Breakfast salad

For years we’ve been touting grains at breakfast. Now as diners continue to refine their diets and search for the healthiest menu items, we’re seeing greens and fresh vegetables make their way onto the plate.

A Fresh Start

Traditionally, breakfast can be a particularly starchy or fat-laden affair – think waffles, pancakes, bacon, and sausage. Health-conscious diners have been relegated to cereals, egg white omelets and oatmeal and the obligatory fruit salad. Vegetables on breakfast plates have hardly figured in as more than a garnish, or hidden in cheese-filled omelets and fatty skillets. As diners demand healthier menu items, this daypart is up for review. In the past, we’ve encouraged using whole grains in breakfast as a healthy source of protein and fiber – as part of a hash, in a wrap, or even folded into crepe batter. Now, we say it’s time to serve up grains in a fresh breakfast salad, highlighting their wholesome flavor and distinctive texture alongside seasonal vegetables and greens. According to InHarvest’s consulting Registered Dietician Amy Glodde, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It provides us with the energy and nutrients to get our day started. Whole grains and fresh vegetables provide lasting energy and important vitamins and minerals to nourish our bodies and set us on the right track for the day.” 

Global Influences

Chef Michael Holleman, Culinary Director at InHarvest
Chef Michael Holleman, Culinary Director at InHarvest

Americans are playing catch up when it comes to the breakfast salad. In the Middle East or Latin America, where fresh vegetables are readily available year-round, ingredients like salad greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, lentils and pickled vegetables are common at breakfast. It was while traveling abroad last year that Chef Michael Holleman, Culinary Director at InHarvest, was first inspired to consider developing a breakfast salad recipe. While in Paris, he ordered an omelet for breakfast that was served with a green salad. What, he thought, if rather than a side item, the salad was moved to the center of the plate, and what if it featured whole grains? 

The Story Behind The Salad

Recipe consultant Brent Frei had been nudging us towards the development of a breakfast salad for months. When a timely Bon Appétit article appeared around the same time as our new product Sprouted Sienna Red™ Rice, it was time to reinvent the whole grain salad, this time for breakfast.

When crafting a salad for the breakfast course the only essential ingredient is creativity. For our Sprouted Sienna Red Rice & Baby Greens Breakfast Salad with Green Goddess Dressing Chef Holleman looked for familiar breakfast ingredients that would complement the slightly sweet and nutty flavor of the Sprouted Sienna Red Rice. Wild mushrooms, tomatoes and bacon are savory omelet staples, and the tender baby greens provide a mild backdrop and a vehicle for mopping up rich poached egg yolk. In fact, when they created the recipe, Chef Holleman envisioned the yolk as the dressing. They added the Green Goddess dressing later because they loved the way its earthy, herbaceous flavor complemented the other ingredients – but it’s really optional.