp. XTREME® High Oleic Canola Oil
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. ginger, chopped
1 Tbsp. garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Thai chile pepper, seeds removed & finely chopped
2 medium mangoes, julienned
1 Markon First Crop® carrot, julienned
1 small Markon First Crop® red onion, finely sliced
½ each Markon First Crop® red & green bell pepper,
Fresh cilantro to garnish
Mix the ingredients for dressing and let sit to cool while you prepare the salad. Toss together salad ingredients; garnish and serve.
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