Grilling Fresh Produce

Grilled Chicken with Arugula, Blackberries, and Apricots

The Perennial On-Trend Technique

After a year in the reign of comfort foods, grilling will continue to hold one of the top spots on most summer menus. This technique has devoted followers throughout all foodservice segments, largely because customers crave the smoky, woodsy flavors of food cooked on the grill.
Grilling is a pure method of cooking—most likely the first humans ever enjoyed. Customers today continue to want authenticity, and this technique fits the bill by highlighting the ingredient’s true flavor, whether it’s burgers, steaks, onions, peppers, pineapple, or a head of romaine lettuce.

Using marinades or sauces enhances the taste, but the big lure of grilled items is that their essence remains intact.
Health is another big draw. Customers want foods that deliver a flavor punch without the baggage of extra fat and calories. Grilling relies on a direct heat source—wood, coals, gas—without the need for added butter or oil. The rustic, smoky aromas get absorbed by the product to impart more complexly intense flavors.
And of course, there’s comfort. It’s a method of cooking that’s familiar—a way diners can experiment with different ingredients in a non-threatening way.So light up the flames and get creative!

Benefits of RSS Produce

• Staff Safety: No knife use for precut products reduces risks of injury.
• Health & Sanitation: Precut, prewashed products reduce cross-contamination risks.
• Waste Reduction: With less waste, you lower disposal costs.
• Labor Savings: As labor costs rise, the stable cost of RSS products protects your profit margin. When labor turns over, you save training and efficiency costs.
• Culinary Creativity: RSS takes the prep work out of the kitchen and allows chefs to focus on flavor and creativity.
• Quality Assurance: Markon’s 5-Star Food Safety® Program addresses five key points in the production process.
o Fields
o Packing and Processing Facilities
o Transportation
o Distributor Warehouses
o Foodservice Kitchens

Refresh your menu with these on-trend ideas

• Update your menu’s chicken salad offerings by combining Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Wild Arugula, charred apricots, sweet blackberries, and grilled chicken breast slices; dress with RSS Lemon Juice and virgin olive oil (see page one top photo).
• Enhance fresh vegetables’ natural flavor profiles with the high heat of the grill. Toss produce like Markon First Crop (MFC) Cherry Tomatoes, MFC Mushrooms, MFC Zucchini in a garlicky marinade and char until tender (see page one side bar photo).
• Lettuces and greens also benefit from a quick char. Drizzle RSS Romaine Hearts, halved radicchio heads, Belgian endive, and RSS Green Onions with olive oil and heat until you see grill marks (see page one middle photo).
• Accent mild, tender fish like sea bass with charred RSS Cauliflower Florets and salty sea beans (see right photo).
• Mix together crumbled queso, butter, mayonnaise, RSS Washed & Trimmed Cilantro, RSS Lime Juice, the zest of MFC Limes, and cayenne pepper. Grill sweet corn on the cob until charred. Slather ears and serve (see photo below).
• When spears of MFC Asparagus are grilled, they get a crisp, crunchy exterior and a tender, mildly grassy-flavored interior; the flames mellow their natural astringency and give them a nuttier taste.
• Cut MFC Cantaloupe Melons into easy-to-hold wedges; char to maximize their natural sugars— delicious with blackened salmon and barbecued chicken.
• Offer vegetarian and vegan customers summer options: grill sesame- and soy-marinated tofu or plant-based meats until browned; plate with herby rice, quinoa, or crunchy greens.
• Load RSS Pineapple Chunks onto skewers and grill; season with RSS Lime Juice, honey, and freshly cracked black pepper.
• Grilled pizza is a hot post-COVID menu item; customers love the smokiness that this technique adds, especially when it’s topped with grilled vegetables (think MFC Bell Peppers, RSS Sweet Baby Broccoli, and MFC Fennel), barbecued animal- and plant-based meats, even grilled cheeses like Mozzarella.
• Seasonal stone fruits like nectarines, peaches, and plums work great on the grill; just slice and heat, then serve with yogurt.
• Cook lightly oiled RSS Sliced Onions until blackened and use on a variety of menu items such as tacos, steaks, and burgers.
• Baby artichokes halves make tasty bite-size bar snacks. Heat until grill marks appear; serve with a dipping sauce comprised of RSS Peeled Garlic, RSS Lemon Juice, butter, salt, and red pepper flakes.

Upgrade with Sauces
Trend data shows that consumers are ready to get back into restaurants this summer. Tis the season for all things on the grill.
• Barbecue: Kansas City-style, Sorghum, Hot Mustard, Hoisin, Cola-Style, Cider Mop,
and Chipotle.
• Global: Chimichurri, Chili Crunch, Tzatziki, Peanut-Tamarind, Zhug, Agrodolce, Cilantro Chutney, and Romesco.
• American Classics: Honey Mustard, Blue Cheese, Buttermilk Ranch, and Green Goddess (made with fresh MFC Herbs).
• Mayo-Based: Garlic Aioli, Srirachannaise, Southern Comeback Sauce, Caramelized Onion, and Remoulade.

Grilling 2021 July

Diners are increasingly hyper-focused on high-protein and plant-based foods. Alongside all of the new-fangled, lab-based, cell-cultured options out there is the humble bean. A staple food for millenia, beans are being re-examined as a healthy, versatile ingredient worthy of menu inclusion.

  • Retro and heirloom recipes—like Southern succotash, French cassoulet, and Cajun red beans and rice—fit the bill for those in search of authenticity.
  • Most world cuisines incorporate some type of bean in their classic dishes. Think feijoada in Brazil, black beans and rice with plantains in Puerto Rico, and garbanzo beans in Israel. Modern interpretations of these recipes are packed with produce and herbs.
  • The creamy texture of mung beans is proving an ideal substitute for those that are eliminating soy from their diets.