Salads have long been associated with dieting and lonely work lunches, but Victoria’s best chefs have evolved the humble salad from drab to fab.
1. Salad for Breakfast
Originally the preference of elite athletes or the ‘do you even lift’ type, the breakfast salad is now a staple for the common people. While it was once placed at the bottom of a menu, almost as an apology, the breakfast salad now commands prime menu real estate. The variations stop at the chefs imagination, but the superfood supercharged type still reigns supreme, like the Barry raw broccolini, kale, avocado, lentils, chilli, basil, activated almonds, coriander, pepitas and soft boiled egg breakfast salad. Barry, 85 High St Northcote
2. Pickle Me This
Once a historical method for preserving food, pickled vegetables are now renowned for packing a powerful probiotic punch. With gut health awareness on the rise, pickled vegetables are making it onto the menu at some of Melbourne’s healthiest cafes. Plain Sailing is doing its bit to improve the health of Victoria with its Nourish Bowl featuring pickled vegetable salad, with the option to pickle load by adding cured ocean trout. While Wonderpop & Deli will be featuring fermented ingredients such as miso, organic vegetables and curds. lain Sailing, 144 Ormond Road, Elwood , Wonderpop & Deli, Little Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
3. The Disappearing Salad
The line between a salad, a side and a bowl is getting blurred, summed up by Gerard Phelan, Montalto Head Chef “over time, what has been considered a salad has evolved into much more than that. Even the use of the word salad seems to be changing, disappearing somewhat.” Salads are now likely to feature vegetables cooked in interesting ways, such as Montalto’s renowned cos, goat cheese, buttermilk and chive dish, with the cos lettuce chargrilled on an asado grill. Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove, 22 Shoreham Rd, Red Hill South
4. Side of Protein
Remember the days of picking a protein and selecting a side of salad? Now flip that. The rise of consumers looking for ways of addressing healthy lifestyle choices and lean eating has seen the move towards salad served as a main and a choose your own adventure protein option. St Ali is South Melbourne are masters of the DIY, with its Roasted Brocolli and Grain Salad able to be paired with over 10 sides, including polish sausage, Phillipe Mouchel Salmon Gravalax or for the especially fancy they offer a Beluga Caviar Service. St Ali, 12-18 Yarra Place, South Melbourne
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