Getting to the Root of Fall Produce

Grilled pumpking warm salad with arugula, walnuts and pomegranate seeds on a black plate over dark wooden background.Top view with copy space.

After months of sweet corn, juicy tomatoes, and plump strawberries, customers are ready to make the seasonal shift to fall menus full of earthy, comforting fresh produce like squashes, pumpkins, carrots, potatoes, and yams.

Get inspired to create your seasonal menu with these ideas full of vibrant colors, bold textures, and cooking techniques that maximize flavor:

  • Balance the bitter, peppery flavors of Ready-Set-Serve (RSS) Wild Arugula with the sweetness of roasted Butternut squash, and the umami notes of shaved Parmesan cheese.
  • Offer the simple, yet classic French side dish ratatouille: chop and roast Markon First Crop (MFC) Zucchini and Yellow Squash, MFC Eggplant, RSS Peeled Garlic, MFC Yellow Onions, MFC Red Bell Peppers, MFC Roma Tomatoes, and MFC Thyme.
  • Gluten-free gnocchi? Substitute cleverly carved Butternut squash cubes for the potato pasta to pump up the vitamin and fiber content; season with MFC Sage, pomegranate seeds, and chopped pistachios.
  • Offer a French fry substitute with oven-baked, panko-battered strips of MFC Zucchini—your dish will be lower in calories, higher in nutrients, and packed with flavor.
  • The foodie favorite chicken and waffles has gone mainstream, spawning healthier vegetarian versions that replace the fried meat with ingredients like roasted Butternut squash, candied pecans, and fried sage leaves.
  • Hand-held treats are very on-trend; instead of serving slices, update the traditional sweet potato pie by baking the subtly spicy filling in empanada dough.
  • Streamline ingredients to bypass supply chain challenges: Save space, reduce labor and waste, and ensure orders are filled by cross utilizing pre-washed and cut Ready-Set-Serve products that can be used in every daypart.
  • Sports Menus Fortify your game day menus with fun, interactive options that have a health halo (think healthy nachos, fresh salsas, bean and vegetable dips with cruciferous dippers).
  • Back To School: Young people go crazy for rice and noodle bowls stacked with fresh fruit and vegetables—especially when they can customize.
  • Focus on wellness Just because the summer is over and comfort food is coming back, doesn’t mean folks want to stray from healthy eating (with a few splurges). Incorporating more fresh produce across the menu is good for people, planet, and the bottom line.

Diners are increasingly hyper-focused on high-protein and plant-based foods. Alongside all of the new-fangled, lab-based, cell-cultured options out there is the humble bean. A staple food for millenia, beans are being re-examined as a healthy, versatile ingredient worthy of menu inclusion.

  • Retro and heirloom recipes—like Southern succotash, French cassoulet, and Cajun red beans and rice—fit the bill for those in search of authenticity.
  • Most world cuisines incorporate some type of bean in their classic dishes. Think feijoada in Brazil, black beans and rice with plantains in Puerto Rico, and garbanzo beans in Israel. Modern interpretations of these recipes are packed with produce and herbs.
  • The creamy texture of mung beans is proving an ideal substitute for those that are eliminating soy from their diets.