Our latest obsession? Summer recipes. If you haven’t had a chance to check out our previous blog posts, you’re missing out. We started off this summer series with refreshing cocktails. Covering all and any boozy and balanced drinks to beat the heat. Then, we supplied the best compliment to these cocktails with summer appetizers. Now, we’re going to give you the only missing spot on your menu, this season’s finest entrees.

Let’s recap why seasonal menu changes are important. This time of year brings fresh foods that allow for a noticeable better taste. Your menu should reflect the current season so each dish is full of a new flavor. When you keep up with the latest trends as well it’s easy to combine these in-season foods in each recipe.

Here are the latest foods and entrees that have been on this summer’s radar:

Garden to Table

Or, we even could say farm to table. Currently, there is a growing trend in restaurants sourcing locally grown produce. Some places have their own garden right in their backyard. No soil? No problem. Others take part by shopping at farmer’s markets or have local farms as vendors. One more way to get fresh local produce is to join the Community Supported Agriculture.  The CSA gives restaurants nearby seasonal produce for over 25 years.

Summer is the prime time to join in one this blooming trend. Show your guests that you take pride in sourcing fresh ingredients and produce. Take a look at these creative entrees that are inspired by the garden to the table.

Stone Fruit Salad

Stone fruits are at their peak season from June all the way until September. Right now is the time to hunt down all the stone fruits you can. The wide variety that these come in offers a sweet and savory flavor that can’t be beaten.

Check out this guide by Wide Open Eats for all your Summer Stone Fruits here.

Our customer, Local Farm to Table, uses stone fruit in all the right ways. Below is an image of their recent Stone Fruit Salad. They added some cheese crumbles, avocado, and walnuts for the most flavor. This restaurant went to visit Sweet Tree Farms to get all their stone fruit. A prime example of farm, or garden, to table.

White Beans & Blood Orange Salad

Using greens from your own garden, this salad has a great balance of bright and light flavors. The author of Salad Days, Amy Pennington, shares this recipe on Garden Design. Blood oranges often are most ripe during warm summer days and cooler nights. The vivid color off of the blood oranges will catch everyone’s eye as it comes out of the kitchen.

Summer Veggie Sandwich

The reddest and ripest tomatoes are here and who doesn’t love a sandwich? This recipe calls for two medium-sized ripe tomatoes, seeded and chopped. It’s paired with ciabatta bread to really soak and hold up all the juice that the tomatoes offer. Throw in some fresh basil and hard-cooked eggs, get this fun recipe here.

Eggplant Balls

This will be one of the best vegetarian dishes you can offer. It’s a twist of Polpette di Melanzane with the summertime veggie eggplant. Eggplants have a very robust flavor that makes it an ideal substitute for meat. Served with tomato sauce on the side to still keep it light. A great fusion of fresh summer products, get the full recipe here.

Summer Corn & Edamame Salad

What’s summer without sweet corn? Sweet corn is ready for picking and its flavor is incredible in salads. This salad can be a lighter entree when added with either salmon or grilled chicken. Top it off with a sweet walnut miso dressing to bring it all together.

Summer Entrees

From fresh fish to lobster rolls, all these dishes will be delightful on any summer day. These entrees still feature lots of farm to table produce but now we are adding protein. Grilled chicken, shrimp, or local catch, you name it. Here are the rest of the entrees packed with spice and summer spirit.

White Fish with Tomato-Watermelon Salsa

First, let’s begin with the salsa. This salsa has a mix of sweetness, acidity, spice, and herbal freshness. Add Fresno chilies, cilantro, mint, and lime to create this fierce taste. This salsa specifically is ideal to pair with any mild white fish. Think like red snapper, tilapia, and halibut. Serve this dish with some grilled corn, avocado, and a Jalapeño Watermelon Margarita. Find the recipe here.

Local Catch with Bacon and Cranberry Bean Succotash

The beans in this dish have a creamy texture that will shine bright. This dish features cherry, basil, zucchini, and corn. It’s a great set up that can be paired with your local catch. As the fish changes, the set up can remain the same. The succotash and fish are very light making it perfect for the summer season. Get this must-have recipe here.

Chili Lime Chicken Bowl

Start your summer right with this refreshing and filling grilled chicken bowl. This dish can be done with rice or to make it even lighter, quinoa. Check out our customer Civic Kitchen & Drink’s version of this. It’s packed with fresh avocado, mango, and a black bean corn salsa. A chipotle aioli makes a great dipping sauce and cilantro vinaigrette to top it off. Fresh off the grill, chicken is ideal for summer being a lighter protein. Here’s a recipe for you.

Lobster Rolls

Now, this is a fun one because you can incorporate the lobster in different ways. Do you offer sushi cuisine? If so, you can offer a lobster roll in sushi form. Containing spicy lobster and avocado, this roll should be tempura fried to be served warm. Top it off with jalapeño slices and spicy mayo and it will be the summer favorite.

Lobster rolls can also be created in sandwich form. Mix cooked lobster with lots of lemon, herbs, and mayonnaise for the inside of this dish. Freshly toasted buns are a must. Get this delicious New England recipe here.

Get to grilling

As we find ourselves in the middle of summer, times running out to make these essential menu changes. Again, consumers want farm to table ingredients so choose local as much as you can. We hope that these vibrant salads and summery entrees will help you wrap up your seasonal menu. Remember, no meal is complete without dessert. We’ve created a few summer-inspired ones that will fulfill every sweet tooth. When you have CAKE’s POS system you can make quick menu edits so these items are available right away. Cheers to simplified operations and a savory summer.