Insights

What’s In Season: A Guide to Fall Produce

We often speak adoringly about the bounties of summer produce (berries, melons, peaches, sweet corn, and oh, the tomatoes!) and all of the delicious grilling and baking adventures that they make possible. But the end of summer doesn’t have to mean the end of culinary excitement—in fact, it’s just the beginning of a new chapter.

As summer transitions into fall, a whole new world of seasonal fruits and vegetables make their debut: from apples and pears to Brussels sprouts, winter squash, and more. So, while we’re sad to see summer go, we’re looking forward to the fall produce and delicious recipes that are just around the corner.

Fall produce

Winter Squash

Summer squash—a blanket term that encompasses zucchini, yellow squash, and pattypans—is delicious for grilling, baking, or even transforming into noodles. Hearty, thick-skinned, winter squash, however, is a whole different ball game. From butternut and spaghetti squash to acorn and delicata, winter squash comes in a variety of sizes, colors, and flavor profiles.

While you can eat summer squash raw (sliced into matchsticks for crudité, or shaved thinly for a carpaccio salad), winter squash’s thicker rind and tougher flesh mean it definitely needs to see some heat before you can think about eating it. The simplest way to prepare most winter squash is to roast your sliced, diced, or halved squash that’s been rubbed with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper in a 375 °F oven for 35-40 minutes until a fork easily pierces the squash and the edges have caramelized.

Beets

It’s hard to pick our favorite fall produce, but beets come pretty close. We love them because they keep well for months when stored properly, which means you can stock up on beets at the beginning of the season and add them to salads, soups, and entrées all winter long.

And why stop at savory preparations? One of our favorite chocolate cake recipes incorporates beets in the batter and frosting, which gives the effect of red velvet cake without all the food dye. The pureed beets enhance the cake’s cocoa flavor, creating a rich, chocolatey dessert fit for any celebration. Or just a regular old weeknight—if your cake has vegetables in it, that makes it a salad—right?

Brussels Sprouts

For a long time, Brussels sprouts got a bad rap in the vegetable world. But we’re happy to say that this small but mighty vegetable is making a huge comeback, thanks to some delicious, inventive preparations (hello balsamic glaze and bacon crumbles!) in restaurants and home kitchens alike.

Try making our easy, crispy Brussels sprouts just once, and you’ll soon be finding reasons to add them to every meal that you make, all season long.

FALL PRODUCE

Apples

If you don’t go apple picking or eat a freshly made apple cider donuts from the farmer’s market, is it really even fall? Apples are the hallmark sign that fall has begun, and seeing rows of red, green, golden, and pink apples in your local marketplace can inspire even the most reluctant produce consumer.

Once you’ve picked your bounty, you need to make some version of an apple pie dessert—though how traditional you get is totally up to you. Pro tip: our Apple-Raspberry Oat Crumble Bars are perfect for a potluck or office party and travel way better than a pie!

If you have extra apples from your trip to the orchard, try livening up your next grilled cheese sandwich or cooking them into a rich pan sauce.

Cranberries

Cranberries aren’t just for the Thanksgiving table! These tart, tangy berries taste best when cooked into a sauce, jam, or compote—or reduced into a syrup for Cranberry Aperol Spritzes. You can technically eat them raw, but you probably shouldn’t—their fairly bitter in their natural state.

When Thanksgiving does come around, however, skip the canned version and try putting fresh cranberries to work. Traditional homemade cranberry sauce is amazing, but you can also get creative by adding flavors like ginger, blueberries, peppers, or even red wine (for the adult table, at least!)

And if you’re loving your new apple grilled cheese routine, try a cranberry compote for dipping.

Pears

Like squash, there are many varieties of pears, each with their own unique texture, flavor, size, and color. While some—like Bartlett and Concorde pears—are soft and juicy with a texture similar to that of a peach, others—like Red Anjou and Comice pears—are crisp and have a firmer bite, more akin to an apple.

Mildly sweet Bosc pears get the star treatment in this dessert recipe, where they’re poached in red wine and topped with espresso-laced mascarpone.

Leeks

Leeks are a member of the allium family, which is what gives this vegetable its garlicky bite. They can be a bit tricky to clean and prep for cooking, but once you ensure any residual dirt or grit is removed, you have a flavor powerhouse on your hands. One of the most classic recipes involving leeks is this rich, comforting soup ideal for a cool autumn or winter day.

Okay fall, we’re ready for you!

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