As the new year takes root, it brings new food trends for 2015, and CBC's On the Coast food columnist Anya Levykh explains why fresh vegetables and farmed salmon will be big this year.

Healthy eating - The success of vegetarian and vegan restaurants such as The Acorn, The Parker and Graze in Vancouver, along with "vegetable-forward" restaurants such as Burdock & Co. and Farmer's Apprentice, points to more of the same. Look for minimally-processed foods and whole grains as well.

cauliflower

Cauliflower is expected to be one of the hot vegetables of the year. (Julie Van Rosendaal)

Cauliflower - It's the wonder food of the moment. It's low in starch and high in nutritional value. Expect to see whole, roasted heads on menus, seasoned with Middle Eastern herbs and spices.

Israeli-inspired food - The cuisine of Israel is having its moment in the sun right now. Cookbook author and restaurateur Yotam Ottolenghi has had a lot to do with this recent surge in Israeli food. 

It's vegetable-based and flavours such as lemon, coriander, thyme and yogurt are prominent. Head to Yew at Four Seasons and My Shanti in South Surrey to sample the combinations of ingredients that have made Israeli food so popular.

Yotam Ottolenghi

Cookbook author and restaurateur Yotam Ottolenghi has popularized Isreali food beyond hummus and tahini. (ottolenghi.co.uk)

Farmed fish - There's a move away from wild to farmed when it comes to fish, but we're not talking about open-net pens. 

Farmed salmon is coming from land-based aquaculture by Vancouver Island's 'Namgis First Nation. That means fish are raised in closed-containment tanks that are above-ground and don't affect wild salmon stocks. 

The salmon is already on the menu at restaurants such as Bearfoot Bistro in Whistler and Blue Water Cafe in Vancouver, and should become more widely available this year. 

New restaurants to watch for: 

  • Grapes and Soda, a small wine bar by Farmer's Apprentice owners David Gunawan and Dara Young
  • The owners behind the food truck Tacofino will open Taco Bar, a Gastown restaurant with an expanded menu
Farmer's Apprentice

Farmer's Apprentice restaurant will offer up more delicious vegetable-forward dishes in its new wine bar next door to the South Granville establishment. (farmersapprentice.ca)

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts and Grainy Mustard Sauce

Reprinted with permission from Gatherings: Bringing People Together with Food by Julie Van Rosendaal. www.whitecap.ca

  • 8 cups (2 L) Brussels sprouts
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) honey
  • 2 Tbsp (30 mL) grainy Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) walnuts, roughly chopped

1. Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).

2. Slice ends off of the bottoms of the sprouts and cut each sprout in half. Remove the outer leaves and the toss the rest onto a large, rimmed baking sheet, separating some of the leaves from the core.

3. Add a few large glugs of olive oil, and season well with sea salt and lots of fresh ground pepper, massaging the oil and spices into the sprouts. Place the cut sides down on the pan and bake for 12–15 minutes, or until the leaves are a dark amber colour and the cores are nicely caramelized.

4. Combine the honey and grainy Dijon mustard in a small bowl. Transfer the cooked veggies to a serving bowl, add the walnuts, drizzle the mustard sauce over and gently toss to combine.

Party Pointer: This dish is amazing as is, but for fun I like to replace the walnuts with chopped up bits of leftover ham (not the deli kind) and serve as a side for pizza night. The sprouts can be roasted up to 6 hours in advance and gently warmed before serving.

Serves 6–8