Salad Toppings

Salad Toppings

COLOR AND CRUNCH: Nuts and dried fruit are two convenient ways to dress up salad specials.

THREE SQUARES A DAY: Ready-made croutons can enhance a variety of foods.

When you're adding texture, color, contrast and flavors to salads, the choices are vast: Croutons, nuts, seeds and dried fruits are among the possibilities.

Customers appreciate the nutrition boost, and restaurant operators appreciate the profit-building opportunities. To increase the crunch-quotient of salads, consider adding crispy extras such as croutons, wontons, tortilla strips or fried onions.

If you don't have a kitchen operation that can support making these toppings, you can take advantage of ready-to-serve products such as flavored nuts, dried fruits and plain or flavored croutons. Especially when convenience and food safety are issues, toppings such as ready-made croutons will allow you to add consistent crispness to salads. What's more, you can do so in a labor-saving way.

It's no coincidence that Caesar salad is high on the list of America's favorites. It's a simple, classic salad, that's easily adapted. Among its few ingredients are croutons, which add texture and flavor. Flavored croutons can work their magic for house salads as well, by adding a substantial note.