After spending countless hours researching (okay, maybe not countless, but quite a few), we’ve uncovered some of Fall 2014’s hottest food trends. Incorporate one or all of these trends in your next menu. Stay tuned for part 2!

Escarole replacing kale as a ‘superfood’. 

Kale has been in the spotlight for a few years now, but escarole, the cousin of the curly endive, that has many of the same superfood qualities. Delicious raw in a salad, it can also be sautéed for a fun take on a vegetable side dish.

Stop overlooking kohlrabi!

With a taste and texture somewhere between cabbage and broccoli stems, kohlrabi is incredibly versatile and delicious. In it’s raw form, kohlrabi is a slightly crunchy and mildly spicy, similar to a radish mixed with a turnip. Roasted, steamed, or tossed into soup, the flavors from kohlrabi mellows out and sweetens up. Peel off the tough outermost layer of the kohlrabi bulb with a vegetable peeler and enjoy!

More vegetables as entrees rather than a typical protein main dish. Whether it’s rising food costs driving this trend or people becoming more health conscious, veggies are getting the spotlight. Dishes like roasted butternut squash with a warm bacon vinaigrette and hearty stuffed mushrooms are taking center stage.

Upscale comfort foods are still popular.

Think of mac and cheese grown up with add ins like sun dried tomato, onions, garlic, peppers, and sautéed salami or gourmet grilled cheese. From appetizers to desserts, there’s a place on every menu for some comfort food.