Peppers, vegetables, herbs and fruit are helping chefs wrap up the season in style and provide a great kickoff for fall.
As August comes to an end and Labor Day approaches, the Condiment magazine blog on The Huffington Post cites these “hot late-summer food trends” that can help “wrap your summer up in style and kick off fall right”:
Peppers—Peppers, be they hot and spicy or crisp and sweet, have always held a distinctive place in the food world, Condiment notes. These days, cayenne pepper is turning up in everything from chocolate to beverages and drinks. Whole peppers stuffed with everything from cheese to meats are equally as trendy. The great part, Condiment says, is this is an easy trend to play with—just add a little cayenne to whatever it is you’re preparing.
Leaf Vegetables in Unexpected Pairings—Leafy vegetables might seem to be standard and a little bland or plain, but the new ways to offer this classic food item includes many ways you wouldn’t expect, Condiment says. The options go well beyond the lettuce wrap to leafy greens paired with everything from pasta to couscous or quinoa. Mustard greens and beet greens are also on trend at the moment, Condiment notes, and have become popular when sautéed with a little olive oil and offered as a side to any dish.
Root Vegetables at Breakfast—The explosion of low-carb eating has brought a lot of unexpected vegetables to the breakfast table, Condiment notes. Tomatoes on the side has always been a classic, but now roasted or even raw root vegetables are fast making a spectacular appearance.
Herbs—Many herbs are in season during August through early fall, but the trend of using herbs of all kinds has been a big thing in the food and drink world this past year, Condiment notes. Sprigs of rosemary, fresh sage, thyme and other herbs are turning up everywhere, and especially in desserts and sweets, to provide a savory twist to a lot of classics. These and many other herbs give chefs especially good opportunities to have fun and experiment without drastic consequences, it’s noted.
Fruit at Dinner—The appearance of fruits at the dinner table isn’t new, but it’s certainly making the rounds as a chic menu play, Condiment notes. Grilled peaches with meat or fish, persimmon served in a savory sweet sauce over chicken and rice, apples raw or baked into everything from turkey dishes to sandwiches, have been popular.
Creative Vegetarian —The array of vegan and vegetarian dishes now being offered are incredible, Condiment says—and increasingly, they rarely signal being completely free of meat. Long gone are the days of bland and strange tastes and textures, as vegan/vegetarian cuisine has evolved to include incredible pairings, creative ideas, and unexpected dishes everywhere. Even meat eaters are craving what’s now being offered, particularly in the area of cheese alternatives, where dishes like cashew cheese are so good, you don’t know you’re eating something dairy-free.