Summer is here and we’re ready to enjoy the long days and bountiful produce with the return of some favorite seasonal dishes and a couple new creations from our chefs.
Roasted Vegetable Farro Cold Side
This cold side is one of my favorite new additions to our seasonal menu items. Farro is an ancient wheat grain that has been eaten for thousands of years in many cultures. We commonly find it in Mediterranean, North African and Middle Eastern cuisines. This hearty whole grain is a great source of protein, fiber and iron, which makes it the perfect base for an array of sweet summer peppers, lightly roasted corn, fresh grape tomatoes, raw green onions and roasted red onions.
We cook the farro al dente so it has a perfect firm texture with just a little bite. The sweet peppers and melty roasted onions balance with the nuttiness of the farro, while the corn and grape tomatoes add a burst of freshness that is met with our bright chipotle lime vinaigrette. The chipotle adds just a hint of spice while the fresh lime juice makes all the flavors pop. I’ve enjoyed eating this side with our oven baked salmon, but it would make a great accompaniment to any of our proteins or even added to our Caesar salad!
Watermelon Pineapple Mint Basil
Our replenishers are the perfect way to refresh during the warm summer weather. Every year I anxiously await watermelon season and the return of our popular Watermelon Pineapple Mint Basil replenisher. We hand cut juicy watermelons and blend them with fresh mint, basil, pineapple, a splash of lime juice and a pinch of salt. The sweet watermelon is an excellent way to hydrate and is perfectly balanced by the light acidity of the pineapple and lime. The herbs add a beautiful aroma and freshness to this drink that have me addicted. This replenisher has the bonus of being loaded with antioxidants, lycopene, fiber, vitamin A and vitamin C! This has to be one of my all-time favorites, delicious and nutritious!
Orange Turmeric Aloe Ginger
This summer we are debuting the Orange Turmeric Aloe Ginger replenisher. Our chefs were inspired by the exploding juice trend to create this energizing and healthy drink. We puree whole peeled oranges with pure aloe juice, raw ginger, turmeric and agave. The flavor is a beautiful mixture of slightly sweet orange with a bite of spice from the ginger and turmeric. The whole oranges make this drink unique by giving it a velvety body and maintaining the vitamin C, fiber and potassium. The aloe and ginger both aid with digestion and the turmeric has anti-inflammatory benefits making this a functional food, that goes beyond basic nutrition.
Roasted Corn and Poblano Soup
As a chef I love creating recipes that are specific to a season. It means that the ingredients are unique to that time of the year and ensure that the final product will be the best it can be. Corn and peppers are at the peak of freshness during the summer months and inspired me to craft this soup in our flagship location in Del Mar, California. It has become a guest favorite that we look forward to highlighting during the season. We start by husking fresh corn, roast it on high heat and then cut off the kernels. The cobs are kept to make a corn stock used as the base of the soup. We then sauté organic carrots, onions, celery and garlic until they are just beginning to tenderize. We add organic potatoes, the corn stock, roasted corn and herbs. We gently simmer everything together and then partially puree the soup to create a creamy thickness without the addition of dairy or gluten. We then stir in roasted poblano peppers, raw cilantro and fresh lime juice at the end. The sweet summer corn is balanced by the creamy potato and rich – mildly spicy poblano pepper. By adding the cilantro and lime juice at the end of the cooking process we preserve the brightness of both ingredients and give this soup a clean finish. We garnish the soup with chopped cilantro and a drizzle of lime sour cream. If you want to keep it vegan we will be happy to omit the sour cream garnish.
Mango Habanero BBQ Ribs
Our famous ribs are back for the summer with a luscious mango habanero bbq sauce and our grilled pineapple mango salsa! We marinate the no added hormone, and antibiotic and GMO free pork ribs in our thirteen-spice mix with sesame, garlic and ginger. We then slow cook the ribs overnight until they are almost falling off the bone and finish them on our grill. They get glazed with house made mango habanero bbq sauce that is made with tamari, lemongrass, Kaffir lime leaves, a hint of brown sugar and a splash of rice wine vinegar. The bbq sauce has a beautiful velvety texture that coats the juicy ribs perfectly and adds a nice lightly sweet, salty and spicy kick. Our grilled pineapple mango salsa cuts the richness of the ribs and pairs perfectly with the bbq sauce. This is truly an Urban Plates signature and great for your summer gatherings.
Strawberry Vanilla Layer Cake
Our pastry chef loves strawberry shortcake, probably because she grew up eating it every summer made with the strawberries from her grandfather’s garden. The Urban Plates strawberry vanilla cake was inspired by this childhood favorite and has become a favorite of many guests. Our cake is composed of four fluffy angel food cake layers filled with vanilla bean pastry cream, lightly sweetened whipped cream, house made strawberry jam and fresh sliced strawberries. We leave it unfrosted so you can see all the delicious layers and bright red strawberries. This cake is the perfect summer treat, not too sweet or rich. We offer our cakes by the slice and whole in case you feel like sharing!
I hope you are having a great start to summer and we look forward to sharing our new summer menu with you.