The opportunity with plant-based purées keeps pushing further into menu development, energized by a number of factors, from the hummus boom and veg-centric innovation to chefs looking to add complexity to textural combinations.
At Just Be Kitchen, a paleo and gluten/grain-free restaurant in Denver, the menu gets creative with plant-based purées. In its Wonder: Seasonal Veggie Hash, the spring/summer version stars roasted broccoli, mushrooms and asparagus, celeriac crisps, and a citrus-mint-almond gremolata, with a sweet potato purée as the base of the dish. The breakfast version gets a poached egg on top. In fall and winter, the hash switches out the sweet potato for a cauliflower purée and a cashew crema.
“The Wonder is a menu favorite that changes with the season,” says Jennifer Peters, founder. “We are always looking for a build on a soft base like the whipped purée or ‘crema’ to pair with the crunch of veggies and gremolata.”
On the Menu: Purées
- Charred Broccolini with nuoc cham, sunflower hummus, pomegranate seeds and puffed rice
- Red Snapper with sweet pea purée, asparagus, preserved lemon and new potatoes
—Brick & Tin, two locations in Birmingham, Ala.
- Grilled head-on Patagonian prawns served with charred eggplant purée, tomato-braised chickpeas
—Labriola Ristorante & Cafe, Chicago
- Daily Frittata: Eggs and seasonal vegetable purée, served with greens and lacto-fermented hot
—Sqirl, Los Angeles