The emerging trend of meat-free Mondays might not have much of a direct impact on a restaurant trade, but clever Chefs are re-engineering menus to widen the appeal of vegetable dishes that will please patrons all week long.
While steaks, schnitzels and salmon will never disappear from the menu, an increasing number of diners are looking for filling or “meaty” vegetable-only dishes as an occasional alternative, if not a regular option.
Pasta is also making room for grains and seeds, such as quinoa and brown rice, spelt, barley, black rice, kamut and buckwheat as the filling aspect of a main dish.
In the greens department, while kale has been king for the past few years as a salad ingredient or chip, Chefs are now looking to shaved seasonal fennel or brussel sprouts as salad alternatives.
There has also been a rise in other flavoursome veg and greens as clever additions to salads and bowls, such as zucchini, edamame and even seaweed.
Sweet potato is also stepping up and can be increasingly seen in salads or used as chunky chips, wedges or fries.
As the weather begins to cool, restaurant alternatives to potatoes include baked celeriac and cauliflower florets as substantial winter veg, topped with an assortment of flavours, from tahini and za’atar in the case of cauli to celeriac wedges with balsamic, or roasted celeriac with spiced apple and parsnip.