Make the most of summer's seasonal produce

Key points
  • Summer brings with it seasonal vegetables and fruits which make perfect toppings for pizza and ingredients for pasta
  • Independent foodservice businesses have more flexibility to respond to seasonal food fluctuations and make short-term menu additions
  • The abundance of fresh berries provides a plethora of choice for dessert pizza toppings
  • Fresh seafood is also popular in summer and ideal for antipasto plates and to enhance Pasta Marinara dishes     

THE SUMMER MONTHS herald the arrival of many seasonal vegetables and fruits which you can utilise on the menu – many of which make perfect toppings for both savoury and dessert pizza, while others are ideal for pasta.

With a little imagination and effort, you can devise some fabulous seasonal specials to complement your standard pizza and pasta offering. These can help provide a point of difference which can’t be matched by the big pizza chains who may not have the flexibility to respond quickly to seasonal food fluctuations and make short-term menu additions with minimal planning.

The warmer weather heralds the availability of some terrific quality ingredients like zucchini flowers, fresh basil, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. All these are ideal not only as pizza toppings but in pasta dishes.

And when it comes to dessert pizzas, you’re spoilt for choice in summer – it’s the season for fresh berries, with blackberries, blueberries, loganberries, raspberries and strawberries all at their peak.

Tropical fruits like passionfruit, pawpaw, mangoes and melons are likewise abundantly available in fresh quantities.

Looking beyond the vegetable and fruit options, the warmer weather is also a terrific time of year for fresh seafood. King prawns, Moreton Bay Bugs, calamari and mussels are all popular on the menu at this time of year – ideal for seafood antipasto plates. And of course, you can enhance your marinara pasta dishes with the freshest quality seafood.

With all these foods now available at peak quality, there’s no better time to broaden your menu, polish up those special boards, get out the coloured chalk and let your customers know that you are committed to offering them the best and freshest of great Aussie produce!

So talk to your foodservice distributor today, visit your local market or check out what’s on offer at the big fruit and vegie suppliers in your area. Let your customers know via your website, Facebook page or Twitter feed - work out your recipes, take photos, get them online. It’s a great way to generate interest over the summer months and get more business through your doors!