Broad use vegetable ideas

Joined Jan 28, 2019
Hey guys, Exec Chef of a 6M+/year fine dining seafood restaurant here. We have a huge menu, and a handful of things are kinda “off limits” as far as changing them. The owner grew up in the restaurant while his parents ran it. A hand me down if you will. The place has been there for 42 years, and a couple items in the menu for that long. I’ve gotten the go ahead a few times to get rid of a couple of these items, and all the veteran servers are happy when I do. However, the second someone complains, back on the menu it goes. I’ve learned to just take that with a grain of salt, grin and bear. No big deal. One of these things is having a “raw bar side”, a side of starch and veg (typically a potato, currently garlic and herb roasted fingerling potatoes) that goes with any of our crab options from the raw bar. I like to switch up the veg seasonally. I’m currently doing a roasted spaghetti squash as the veg, and although it’s delicious, the color with the potatoes on a plate is just not very appealing. I have done so many different veg sides that have all gone over well for the most part, but this one is lacking vibrancy and color. I’m just looking for ideas on a basic vegetable ‘medley’ if you will, or any other suggestions. I just came off a of squash/zucchini based mix, with shrooms, tomato, onion and spinach. Nice and colorful, flavorful and easy, not too fussy for these old people. Id like to keep it affordable as we blow through a lot of it, lunch and dinner daily. Any suggestion are welcome and appreciated.

Now don’t get on that “Step up your game” shit, or “Man up and tell the owner it’s your kitchen” noise. The place is a landmark establishment. Like I said, it’s a huge menu, and I do plenty with the rest of it, it’s just these stupid, simple things get to me. The damn “house veg” is always a difficult one!
Joined Mar 1, 2017
Whenever I fell into rut like this, I went back to basics and rebuilt from there. Typically a trip to the farmer's (in season) helped. Like everyone else, I suppose, I gathered menu ideas from available ingredients. Thankfully, we have an excellent farmer's market where I live that runs from May to the End of October.

Here are some basic suggestions. Perhaps one of them will help jump start your idea machine? I tend to prefer roasted and grilled over water based cooking methods.

- Balsamic grilled vegetables - whatever is in season
- Roasted baby carrots - excellent color, easy to make and they present very well - honey glaze?
- Grilled asparagus with or without any sauce
- Baked or grilled zucchini sticks with or without parm
- Rosemary roasted anything
- Roasted mixed vegetables - pick whatever is in season
- Let's not overlook Ratatouille
- A fan favorite at my restaurant was (and still is) roasted Brussels sprouts
- Roasted butternut squash

These were at the tip of my brain. I'm sure I can come up with more if I spent some time sweeping the cobwebs out of my head. :)

Good luck
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