Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Salad Daze Best of Flavor 2017

Braised Grass-fed Aussie Short Rib Salad with pretzel croutons and honey-bourbon vinaigrette
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Modern salads are taking cues from the bowl phenomenon, developing flavors and textures for a more mindful build. This Braised Grass-fed Aussie Short Rib Salad demonstrates the best of the trend, and was created by a team of three chefs (Ethan Speizer of Nuri in Napa; José Martínez of University of California, Berkeley; and Mary O’Neill Cronander of Hilton’s Parc 55-San Francisco) at a culinary ideation in San Francisco hosted by True Aussie Beef & Lamb, representing Australia’s beef and lamb farmers.

Mixed greens, napa cabbage, avocado, Fuji apple and fresh mint are dressed with a vinaigrette made from warmed honey, bourbon, shallots and olive oil. Braised grass-fed short ribs and pretzel croutons complete the build. “This salad is all about balance in flavor and texture,” says Catherine Golding, Business Development Manager for True Aussie Beef & Lamb. “Crunchy pretzel croutons, crisp apple and napa cabbage, and soft and rich avocado provide a variety of textures. The rich earthiness of the grass-fed short rib is offset by the sweet honey and bourbon in the dressing. It’s much more than the sum of its parts.”

This salad also helps with cross-utilization. “The elements come together very simply, and make use of make-ahead or leftover items, but contain lots of cues for today’s trend-savvy diner,” she says. “It looks—and is—very fresh and produce-driven, but can appeal to more than the typical salad customer.” Ideas for seasonal switch-ups include changing the dressing to a fennel, persimmon and blood-orange vinaigrette
for winter, and subbing in blue cheese for the avocado.

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