Amber Dias plates up a summer fare that’s eclectic, fresh and deliciously vibrant.
Everything is better in colour, especially food. And there’s no better time than summer to add a burst of freshness and colour to your meals. It’s healthier and just brightens up the plate, bringing a fun vibe to meals and party treats – be it brunch, dinner or even a barbecue.
Say Yes To Colour
When it comes to prepping a meal in this weather, keeping it light and fresh are at the top of the checklist, but keeping it bright and colourful is just as important. Just ask the experts… “I think it’s important for meals to have a burst of colour because it plays an important role in how we perceive food and can affect our appetite and enjoyment of a meal. Vibrant colours can make a dish look more appetising and visually appealing, which can in turn make us more likely to want to eat it. Additionally, different colours in food can indicate the presence of certain nutrients or antioxidants, so a colourful plate can be a sign of a well-balanced and nutritious meal. Finally, incorporating a variety of colours in a dish can add depth and complexity to its overall flavour profile, making it a more satisfying and memorable culinary experience,” says, Rachel Goenka, CEO, The Sassy Spoon & House of Mandarin. And she’s not alone; Sujith Shetty, Owner of Balmy, adds, “Adding a pop of colour to any plate makes it look more appetising and hence psychologically it is more likely to be consumed. However, the colour on a plate should be derived from natural, organic and healthy ingredients that do not cause harm. Different colours in food are associated with different nutrients as well. Hence by incorporating a variety of colourful foods into meals, we can ensure that we are getting a wide range of nutrients. Colours are also associated with mood and emotions and hence it can help in creating a more positive and uplifting dining experience.”
Reinforcing just how healthy adding colourful ingredients to the plate can be is Prasuk Jain, Founder, Amazonia, who avers, “We have always heard about the benefits of eating the rainbow; the richer and more vibrant the colour, the higher the content of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. I think it’s important for the most part as it directly helps with the promotion of good health.”
“Incorporating a variety of colours in a dish can add depth and complexity to its overall flavour profile, making it a more satisfying and memorable culinary experience.” – Rachel Goenka
“The richer and more vibrant the colour, the higher the content of nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.” – Prasuk Jain
“The colour on a plate should be derived from natural, organic an healthy
ingredients.” – Sujith Shetty
Rainbow On The Menu
When you think colour, the first thing that comes to mind is an array of fruit and veg, and you’re not wrong. But that doesn’t mean meat lovers are out for the count. Golden grilled chicken, prawns, salmon and other seafood, easily make their way into summer fare, paired with a lovely selection of greens and perhaps red and yellow peppers to make the plate pop. A soft-boiled egg is also a great way to get your dose of protein and add a splash of yellow to your meal.
Watermelon is always a seasonal favourite. The luscious red is a treat for the eyes, while the fruit itself is a viable candidate for sweet and savoury treats. Try a classic watermelon and feta salad, or think out of the box with a slow-cooked melon steak. It’s also a cool choice for drinks and desserts. Another multi-use fruit that’s gaining popularity is grapefruit, which brings a subtle blush pink and a flavourful punch. And while we’re talking fruits, mangoes are a must-have and much like the fruits that precede them, they are a versatile ingredient that plumps up any course.
• Use the shells of watermelons, oranges or other fruits to serve up salads or desserts
• Drop a slice of lemon, fruit, or herbs into your ice trays before freezing
• Use cookie cutters to cut fruit and vegetables into fun shapes
• Skewer fruits from dark to light for a mesmerising, ombre effect
• Use sugar-shell tea or drink bombs to add a little theatre to the menu
Baby tomatoes are another rush of red that spice up any plate and make a striking contrast with the bright yellow of corn or the sizzling orange of carrots. Cucumbers are an evergreen trend, from salads to sandwiches to flavoured water, they bring a spark of green freshness that cannot be ignored. Red cabbage, onions, classic greens, orange cold cuts and cheeses are other ways to brighten up your plate. If you’re hosting a party for picky eaters, however, one of the best things to do is set up a DIY station and let your guests mix and match as they like.
The most important thing to remember though is to have fun with your selections. When it comes to food, we’re spoilt for choice. So experiment, try new things and serve up a delectable rainbow at your table.