Flavor Trends, Strategies and Solutions for Menu Development

Topping Hummus Chefs are finding creative ways to add signature garnishes to the ever-popular hummus

A hummus base enriched with pureed beets makes a brilliant canvas for a topping of sour cream and spiced nuts.

Hummus is a menu superstar today, serving up a wonderful platform for innovation. There’s a wealth of creative spins on this plant-based purée, from beet or avocado hummus to lentil or black bean. Chefs are also now using toppers to add textural contrast, flavor complexity and that all-important menu distinction. Here are five ways to dial up hummus offerings:

1) Tap the Eastern Med

Delve into the vibrant pantry here, adding both gorgeous color and bold flavor as a garnish.
—pomegranate molasses
—za’atar-roasted tomatoes
—shredded chicken shawarma

2) Leverage Veg-Centric Stars

Perhaps the most straightforward way to ramp up a plant-based purée is by topping it with plant-forward ingredients—ones that bring the promise of nuanced and sometimes unexpected flavor.
—honey-glazed carrots
—turmeric-roasted cauliflower florets
—pickled beets

3) Build on a Familiar Flavor System

Why reinvent the wheel? Instead, maximize the built-in familiarity and popularity of beloved, tried-and-true flavors—all over a delicious base of hummus
—Buffalo chicken, crumbled blue cheese, shaved celery
—bruschetta-style tomatoes, fresh basil and croutons
—tikka masala chicken, crispy-fried basmati rice

4) Go with the Seasons

Switch out hummus toppers according to seasonal highlights.
—sweet peas and mint
—heirloom tomatoes and basil
—butternut squash and pumpkin spice

5) Heat Things Up

So many of today’s dining consumers respond favorably to heat, especially when it’s tempered with either savory or sweet. Using this combination in a hummus topper brings nuance and excitement.
—soy-glazed shishito peppers
—harissa and honey-glazed crispy pork
—shredded chicken shawarma
—maple-Sriracha bacon

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About The Author


Katie Ayoub is managing editor of Flavor & The Menu. She has been working in foodservice publishing for more than 16 years and on the Flavor team since 2006. She won a 2015 Folio award for her Flavor & The Menu article, Heritage Matters. In 2006, she won “Best Culinary Article” from the Cordon D’Or for an article on offal.