CARROTS ARE THE NEW PORK BELLY. Cauliflower is the new steak. Kale salad is the new burger: There is one on every menu in town. Vegetables, so long supporting players of restaurant meals, are finally landing the starring role. After years of glorifying charcuterie, bacon, and hefty chops, chefs are beginning to push produce.
“Vegetables really are the focus” of these new dishes, says Michael Scelfo, chef-owner of Alden & Harlow in Harvard Square, one of the new restaurants putting vegetables first. “Components are being paired to the vegetable itself, treating it like you’d treat a protein. More people are eating small plates-style and communal-style, and that lends itself to vegetables.”