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Consumers aren’t giving up burgers and fries, but they want options. They often look for restaurants that demonstrate a commitment to healthy choices and sustainability. Farm to table menus offer both. The concept combines local sourcing with hoof to nose and root to stem cooking, and it brings in business across all types of foodservice operations.
Farm to Table Menu Ideas: 16 Sensational Ways to Stay Seasonal
You ensure your restaurant’s success by incorporating the freshest ingredients into every single dish. The farm to table model is a perfect platform for building on that strategy, and it delivers business benefits too.
By working with local vendors and trusted produce suppliers, you can develop different menus that reflect each season. It’s a strong marketing plan that engages regular customers and attracts new dining guests.
Celebrate Spring From Farm to Table
Keep dishes light with ingredients that celebrate this time of year. Broccoli, romaine, lamb and veal are great starters for inspiring spring farm to table menu ideas.
1. Toss Seasonal Fruit and Romaine
Craft a beautiful spring salad with premium romaine hearts and seasonal fruits. Crunchy apples and pears complement the crisp romaine while a sprinkle of toasted walnuts give this salad extra healthy texture.
2. Serve Broccoli for Brunch
Fresh broccoli meets locally sourced cheddar in a brunch casserole sure to please springtime appetites. This recipe works with a variety of spring vegetables making the flexible casserole perfect as a daily or weekly menu special.
3. Cook Up a Rich Ragu With Lamb
Lamb is always a spring favorite, and the shoulder is an ideal base for a delicious ragu. Pairing it with spring-fresh artichokes creates a dish that adds wonderful Italian accents to your spring farm to table menu.
4. Pan-Fry Panko Veal Chops
Veal is another entree that celebrates springtime. This recipe offers an unusual take on traditional flavors with a creme fraiche and sorrel sauce. A panko crust keeps the pan-fried veal ribs moist as they finish with a quick oven roast.
Sizzle With Summer Farm to Table Menu Ideas
Let your restaurant customers stay cool with recipes that take the edge off summer heat. It’s a great time of year to stock up on harvest from fields, orchards, farms and docks.
1. Chill With Citrus and Mint
Pair the cool flavor of fresh mint with the tang of grapefruit and oranges to create an irresistible summer salad. Nestle the ingredients in bowls of baby iceberg lettuce, and dress with yogurt and honey.
2. Surprise With Zucchini Chips
Summer is the season for farm-sourced zucchini perfect for crisping in a hot oven. Set out zucchini chips as Happy Hour snacks, or offer them as appetizers and sides. They’re quick to prep and always popular with customers.
3. Combine Chicken and Berries
Strawberries and blueberries elevate grilled chicken salad with special summer flavors. Romaine and red leaf lettuce add to the colorful presentation, and a marinade dressing finishes it off with sweet and tangy notes.
4. Combine Crab and Shrimp
This example of dock to table cooking brings together fresh crab and shrimp. The Louisiana classic includes summertime heirloom tomatoes and microgreens. Top with a balsamic vinegar dressing, and serve as an entree salad.
Warm Up Fall With Inviting Farm to Table Dishes
The best fall farm to table menu ideas are developed around easily sourced ingredients and warm, rich flavors. From pumpkins to salmon, fall’s bounty offers a wealth of recipe inspiration.
1. Give Sprouts a Korean Roast
Roasted Brussels sprouts always pair well with chilly weather. This recipe gives the tradition a savory twist. Korean-style sprouts reimagine the classic roast with shallots, ginger and kimchi dressed in honey and fish sauce.
2. Put Fresh Pumpkin in Risotto
Pumpkins are a natural choice for farm to table fall cooking, and they partner perfectly with fresh pears. Together, the two turn out a silky risotto that’s ideal as a stand-alone dish or a stand-out side.
3. Caramelize Fresh-Caught Salmon
This is another dock to table entree that’s healthy, delicious and seasonal. Caramelized salmon keeps back of house happy with fast, simple prep. It keeps customers coming back with its sweet and salty take on a fall favorite.
4. Brine and Roast Chicken
The rich flavor of dark molasses turns poultry into a fall classic with this roasted chicken recipe. An overnight brine soak yields a tender, juicy bird ready for quick prep during busy lunch or dinner services.
Serve Hearty Fare With Winter Farm to Table Menu Ideas
Winter is ripe with opportunities to serve fresh, healthy fare. Chase the chill out of your restaurant’s dining room with hearty winter vegetables and warm comfort food.
1. Blanket Sweet Potatoes With Heat
Turn baked potatoes into a memorable side dish or vegetarian entree as spicy twice-baked sweet potatoes. Brand the winter vegetables as your house specialty by drizzling them with a hot honey, butter and chile sauce.
2. Oven-Roast Winter Root Vegetables
Brighten up guest plates with colorful oven-roasted root vegetables. Enjoy recipe flexibility with simple prep that can incorporate all types of winter root vegetables. Complement the healthy side’s deep flavors with lemon and rosemary.
3. Upgrade Slow-Cooked Beef Stew
Upgrade beef stew into an elegant entree with a few easy recipe modifications. Use red wine during the reduction process, and add fresh mushrooms and carrots to the mix. The results are perfect for savory winter lunches and dinners.
4. Comfort With Chicken and Dumplings
This wintertime tradition is destined to become a signature dish on your farm to table menu. Chicken and dumplings, carrots, celery and leeks swim in a rich sauce made with heavy cream. Buttermilk keeps the dumplings light and tender.
We Enjoy Delivering Fresh Ideas
Here at Hitchcock Farms, sustainability is one of our founding principles. It’s always our pleasure to deliver fresh menu ideas for your restaurant. We support farm to table concepts in all types of foodservice settings by growing and delivering the freshest premium produce available.
Dan Holt is an experienced produce professional who started in the industry as a quality assurance inspector in the early 1990s and leads sales at Hitchcock Farms as Vice President. Prior to joining Hitchcock Farms, Dan enjoyed success in organic, specialty and conventional produce and with independent operators, regional and national chains in North America and abroad. Dan continues his passion in produce through collaborative inspiration and promoting healthy and sustainable food.