Edible Trends: The Next Hot Fruits, Vegetables and Herbs

Chefs across the country discuss the hottest ingredients coming out of the ground and onto the plate.

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Rhubarb

"I think rhubarb is going to be on trend this year," says Craig Williams, pastry chef at Boston's Post 390. "With a little sugar and fresh fruit, it's a killer sour component to any dish. Its beautiful color is also hard to achieve naturally." 

Beet Greens

"Unusual produce has become popular due to food-based media exposure," says Michael Gordon, executive chef of Brooklyn Winery. "We may all be sick of kale by now, but turnip and beet greens are ready to take their place. 

Kohlrabi

"Chefs will be doing a lot more fermenting, pickling, pureeing, juicing and preserving in an effort to elevate the flavors and textures of simple ingredients like kohlrabi," says Brooklyn Winery executive chef Michael Gordon. 

Chia Seeds

Going "hand in hand with the yoga trend," Molly Hanson, executive pastry chef of Grill 23 & Bar in Boston says we'll see more chia seeds on and in our food this year. 

Heirloom Radishes

"I see heirloom radishes being used as a hot vegetable side dish to meat, poultry and fish entrees," says Eric Brennan, executive chef of Boston's Post 390. "We've served French breakfast radishes sautéed in goat's milk butter alongside a crisp roasted salmon and plan to use this spring through fall as a side dish." 

So Long Spuds

Goodbye potatoes, hello radishes! Look for chefs to use this subtly spicy vegetable in place of spuds this year. "They sauté and roast very well, are relatively inexpensive, easy to grow and take the place of a potato, avoiding high carbs," says Eric Brennan, executive chef of Boston's Post 390

Sunflower Seeds

"Seeds can have different applications in desserts, by they add a healthful aspect along with a unique flavor and texture profile," says Molly Hanson, executive pastry chef of Grill 23 & Bar. Expect to see sunflower and pumpkin seeds popping up on top of treats this year. 

Squash

Calling all squash: Get ready for your close-up! "I think we'll see chefs return to many of the more humble vegetables this year, like roots, squash and greens," says Michael Gordon, executive chef of Brooklyn Winery

Thai Basil

Known for its licorice-like flavor, Thai basil could be the "it" herb this year. At TAO Asian Bistro in Las Vegas, chef/partner Ralph Scamardella uses it with red curry on his diver sea scallops.

Parsley

"I think we're getting back to simple herbs like fresh parsley and mint," says Ralph Scamardella, chef/partner of TAO Group in New York. "Simplicity is the new trend, keeping dishes fresh and bright." 

Apples

"We are returning to the apple," says Hillary Lewis, founder of Lumi Juice in Charlottesville, Virginia. "Eat them raw or drink them through the cold pressed method to maximize your intake of vitamin C and antioxidant properties." 

Baby Celery

"Baby celery has a distinct celery stalk essence and its versatility lends well to garnishes, salads and soups," says Steve McHugh, executive chef and owner of Cured in San Antonio. "We pickle our baby celery and use it in our buffalo-style sweetbreads along with goat cheese ranch. It adds just the right bit of piquancy to the dish." 

Artichoke Bottoms

"The fleshy base section of an artichoke bottom has a very tender texture and is the perfect size to hold the poached egg in our signature dish, eggs Sardou," says Slade Rushing, executive chef of Brennan's in New Orleans. "We give it additional texture through breading and frying." 

Napa Cabbage

"Napa cabbage is leafy, crunchy, slightly sweet and makes for an excellent side to heartier or more succulent proteins," says Robert Weidmaier, executive chef and owner of Marcel's in Washington, DC. "I like to sauté it in a bit of rendered bacon fat until it wilts, then add butter, currants and a little salt and pepper to taste." 

Collard Greens

"Collards are the kale of the South," says David Guas, executive chef and owner of Bayou Bakery, Coffee Bar & Eatery in Arlington, Virginia. "It's a staple in Louisiana cooking for a reason: It's delicious, versatile and is tough enough to stand up for hours of slow cooking to build and absorb flavor while maintaining its nutrients." 

Pakistan Mulberries

Victor Scargle, executive chef of Lucy Restaurant and Bar at Bardessono in Yountville, California, says Persian and Pakistan mulberries "are always an incredible option." He'll use the under-the-radar berries in various applications, including a tasty shake with freshly picked mint. 

Epazote

"I think fresh epazote will be a trendy herb to use in 2015," says Michael Armstrong, executive chef of Bodega Negra in New York City. "With the increasing popularity of modern Mexican cuisine, I expect to see more uses of epazote in cooking."