Salads don't have to be green to be healthful: Food-cost-friendly whole grains take center stage in these sweet and savory starters.
This article first appeared in the 1 March 2010 issue of Restaurants & Institutions (R&I).
R&I is the USA's leading source of food and business-trend information and exclusive research on operators and restaurant patrons. Editorial coverage spans the entire foodservice industry, including chains, independent restaurants, hotels and institutions. Visit the R&I website to find out more about the magazine or to search its recipe database.
By Christine LaFave Grace, Associate Editor
BULGUR SALAD (pictured above)
Sweet Surrender, Louisville, Ky. For this hearty salad, bulgur (steamed, dried and crushed wheat kernels) is cooked in water and apple juice and combined with diced pear, dried cranberries and dried apricots. An apple-cider vinaigrette stirred into the fruity blend provides a touch of acidity. A pinwheel of pear slices decorates entrée portions.
CRACKED WHEAT SALAD
Temple Bar, Cambridge, Mass. The vegetable stock used to steep bulgur, garlic and shallots lends depth of flavor in Chef Michael Scelfo's recipe. The mixture, matched with teardrop tomatoes, sliced green onions and chopped herbs, is tossed in olive oil and lemon juice. Chive oil and house-made ginger-harissa aïoli on the side make zesty accents.
1789 Restaurant, Washington, D.C. Nutty farro anchors a first course that showcases yellow, red and candy-cane beets. Chef Dan Giusti roasts the beets and thinly sliced fennel and then tosses them with farro and red onions in a sherry vinaigrette that includes orange juice and Dijon mustard. Baby arugula and shaved baby carrots top the finished salad.
WARM SESAME BARLEY RICE SALAD
Compass Group, multiple locations. This Asian-inspired offering features pearl barley and brown rice dressed in sesame oil, soy sauce and rice vinegar. Sautéed shiitake mushrooms and zucchini play up the grains' earthy notes, while sugar snap peas, peppers and carrots add sweetness, color and crunch. Toasted sesame seeds are sprinkled on top.