Tantalizing Spring Salads
Attract Diners Like a Magnet
Salads used to be an uninspiring first or second course. Boy, have things changed. Salads have definitely evolved into a money-making entrée category that appeals to today’s health-conscious consumers.
Spring is an opportunity to attract diners to your door like a magnet with tantalizing salad entrees. Let’s check in at several choice restaurants to see what they have to offer.
Parish Café, with two locations in the Greater Boston area, has found great success with its version of Niçoise salad, a traditional mainstay on bistro menus. The Niçoise served at Parish Café features a grilled rare tuna steak topped with a dollop of wasabi aioli, served on a bed of greens. Kalamata olives, green beans, sliced hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes and cucumbers round out the meal. It’s served with fresh lemon and olive oil dressing.
At just 540 calories, the Asian chopped salad at BJ’s in Fort Wayne, Ind., is a winner chicken dinner. Grilled chicken breast shares billing with romaine, bibb lettuce, Napa cabbage, red bell peppers, snow peas, green onions, shredded carrots, sesame seeds, crisp wonton strips, cilantro and mandarin oranges. The dressing is honey-ginger. One of the outstanding menu items at Bonfire in St. Paul, Minn., is the chicken apple walnut salad, which stars both watercress and baby spinach, topped with rotisserie chicken, Granny Smith apples, toasted walnuts and bacon. The dressing is bacon vinaigrette.
Mix It Up
Consider these interesting ingredients for your next magnetic entrée salad: Arugula, radicchio, watercress, avocado, sprouts, heirloom tomatoes, haricots verte, zucchini, baby patty pan squash, daikon radishes, asparagus, mushrooms of all kinds, citrus fruits, pears, mango, papaya, blueberries, raspberries, watermelon, ancient grains, poached eggs, seafood and fish, cheeses, unusual croutons (toasted whole grain, Asiago focaccia, pita, naan, wonton strips), nuts and seeds (walnuts, pecans, macadamias, pine nuts, pepitos). Distinctive house-made dressings will also provide a point of difference for your establishment.