With the days getting longer, and warmer weather hopefully soon on its way, it is time for chefs to start thinking about their springtime menus, where the warm, hearty dishes of winter can give way to lighter meals which take full advantage of the produce coming into season. When choosing dishes for spring menus, PSL can help you find good quality ingredients at the best prices.

Over the course of spring, the first fruits and vegetables of the year are at their best. Salads of lettuce, peppers, watercress, and radishes look attractive and will appeal to those who are rediscovering a more active, healthy lifestyle as the weather improves. Vegetarian dishes and accompaniments can be made from spinach, purple sprouting broccoli, and peas, all of which are all readily available at this time of year. Towards the end of spring, you may also be inclined to introduce fresh asparagus, carrots, and artichokes as they start coming into season.

While the weather is still cool, warm puddings are likely to remain popular, but it is also a good idea to increase the number of fruit-based deserts. There are plenty of fruits which are freely available all year round, but during the late spring, add fruits such as apricots, strawberries, and raspberries to your menus as a hint of the summer to come.

Lamb is traditionally served in restaurants throughout the season as is at its best in the springtime. A traditional roast will always be a favourite, but with a wide variety of cuisines proving popular, it can be cooked in wide variety of ways. Springtime is also associated with eggs, and these can easily be incorporated into salads, starters, and vegetarian dishes.

Diners are consistently more health conscious and menus which cater to this will be popular. Gone are the days when menus simply included a token vegetarian dish. Now, a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan dishes, including plant-based proteins such as pulses, tofu, and quinoa, are necessary to appeal to diners. While alcoholic beverages remain a popular accompaniment, there is a rise in the popularity of alcohol-free drinks. Providing exciting options, which go beyond the usual range of soft drinks, will enhance your food menus, and the warmer, lighter evenings are the perfect time to introduce a selection of mocktails to your drinks menus.

Allergen management is an essential part of menu creation and providing up-to-date allergen information is necessary to comply with the law. With many people requiring or preferring a gluten or lactose free diet, it is necessary to include dishes on your menu which they can enjoy. If this is proving tricky, take advantage of PSL’s ‘What’s in My Dish’ service to enable you to build allergen compliant menus with meals which are delicious for everyone to enjoy this spring.