Dreaming of Summer Flavors with Pulses, Avocados, Tomatoes and Watermelon

Dreaming of Summer Flavors with Pulses, Avocados, Tomatoes and Watermelon
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Pulses

A variety of pulses in all shapes, sizes, colors and flavors are useful in product development. They can be used to fortify an item with protein, fiber, macro-nutrients and minerals. They provide excellent texture and can be useful in managing the viscosity in soups and stews.

I like to create dishes with a variety of lentils, beans and peas. This provides a balanced nutritional profile and a substantial savory building block of flavors. These flavors can be complemented with caramelized onions and roasted garlic, sautéed or roasted mushrooms, fresh or dried herbs, vinegars and savory stocks and broths. Overall very versatile ingredient in product development.

Avocados

This flavorful fruit is available all year long and is a very nutritious product to use in product development. I like to add avocado to a puree of pulses, vegetables, aioli and to artisanal toast for a boost in flavor and texture. The flavor melds into other savory or sweet flavors to provide a healthy backbone of savory notes. The higher fat content aides in the creamy texture of many dishes to enhance the experience. Even though the flavor is mild it can stand alone in some formulations complemented with salt, lime juice or citrus, garlic and cracked black pepper. My favorite puree is when I combine fresh avocado with extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Use the kosher salt as a topical to add texture and control the sodium intake of a avocado toast.

Tomatoes

When tomatoes are in season during the last half of summer I think they should be used in every meal. They provide nutrients, color, texture and are complemented by fresh herbs, olive oil, fresh cheese and simple salt and pepper. My favorite in the summer for dinner to is to combine fresh tomatoes with chopped dill, basil, oregano, black pepper, kosher salt and a Spanish extra virgin olive oil. This combined with apple cider, sugar, salt and pepper pickled cucumbers and bulb onions is the perfect combination to a savory meat centric or vegetarian grilled menu.

Watermelon

This summer special is now available all year around is all sizes, shapes and taste. Mostly a perfect source of water flavored with watermelon and a source of vitamins and fiber. I think the texture of a refrigerated watermelon is the most satisfying and refreshing after a meal. This is my favorite dessert. Doesn’t mean I won’t complement a nice slice of watermelon with a small homemade chocolate truffle to add a indulgent component.

There are watermelons that are mostly seedless, yellow, pink or dark red. Averaging from a pound to over five pounds in size. It is difficult to tell now sweet the watermelon will be until you cut into it and taste it. I often make a granite with fresh, sweet watermelon. Take the watermelon flesh and puree it in a blender, season with sugar and some citrus to taste. Freeze while scrapping every 30 minutes into small ice crystals. This is a delicious dessert or intermezzo to clean the palate.

How would you use these summer flavors? Drop the CBCI chefs a line.

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