Spring is the perfect time for a wedding, when nature is starting to stir and everything is fresh and new. What better way to share the joy of your own new beginning than by treating your guests to a sensational spring wedding menu?
The secret to planning an incredible wedding menu is actually simple. Just remember: Food is only as good as its ingredients. If you design your menu around fresh, local, in-season ingredients, you will elevate the meal into an unforgettable feast. Here’s a fresh look at nine amazing Utah ingredients that are at their best right now.
Carrots are Earth’s gems waiting to be discovered! If you grew up thinking that carrots are orange, it’s time for a lesson. The orange varieties found in school lunches and grocery shelves are modern strains that were bred for their appearance, yield, and shelf-life, but not necessarily for flavor. For centuries, carrots have been purple, yellow, red, white, or even black. Older strains of carrots, called heirlooms, offer an amazing variety of flavors and colors, and spring is the ideal time to taste them for yourself!
It’s also the ideal season for baby carrots, which are not the shaved carrot nuggets you see in the store. True baby carrots are harvested while they’re still immature, so they taste amazingly fresh and sweet. Braised, sautéed, or roasted, they complement a huge range of entrees, or are astonishingly good on their own.
These delightful little delicacies have curled fronds that look like the head of a violin. Fresh and slightly nutty tasting, they can make a unique substitute for asparagus or green beans. They’re only available for a short time in the spring, but they’re wonderful on pasta, rice, or risotto, especially paired with fish. Their unusual appearance and taste gives any entree an extra classy touch.
Rocky Mountain Trout
Among the trifecta of wedding entrees “chicken, steak, or fish,” the one that spikes in popularity in the spring is fish. As the weather warms, people want to get away from the heavy comfort foods of winter. There’s no better way to keep your main protein light and fresh than with Rocky Mountain Trout. A healthy choice, trout pairs beautifully with other spring ingredients like mushrooms, greens, and (believe it or not) strawberry salsa.
Sure, you can find strawberries year-round, but they’re never as delicious as they are in the spring. These beautiful symbols of love are gorgeous in salads, pastries, charcuterie boards, and a million different desserts. You could base your whole menu around strawberries! (We’d crash that wedding.)
Rhubarb is one of the first spring plants to appear. If you peel it and douse it with salt, rhubarb can be enjoyed as a raw, mouth-puckering treat straight out of the ground. But there are far better ways to do rhubarb. Its strong, tangy flavor complements strawberries in almost any dessert you can imagine, but it also makes a great balance to caramel, vanilla, cream, orange, honey—anything sweet. Or you can enjoy it in a goat cheese crostini or a seasonal cocktail. It’s a super fun ingredient to play with.
Asparagus is one of our absolute favorite spring ingredients because it’s delicious and so easy to prepare. All it takes is a little olive oil, salt, and pepper—roast it in the oven and voila! In restaurants you’ll often see asparagus smothered in some kind of sauce. We have nothing against sauces except that they’re sometimes used as a crutch when the underlying ingredients aren’t great. Use fresh, quality asparagus and your guests will be amazed at how sensational this simple ingredient tastes on its own. We only ask you refrain from steaming or blanching asparagus; that just makes it waterlogged.
Morels and other wild mushrooms
Mushrooms are finicky and seasonal, so there are some kinds you’ll find only in the spring. If you’re a mushroom fan, you probably know that Utah is rich in both wild and domesticated shrooms. Each edible variety, from morels and chanterelle to pig’s ear and puff balls, has its own flavor spectrum. Thrown into pasta, served with asparagus and spring onions, or paired with fish or beef (or lamb, a traditional “spring” meat), mushrooms bring a flavorful punch to your spring wedding menu. Just leave it to the pros to decide which ones are safe to serve!
Also known as pea shoots or pea tendrils, these are the vines of young pea plants. They have a sweet, mild flavor, and are abundant in the spring, which means this is when you can get them cheap! They add a nutritious and delicious crunch to salads, cold soups, or sandwiches, or they can make a fun garnish.
To give your wedding table a stunning splash of spring color, add edible flowers. Snapdragons, petunias, dianthus, and pansies are available locally in the spring. They’re an easy way to add elegance and beauty to any dish or drink.
The big “secret” to planning a sensational spring wedding menu is no secret at all. Just make the most of what we already have here in abundance: delicious, fresh, in-season ingredients. Treat your guests to Utah’s best ingredients and we guarantee they’ll be talking about the food for years to come.
See more top wedding menu tips from our friends at Culinary Crafts here!