Insights

What You’ve Been Waiting for: Our 2018 Food Trends

It’s a new year, which means New Year’s resolutions, new habits, and, our personal favorite: our 2018 food trends. Though there’s no surefire way to predict the future, we’ve got a few guesses about the cooking techniques and ingredients that will take the spotlight in 2018. You may even see them on the Plated menu, so keep your eyes peeled…

Less-waste cooking

We love thinking about ways we can minimize waste in cooking, whether that’s using leftover stock to punch up a batch of rice or zesting a little lemon over a cheesy pasta dish. Expect to see even more of this in the coming year, especially in new and exciting ways—particularly with produce, where edible stems and leaves that have been overlooked in the past are now making an appearance (carrot-top pesto, anyone?).

The Plated Culinary Team couldn’t resist leaning even further into the trend in our own menu, as well. One example? In these Chimichurri Chicken Burgers, Chef Taylor chops up the stems of cilantro and parsley along with the leaves to make a vibrant chimichurri. Because they’re often discarded, many home chefs don’t realize that the stems of these herbs are packed with flavor—sometimes even more so than the leaves!

Vegetable entrées

The eat-less-meat movement isn’t new, but we predict that 2018 will open our eyes to new possibilities for veggie-based entrées. Gone are the days where the only vegetarian option on a restaurant menu is a salad with tofu—the produce itself is taking center stage, as would a steak or roast chicken.

Case in point: our Roasted Cauliflower Bibimbap, which swaps out the traditional beef or pork for the hearty winter veggie. The florets are tossed with a sweet and spicy mixture of brown sugar, soy sauce, gochujang, and sesame oil, then roasted until totally tender and a little crispy on the outside. We didn’t miss the meat at all when this came out of the Test Kitchen—and even went back for seconds!

Fermented foods

In the new year, get prepared to expand your fermented foods horizons. And no, we’re not just talking about pickles—other veggies, like onion and radish, get the treatment as well. The result is a satisfying burst of tart, salty acidity that will impress your dinner companions—and can be made at home in under an hour. Other benefits? They add satisfying crunchy texture and can provide a cooling element to hot meals. We’re very on board with this one.

All the pizza

We believe that pizza is timeless, and for good reason—we never get tired of the combination of crispy crust, fresh tomato sauce, and gooey cheese—but in 2018, it’s also trendy. You may have noticed the ever-increasing bounty of pizza options while dining out, and not only at by-the-slice joints. Restaurants like Emily in New York are providing more upscale offerings and breaking the norm with mashup-style pizzas, including one with Korean wing sauce, chicken, and scallions. Need. Fast-casual pizza spots are gaining popularity, as well—D.C. chain &pizza now has locations in New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland. Cheers to that!

We believe that pizza is timeless, and for good reason—we never get tired of the combination of crispy crust, fresh tomato sauce, and gooey cheese—but in 2018, it’s also trendy. In particular, it’s all about the crust, which, in our opinion can make or break or break a slice. This year’s #pizzagoals center around a perfectly golden, crispy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside base that will stand up to the toppings of your dreams. Always eager for a pizza challenge, we recently introduced a new skillet pizza technique with our Grandma Pie that crisps up the dough in an ovenproof pan. Expect that technique to make at least 1 appearance in the new year—for example, our Cacio e Pepe Skillet pizza, which relies on a picture-perfect crust to slather over the decadent cheesy, peppery sauce. We think this trend may just stand the test of time.

Love experimenting in the kitchen? Try Plated!

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