Transforming Traditional Ingredients into Untraditional Side Dishes

Transforming Traditional Ingredients into Untraditional Side Dishes

Chefs are known for innovation, technique and their delicious flavors. Many of those reputations are built on the main course. Since the dawn of the “restaurant,” menus have focused on meat in the middle, with vegetables on the side as an afterthought. Think steak and potatoes, burgers and fries, etc. But in the past few years, side dishes have become more important — especially in establishments that employ family-style or small plate. The “vegetable as the star” trend has helped shift the focus away from expensive cuts of meat to vibrant, healthy, and budget-conscious produce items. This doesn’t mean that chefs have to start offering exotic ingredients — but it does mean they have to up their game. Chefs can take well-loved items and serve them in ways that complement inherent flavors and make a visual impact.

See our suggestions for the following veggies that are by no means new, but continue to top the list of customer favorites.


READY-SET-SERVE • TRIMMED GREEN BEANS

Pair With
Chicken, pancetta, red bell peppers, steak and tomatoes.

Prepare
Sautéed, steamed, stir-fried, deep fried and stewed.

Benefits
Low in calories with no saturated fat. Rich in vitamins A, B-12, and C, folates and fiber.

Usage Tip
Wrap bundles of Green Beans in pancetta; roast until pancetta is crisp and top with goat cheese crumbles and chopped Markon First Crop Yellow (MFC) Grape Tomatoes. Ideal as an appetizer or side for grilled steaks.

Did You Know
Although they are called “green” beans, they can be grown in other colors, including purple, red, and yellow.


MARKON ESSENTIALS • CAULIFLOWER

Pair With
Chives, curry paste, lemon, peas and Parmesan cheese.

Prepare
When raw, try it in salads. Also try pickled, roasted, sautéed and puréed into soups and sauces.

Benefits
High in fiber, with high levels of vitamins C and K, as well as folate and protein.

Usage Tip
Sauté cauliflower and garlic. Purée with heavy cream and cheeses like mozzarella. Serve as soup shooters garnished with spring peas and fried basil leaves.

Did You Know
It’s possible for a single head of cauliflower to grow 30 inches wide.


READY-SET-SERVE • TRIMMED KALE

Pair With
Cream, garlic, onions, mushrooms and sweet potatoes.

Prepare
Pickled, raw, sautéed, stir-fried and roasted.

Benefits
One cup of chopped raw kale provides more than the recommended daily amount of vitamins A and K.

Usage Tip
Although kale is best known in salads, it adds balance to cheesy quesadillas.

Did You Know
Kale has been cultivated for over 2,000 years and was popular in Europe, during the Middle Ages.


READY-SET-SERVE • BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Pair With
Bacon, citrus, fish sauce, pine nuts and vinegar.

Prepare
Grilled, roasted and sautéed for sweet, nutty flavors.

Benefits
High levels of vitamins A, folic acid and dietary fiber. Packed with more vitamin C than oranges.

Usage Tip
Toss them in olive oil; season with salt/pepper. Thread on skewers and grill until outer leaves are golden brown. Serve with garlicky aioli sauce.

Did You Know
Swedish sprouts lover Linus Urbanec holds the world record for the most Brussels sprouts eaten in one minute: 31.


MARKON FIRST CROP • POTATOES

Pair With
Beef, Cheddar, parsley, rosemary and sour cream.

Prepare
Baked, boiled, deep fried, roasted and sautéed.

Benefits
Potatoes contain more potassium than a banana. Excellent source of vitamins B6, C, iron and fiber.

Usage Tip
Starting at the end of a baked potato, place multiple slices that extend to the bottom of the potato without cutting through; coat with oil and butter. Drizzle with sauces like chimichurri, pesto or ranch.

Did You Know
The first potato patches in North America were planted in New Hampshire in the 1700s.

markon bud logo

 


Share