KANSAS CITY — In food service, the future might be ancient. Ancient grains are growing in new menu item launches, from now-common quinoa to less-familiar farro.
Panera Bread is combining quinoa with pulled chicken in its new Southwest Chili Lime Ranch Salad. The dish features smoked, pulled chicken, romaine lettuce, arugula, adobo corn blend, quinoa tomato sofrito blend, cilantro and masa crisps tossed in chili lime rojo ranch topped with feta and avocado.
Zoës Kitchen is also serving a new salad with quinoa. The chain’s Quinoa Salad features quinoa, carrots, cabbage, green onion, red peppers, tomatoes, celery, feta and a lemon vinaigrette and may be eaten with the customer’s choice of chicken, steak, salmon or shrimp.
Brio Tuscan Grille favors farro in its new offerings. The restaurant’s Fresh Catch with Seasonal Vegetable Salad features grilled and lightly seasoned fish, shaved Brussels sprouts, asparagus, farro, grape tomatoes, arugula, Marcona almonds, Reggiano and lemon vinaigrette. Brio’s Marinated Skirt Steak features a marinated skirt steak on a bed of farro, haricot vert, grape tomatoes, and chickpeas topped with feta, Marcona almonds, dill and toasted spice vinaigrette.
Bravo Cucina Italiana also features farro in its new Grilled Balsamic Chicken. The dish features balsamic-glazed grilled chicken breast on a bed of orzo, farro, zucchini and roasted red peppers, topped with asparagus and feta.
California Pizza Kitchen is debuting two new bowls: one with chicken and quinoa and one with chicken and farro. The Banh Mi Bowl features a blend of quinoa, baby kale, grilled chicken, watermelon radishes, avocado, cucumbers, carrots, bean sprouts, scallions, cilantro, mint, sesame seeds, serrano peppers and a chili-lime vinaigrette. The Santa Fe Bowl is a Southwestern-inspired blend of cilantro farro, spinach, lime chicken, tomatoes, sweet corn, black beans, red cabbage, avocado, poblano peppers and toasted pepitas served with poblano ranch.