At the Leonard Florence Center for Living, summer not only means outdoor activities and outings, but also the debut of a new seasonal menu!

Planning a new menu is always an exciting undertaking for the dietary team. It’s a great opportunity (and challenge) to experiment with different flavors and techniques as well as update traditional favorites. Our upcoming menu does just that: we showcase summer’s most delicious and bountiful offerings in stand-alone entrees. Often, we add a little zest to perennial classics with fresh herbs or unique ingredients.

The summer heat brings a lighter quality to many menu items. For example, poached salmon with lemon-dill vinaigrette, summer borscht with cabbage and tomatoes, and a zucchini-corn chowder are all new items on the summer menu. We’ll also be bringing a bit of the tropics to the Center with a crispy coconut chicken dish paired with a deliciously sweet and tangy mango salsa.

Keep in mind that summertime means that fresh produce is plentiful. And nothing says summer quite like cool and refreshing salads. While we feature many old favorites, we’ll also be offering innovative salads with a variety of textures and flavors, such as a corn, feta and avocado salad with a cilantro-lime vinaigrette.

Classic picnic and BBQ fare are also an integral part in the seasonal menu. Items such as pulled BBQ brisket, grilled chicken tips, hamburgers, and macaroni salad will be gracing our dining and patio tables regularly in June, July and August.

Of course, no summertime meal would be complete without something sweet! This year, we’ll be highlighting fresh melon salads, fresh berry and yogurt parfaits and, back by popular demand, the much-loved ice cream sundae.

Most definitely, it’s going to be a bountiful summer full of fresh, seasonal ingredients, mouth-watering recipes and wonderful food. Happy summer, everyone!

This blog is courtesy of Michelle Donovan, Food Service Director at the Leonard Florence Center for Living in Chelsea, MA.

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