Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

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5 Ways To Modernize Salad  Incorporating unusual ingredients and combinations

In the salad space, you win by either sprucing up the old in creative and enticing new ways, or you win by actively searching for something boldly new. The “same old” will simply not work. Incorporating unusual ingredients or ingredient combinations are important considerations to woo younger customers looking for something different and enticing.

  1. Focus on vinaigrettes that either incorporate interesting vinegars or other acidic ingredients like citrus juices or pomegranate juice.
  2. If creamy dressings are a must, try Greek yogurt or puréed soft tofu—both ingredients have a health glow around them. 
  3. Incorporate other health-focused ingredients into the salads, including: grains, tofu, tempeh, fruits and vegetables.
  4. Consider cooking produce additions (like potatoes, beets, carrots, cauliflower) ahead of time in ways that optimize and intensify their flavors (smoking, grilling, roasting, etc.).
  5. Don’t shy away from intense flavors and ingredients.  Explore new combinations that potentially cross international boundaries.


About The Author


Chris Koetke has worked in culinary arts for almost four decades and recently founded Complete Culinary, LLC, a consulting firm dedicated to the 360° comprehensive view of food and beverage. This allows him to bring together his previous work experiences in international and national culinary education, sustainability, professional kitchens, R&D, writing, video work and television.