Fresh produce inspires summer salads at local restaurantsWith fruits and vegetables ripe and ready to be picked, chefs at local restaurants say now is the best time to throw it all together for a fresh summer salad.
With fruits and vegetables ripe and ready to be picked, chefs at local restaurants say now is the best time to throw it all together for a fresh summer salad.
We took a look at three summer offerings at Fargo-Moorhead establishments, where color, taste and ingredients all blend to create light, tasty and refreshing summer dishes.
SUMMER CAPRESE SALAD
The Hotel Donaldson, Fargo
While the combination of tomatoes and watermelon might seem a little bit odd, Hotel Donaldson chef Ryan Nitschke says the summery produce helps to make the restaurant’s Summer Caprese Salad perfect for the season.
“It’s just very summery, with lots of summer ingredients,” Nitschke says of the salad. “Highlighting the produce of the season is what makes for a good summer salad.”
Color plays a role in making summer salads stand out, as well. At the HoDo, the mix of different kinds of tomatoes, watermelon and greens helps achieve that.
“We try to use bright colors, like the colorful tomatoes,” Nitschke says. “It’s nice to get that color in there. It makes it pop more.”
Throughout the rest of the summer, the HoDo’s rooftop and restaurant menus will continue to highlight different summer salads on a weekly basis.
SOUTHWEST CHICKEN SALAD
Spitfire Bar & Grill, West Fargo
Over at Spitfire Bar & Grill, catering supervisor Colton Speral recommends the Southwest Chicken Salad, made of grilled chicken, avocado, corn, red peppers, tomatoes, black beans and cheddar jack cheese, all topped with tri-colored tortilla strips.
Like at the HoDo, color plays a role in the seasonal appeal of the Southwest salad as well.
“It’s all about the color,” Speral says. “We have all the different vegetables that have different contrasting colors.”
Speral says that summer salads in general should definitely utilize fresh fruits and vegetables that aren’t available, or at least aren’t as fresh, during the rest of the year.
“You don’t have those all year round, and when you do, and when they’re in the salad, they really do make it a lot better,” he says.
LEMONGRASS CHICKEN SALAD
Thai Orchid, Moorhead
Alternatively, summer salads can be a little bit spicier as well, like the Lemongrass Chicken Salad at Thai Orchid in Moorhead.
Made with lemongrass, garlic, leek, cilantro, barbequed chicken, a spicy sauce and other vegetables, owner Keng Dechawuth says the salad has the right combination of taste for the season.
“It’s fresh and spicy, and that’s what summer salads are all about,” he says.
In addition, the grilled chicken adds the taste of barbeque to the salad, and what singular taste reminds us of summer more than that?
“It’s summer,” Dechawuth says. “People want something with the grill.”