Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

On-trend – Plant-based Purees Plant-based purées are pushing further into menus

Sweet potato purée stars as the base of this seasonal hash at Denver’s Just Be Kitchen, while celeriac crisps add intrigue
PHOTO CREDIT: Sarah Addy Photography

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.”


Chicago’s Beatnik pairs charred broccolini with sunflower hummus, nuoc cham, pomegranate seeds and puffed rice, demonstrating modern textural play.

On The Menu: Purées

  • Charred Broccolini with nuoc cham, sunflower hummus, pomegranate seeds and puffed rice
    —Beatnik, Chicago
  • 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


From the Jul/Aug 2018 issue of Flavor & the Menu magazine. Read the full issue online or check if you qualify for a free print subscription.




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