‘Superfoods’ trending for ‘15

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 3, 2015

Turnip and apple and Brussels sprout slaw.

Turnip and apple and Brussels sprout slaw.

I am always interested in what the food magazines have to say about the coming trends in food for the year. Sometimes they get it right and sometimes not. Most seem to repeat a lot of the same things such as eat more veggies, grains and fruit. We all know to do that, but sometimes fall short. I rather liked what AARP had to say about our next SUPERFOODS!

Move over quinoa—farro is going to be huge. This is a nutty, nutritious, ancient grain related to wheat. It will be showing up more on restaurant menus. I see a lot of recipes for it already in the new magazines.

Instead of goji berries from Asia, dried cherries from the U.S. will be the homegrown super fruit. Dried cherries have been overlooked. But they are delicious and nutritious. Dried cranberries are in the same camp. I never even got to the goji berries, but I do eat dried cherries and cranberries.

Kale is going to be less hip and Brussels sprouts will be on your table. Chefs are even roasting their leaves so they will be crisp just like kale chips. We are still in the kale mode with a lot of it in the garden—young leaves for a salad and the bigger ones for the pot.

Instead of throwing away parts of the vegetable, we will be eating the whole plant, including the stems, leaves and roots. For example, we’ll learn to sauté beet greens and chard stems, and add celery leaves to salads.

Instead of hummus spread, everybody will be embracing avocado spread. It is showing up on menus instead of butter, with sweet and savory toppings. People are looking for more sources of healthy fats.

Sure enough, my new issue of ‘Saveur’ addressed some of these predictions. A whole page was dedicated to “Don’t Toss the Trimmings.” Here are a few clever tips from chefs to use every scrap of a vegetable.

• Fry tomato skins in olive oil until they are crisp, and then use them to garnish a soup or another tomato dish.

• Save your herb stems and roast meat on them instead of a rack. It is a nice aromatic cushion for resting your meat, too.

• Turnip leaves and steams can be sautéed with garlic butter and tossed with handmade pasta, walnuts, anchovies, lemon, and puréed turnip bulbs. We Southerners have been eating turnip leaves i.e. turnip greens for generations.

Here is a recipe for pickled radish greens, which according to Joshua McFadden, is delicious and he uses it every day at his restaurant in Portland Oregon.


Pickled Radish Greens

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook 5 oz. roughly chopped radish greens until wilted, about 1 minute. Drain and transfer to a bowl of ice water until chilled. Drain greens and squeeze dry. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a 12” skillet over medium-high; cook greens until golden brown; 8-10 minutes, and transfer to a bowl. Stir in ¼ cup white wine vinegar, 4 sliced garlic cloves, 3 chiles de árbol, and kosher salt; let sit, covered, for 1 hour. Stir in 1/3 cup olive oil; chill in an airtight container up to 1 week. Makes about ¾ cup.

My new issue of ‘bon appétit’ for 2015 had some of the same trends but added more seeds and peppers to foods, like nigella seeds which have a flavor of cumin and caraway with a bitter edge. Veggies and flatbreads love them. Aleppo pepper is hot, literally, and is used as a crushed chile. It brings a warmth to everything it is sprinkled on.

This recipe in the latest issue of ‘bon appétit’ seems to signify the coming trends of the year. Use vegetables (every part) and use spices to enhance their flavor.


Crunchy Turnip, Apple, and Brussels Sprout Slaw

4 servings

3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 tsp. finely grated peeled ginger

Kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper

2 small white turnips, peeled, cut into matchsticks

1 medium sweet-tart apple (such as Pink Lady), cut into matchsticks

4 oz. Brussels sprouts, leaves, separated (Core them with a paring knife and the leaves will pop right off).

1 tsp. poppy seeds, plus more

Whisk lemon juice, oil, and ginger in a large bowl; season with salt and pepper. Add turnips, apple, Brussels sprouts, and 1 tsp. poppy seeds to coat. Serve slaw topped with more poppy seeds.