Some folks tend to think of healthy dishes as boring, but we’re here to say — that’s not always the case. These three dishes from Nashville chefs are perfect for summer weather and FAR from flavorless! From a bold and bright salad to a traditional Italian fish dish, these are three deceptively simple dishes you’ll want to add to your summer rotation.
Squash Hummus from Honey
Hummus is one of those light snacks that we crave, and it turns out that it’s more versatile than we may have given it credit for. Not that we’re abandoning the old standby made with garbanzo beans, but as it turns out, it’s quite easy to infuse traditional hummus with color and flavor by mixing up the ingredient list.
This vibrant iteration from Chef Jason Laiacona at Miel Restaurant stems from what he refers to as “a child-like curiosity mixed with an open-minded approach while respecting technique.” In other words, he took a simple dish and infused some flair.
“This hummus was born out of seasonality and trial and error,” he tells us. “I wanted to make a unique hummus; it started with white beans, and then we asked, ‘Are there non-legume vegetables that could work?’” The result is a magnificent fiery orange hummus that can easily pair with everything from classic crostini or grilled bread to farm-fresh veggies — the perfect accompaniment to a summer picnic! Click HERE to get the full recipe.
Beets with Labneh and Pistachio Crumble from The Dutch
As delicious as it is stunning, this salad is anything but ordinary. Created by Chef Andrew Carmellini, the culinary guru behind 15 restaurants, including New York’s Locanda Verde and Nashville’s The Dutch and Carne Mare, this dish is a sweet and savory combination of citrus and the earthy, nuttiness of beets.
“Everyone loves beets,” says Chef Andrew, “and the combination of smoke and sweetness turns them into something uniquely American.” Fresh mint and parsley add in an herbal component, while crunchy pistachios provide texture, and a champagne vinaigrette lends just the right tangy contrast to finish.
If you aren’t familiar with labneh, don’t be deterred by the sound of something exotic. It’s not as “out there” as you might think, and you can pick it up at Whole Foods or local spots like Sulav International Market on Nolensville Pike or the nearby Azadi International Food Market and Bakery. Similar to Greek yogurt, only thicker, labneh is made from cow’s milk and has a creamy texture that’s not unlike super soft cream cheese. Unlike Greek yogurt, which is often paired with sweet ingredients, it’s meant to be served with savory items.
Get all of the beautiful ingredients together in the same dish, and you can look forward to the perfect blend of flavor and texture in every bite! Click HERE for the full recipe.
Halibut with Fava Risotto from Yolan
Yolan recently rolled out its spring menu, and you can prepare to be wowed. While you should undoubtedly make plans to dine here so you can experience the incredible offerings firsthand (we’re simply over the moon about the risotto with olive caramel and the ravioli with morel mushrooms), here’s a sneak peek at the gorgeous roasted halibut dish you can also find on the new menu.
An elevated dish, to be sure — but still totally doable for a home cook — it features fava beans and the bitter bite of chicory greens. Get ready to impress your dinner guests!
“This dish is a take on Fave e Cicoria (fava beans and chicory), which is one of Puglia’s most famous dishes,” says Joey Fecci, Chef de Cuisine of Yolan at The Joseph, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Nashville. “Traditionally, it is a purée of dried fava beans with sautéed wilted chicory greens and a healthy drizzle of Apulian olive oil.” Instead, Chef Joey’s spin turns fava beans into a risotto-style foundation for the beautiful piece of fish.
Though the restaurant is serving the dish with snap pea and fumet butter sauce, Chef Joey offers us a slightly modified (and healthier) version HERE.
SB Tip: You can purchase either a 3.4-ounce tin or 16.9-ounce bottle of Yolan’s custom blend extra-virgin olive oil for a truly authentic addition to your dish.
For more delicious ways to enjoy the Nashville culinary scene, click here!