6 ways to spice up menus
Mediterranean dishes are increasingly appearing on menus around the country. And for good reason: Consumers gravitate to their clean, fresh flavors.
Mediterranean menu callouts have jumped 11.3% over the last five years, according to Technomic’s MenuMonitor data. What’s more, 32% of Baby boomers and 39% of female millennials rate Mediterranean foods as their preferred ethnic cuisine.
The good news for operators? It’s easy to incorporate Mediterranean flavors into your menu. Here are a few on-trend ways to do it.
Branch out with burger toppings
Hamburgers are the perfect way to experiment with new flavors. Skip the standard bacon-topped burger and go protein-on-protein in a novel way: Gyro meat. Kronos now makes it easy with its new KronoBROIL heat and serve authentic gyros slices. Add some feta and tzatziki, and the Mediterranean burger is ready to serve.
Ace the appetizers
Loaded fries and nachos are staples of many shareable appetizer menus. Differentiate these classics with bold, unexpected flavors. Top fries or pita chips with Mediterranean favorites such as chickpeas, garlicky red onion-cucumber salsa, hummus, mozzarella and feta. For a heartier option, add KronoBROIL slices.
Or, menu a shareable flatbread loaded with Mediterranean ingredients. Molyvos in New York City offers a starter trio of on-trend spreads featuring ingredients like roasted eggplant, capers, whipped Greek cheeses, chickpeas and more.
Be bold with bowls
Millennials, especially, gravitate toward customizable options. Add Mediterranean flair to build-your-own grain, rice or noodle bowls. Top bowls with roasted peppers and eggplant, mizithra cheese, olives, hummus and, for meat-eaters, marinated chicken breast or julienned KronoBROIL slices.
Get salad savvy
Think about weaving Mediterranean ingredients into salads and dressings. Bambara Kitchen & Bar in Cambridge, Mass., features a salad with tahini Caesar dressing as well as braised greens with hummus and sumac. Wendy’s recently added a Power Mediterranean Salad with feta, hummus, grilled chicken and sundried tomato-quinoa blend on greens.
Perk up pastas
Pastas are another “blank slate” food that most consumers enjoy, which makes them ripe for a Mediterranean makeover. Embellish pasta with roasted tomatoes, olives, chickpeas and feta. Add flavorful protein such as lamb, marinated chicken or chopped KronoBROIL slices. Newk’s Eatery offered a summer Bowtie Caesar Salad Pasta Salad with pesto, grape tomatoes and feta.
Don’t forget breakfast
Mediterranean flavors translate to savory breakfasts as well. And they work well on all-day breakfast menus. Consider a breakfast skillet with spinach, tomatoes, potatoes, red onions, feta, eggs and KronoBROIL slices. Perkins Restaurant & Bakery rolled out a Mediterranean Smasher with roasted tomatoes, spinach, feta, hollandaise and eggs on top of smashed potato tots.