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What’s in Season? October Produce

What’s in Season? October Produce

October already? Month of pumpkin spice everything and candy galore? Yes! I’m going to wear boots today to celebrate. I’m struggling to string together coherent paragraphs this morning because I stayed up too late last night watching the Kansas City Royals beat the Oakland A’s (and of course, by “watching the game,” I mean chatting it up with friends).

Before I cut to the fresh produce you’ll likely see at the farmers’ market this month, I owe another thank you to Becky of Vintage Mixer for allowing me to expand upon her monthly seasonal guides! Click here to check out Becky’s free, downloadable desktop background featuring October produce.

Apples

I bought the biggest, juiciest, most delicious organic honeycrisp apple the other day. I love crisp, chopped apples in salads with blue cheese and apple slices dipped into peanut or almond butter. Conventionally grown apples are exposed to lots of pesticides and then coated with wax, so organic apples are definitely worth the extra expense. Apples elsewhere:

  • Raw Apple Pie by Oh, Ladycakes
  • Leek, Fennel, Apple and Walnut Soup by The First Mess
  • Honeycrisp Salad with Crispy Sage and Maple Vinaigrette by How Sweet Eats
  • Pumpkin Buckwheat Waffles with Sautéed Apples by The Year in Food

View more C+K apple recipes ↣

Beets

Confession: I don’t like beets, so there are precisely zero beet recipes on this blog. In my defense, raw beets make my throat feel scratchy. Beets are tremendously earthy and can be eaten fresh, cooked or roasted. Some (like the golden variety) are pretty sweet. Beets elsewhere:

  • Baked Rosemary Beet Chips by Minimalist Baker (featured above!)
  • Beet Bourguignon by Green Kitchen Stories
  • Penne Pasta in a Roasted Beet Sauce by Bev Cooks
  • Warm Kale, Quinoa and Balsamic Beet Salad by The First Mess

Broccoli

Broccoli is one of those poor cruciferous vegetables that has gotten a bad rap due to poor cooking methods (it’s no wonder kids don’t like overcooked steamed broccoli). I love raw broccoli florets on vegetable platters or in salads. It becomes totally irresistible once roasted with olive oil and sea salt. Like all brassicas, broccoli goes great with garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and other bold flavors. Select small, tightly packed florets with minimal brown spots. Broccoli elsewhere:

  • Broccoli Barley Bowl by Naturally Ella
  • Creamy Vegan Broccoli Soup by Green Kitchen Stories
  • Roasted Broccoli Bowls by Love and Lemons
  • Roasted Broccoli Hummus by Not Without Salt

View more C+K broccoli recipes ↣

Cabbage

My love, cabbage! Cabbage, a potent anti-cancerous cruciferous vegetable (cousin to broccoli), is great raw, in slaws, roasted in pieces, or chopped and sautéed with olive oil and garlic. Select cabbages with compact heads that feel heavy for the their size. Whole cabbage is a good ingredient to keep on hand since it generally keeps for a pretty long time in the vegetable crisper. Cabbage elsewhere:

  • Apple, Walnut and Savoy Cabbage Salad by A Couple Cooks
  • Cabbage and Carrot Salad with Peanut Sauce by Two Peas and Their Pod
  • “Ricotta” Stuffed Cabbage by Love and Lemons
  • Roasted Cabbage Salad with Brown Butter Croutons by Simple Bites

View more C+K cabbage recipes ↣

Carrots

Don’t get me started on baby carrots again. Real carrots are fantastic when well roasted—leave them in the oven until they are deeply caramelized and golden. I also love to turn full-sized raw carrots into “noodles” with my julienne peeler or “ribbons” with a regular peeler. Carrots elsewhere:

  • Carrot Noodles in Peanut Sauce by A House in the Hills
  • Carrot Salad with Tahini and Crisped Chickpeas by Smitten Kitchen
  • Grilled Cheese with Roasted Carrots and Carrot Green Pesto by Happyolks
  • Sunburst Carrot Salad Recipe by 101 Cookbooks

View more C+K carrot recipes ↣

Cauliflower

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: roasting cauliflower with olive oil and sea salt transforms the cruciferous vegetable from bland to French-fry irresistible. You can also pulse raw cauliflower in the food processor to give it a rice- or couscous-like texture. I was skeptical about cauliflower crust pizza, but it can actually be pretty good! Cauliflower elsewhere:

  • Cauliflower and Brown Rice Gratin by Sprouted Kitchen
  • Cauliflower Pizza Crust by Vintage Mixer
  • Spiced Roasted Cauliflower with Garlicky Aioli by Simple Bites
  • Whole Roasted Tandoori Cauliflower with Mint Chutney by My New Roots

View more C+K cauliflower recipes ↣

Collard greens

Poor collard greens have been overcooked for decades. They’re often seen in Southern cooking with bacon. Raw collards are pretty tough and bitter, as far as greens go. My favorite way to cook them is the Brazilian method: julienne the leaves and sauté them briefly with olive oil, salt and red pepper flakes. Then they’re absolutely delicious! Check out my spaghetti dish (shown above) for the cooking method. Collard greens elsewhere:

  • Chickpea Spätzle with Shallots and Collard Greens by My Name is Yeh
  • Collard Wraps with Carrot Hummus by Love and Lemons
  • Italian White Bean Soup by A Couple Cooks
  • Super Powered Tomato and Basil Collard Wraps by The First Mess

Corn

Sweet corn is still going strong! It’s hard to beat corn grilled in its husk, served with butter and salt. To avoid genetically modified corn, buy organic. Corn elsewhere:

  • Grilled Zucchini and Corn Tostadas by Two Peas and Their Pod
  • Mexican Street Corn Salad by Love and Lemons
  • Mexican Street Corn with Cashew Crema by A House in the Hills
  • Sweet Corn Ceviche by Sprouted Kitchen

View more C+K corn recipes ↣

Cucumber

Crisp cucumber doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. Its vitamin-rich, hydrating qualities make it an excellent juicing ingredient. Peeled, muddled and strained cucumber makes an incredibly refreshing cocktail. Cucumber water is a treat—just soak cucumber and lemon slices in a pitcher of water. Cucumber elsewhere:

  • Cucumber Radish Avocado Gazpacho by What’s Cooking Good Looking
  • Lemon Cucumber Tofu Salad Recipe by 101 Cookbooks
  • Thai Coconut Cucumber Salad by Love and Lemons
  • Viennese Cucumber Salad by Smitten Kitchen

View more C+K cucumber recipes ↣

Eggplant

Eggplant is a bit of an enigma. Those deep purple orbs could pass for dinosaur eggs! I like cubed, roasted eggplant in pasta, and creamy baba ghanoush, which is similar to hummus, with pita bread. Eggplant pairs especially well with garlic, lemon, parsley, basil, onions and bell peppers. Eggplant elsewhere:

  • Eggplant, Chard and Tomato Quinoa Gratin by Cafe Johnsonia
  • Quinoa Crusted Eggplant Parmigiana by Kitchen Confidante
  • Roasted Eggplant With Miso Lime Dressing by The Year in Food
  • Stewed Eggplant and Tomatoes with Polenta by Cafe Johnsonia

View more C+K eggplant recipes ↣

Grapes

Grapes are pretty perfect all on their own, or as a welcome, light option on cheese plates. I recently discovered the magic that is roasted grapes. Roasted grapes are sweet, jammy and delicious on goat cheese or brie crostini. Grapes elsewhere:

  • Basic Roasted Grapes by The Vanilla Bean Blog
  • Concord Grape Sorbet by Kimberley Hasselbrink
  • Roasted Fall Vegetables with a Roasted Grape Sauce by Bev Cooks
  • Roasted Grape and Walnut Rice Pilaf Recipe by Vintage Mixer

Kale

Kale is so hot right now. I love to chop kale for stir-fries, or massage it with a dash of salt for salads (see any of my kale salads for further instruction), or lightly coat roughly chopped kale with olive oil and roast it for kale chips. You can also blend kale into smoothies or juice it. Kale elsewhere:

  • Harvest Salad with Delicata Squash and Kale by The Year in Food
  • Quinoa and Kale Patties by Yummy Supper
  • Toasted Kale and Pan Fried Chickpea Salad by A House in the Hills
  • Kale and Sage Pesto Crostini With Roasted Vegetables by Bev Cooks

View more C+K kale recipes ↣

Melon

Who knew? Melons are still in business. Get your fill of watermelon, cantaloupe and honeydew while you still can. Try throwing big slices of melon onto the grill for more savory applications. Melons elsewhere:

  • Balsamic Melon Salad by The First Mess
  • Cantaloupe Sherbert by Joy the Baker
  • Mojito Melon Salsa by How Sweet Eats
  • Watermelon Basil Salad by A House in the Hills

View more C+K watermelon recipes ↣

Mushrooms

Mushrooms are weird. They’re fungi! Edible, earthy mushrooms can be eaten raw, cooked, and so forth. They pair well with garlic, shallots, olive oil, pepper, dry red wine and herbs like flat-leaf parsley, chives, rosemary, tarragon and thyme Mushrooms elsewhere:

  • Creamy Poblano Mushrooms with Polenta by Pinch of Yum
  • Mushroom, Farro and Fontina Salad by What’s Gaby Cooking
  • Mushroom and Quinoa Lettuce Wraps by Love and Lemons
  • Pizza Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms by Foodie Crush

View more C+K mushroom recipes ↣

Pears

Pears are generally more grainy than their cousins, the apples, and ripeness is fleeting. They are delicious, however. Pears pair well (see what I did there?) with blue cheese and balsamic vinegar in sweet-and-savory salads. In desserts, they’re lovely with warming spices, cream, honey and lemon. Pears elsewhere:

  • Brown Sugar Pear Steel Cut Oats by Minimalist Baker
  • Pear and Hazelnut Muffins by Sprouted Kitchen
  • Pear Butter by Vintage Mixer
  • Roasted Pear, Gorgonzola and Honey Toast by Naturally Ella

View more C+K pear recipes ↣

Peppers

Peppers! Spicing up dinner in the New World for as long as we can remember. September is prime time for rich, vibrant peppers. Look for bell peppers, jalapeños, poblanos and more. Peppers elsewhere:

  • Blistered Shishito Peppers by Spoon Fork Bacon
  • Lentil Stuffed Peppers by Kitchen Confidante
  • Panzanella with Cherry Tomatoes and Bell Peppers by A Couple Cooks
  • Red Pepper Pasta with Mushrooms and Spinach by What’s Gaby Cooking

View more C+K bell pepper recipes ↣

Pumpkins

Everybody loves pumpkin, right? As you well know, pumpkin plays nicely with warming spices, like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves (those are the standard ingredients in pumpkin pie mix). Roast fresh pumpkin for savory dishes or toss it into the food processor to make homemade pumpkin purée. (The moisture content in homemade pumpkin purées can vary significantly, which is why most bakers opt for canned.) Pumpkins elsewhere:

  • Coconut Curry Pumpkin Soup by Love and Lemons
  • Pumpkin and Fried Sage Flatbread by Foodie Crush
  • Pumpkin No-Bake Energy Bites by Gimme Some Oven
  • Whole Wheat Pumpkin Waffles by Lauren’s Latest

View more C+K pumpkin recipes ↣

Radishes

Raw, chopped radishes lend a spicy crunch to salads and makes a great garnish for fresh Mexican meals. I often prefer radishes to raw red onion, which can easily overwhelm other raw ingredients. Whole, raw, spicy radishes served with butter and flaky salt are an incredibly simple and delicious appetizer. I also love pickled radishes, but the verdict is still out on roasted radishes. Radishes elsewhere:

  • Avocado and Edamame Salad by Joy the Baker
  • Black Bean Tacos with Radish Salsa and Feta by A Couple Cooks
  • Deconstructed Radish Sushi Bowl by Naturally Ella
  • Roasted Radish and Garlic Salad with Coconut Milk Dressing by Dolly and Oatmeal

View more C+K radish recipes ↣

Spinach

Fun fact: Popeye ate spinach for the iron content, which was overstated by ten times when a scientist accidentally scooted one decimal point forward. It’s still very good for you, though! I love chopped spinach salads and wilted spinach when it’s combined with other ingredients, like on pizza or in lasagna. Spinach elsewhere:

  • Banana, Chia and Spinach Smoothie by What’s Gaby Cooking
  • Cheesy Spinach and Artichoke Pizza by How Sweet Eats
  • Skinny Spinach Lasagna by Pinch of Yum
  • Spinach and Potato Breakfast Hash by Joy the Baker

View more C+K spinach recipes ↣

Squash

Summer squash, like zucchini, and winter squash, like delicata and spaghetti squash, are sitting side-by-side in farmers’ markets right now. Summer squash varieties (like zucchini and yellow squash) have a thin skin that doesn’t require peeling. Most winter squash (like butternut and kabocha, but not delicata) have thick skins that usually need to be removed. Squash elsewhere:

  • Baked Purple Kale, Cilantro and Spaghetti Squash Cakes by Dolly and Oatmeal
  • Roasted Acorn Squash Pancakes by Bev Cooks
  • Spaghetti Squash Noodle Bowl and Lime Peanut Sauce by The First Mess
  • Squash Pasta with Yogurt, Peas and Chile by The Year in Food

View more C+K summer squash recipes ↣

Sweet Potatoes

I used to hate sweet potatoes! Then I tried a sweet potato fry and changed my tune. I still don’t enjoy sweetened, mashed sweet potatoes, but I could live off of salted, caramelized, roasted sweet potato. I especially love Mexican-style sweet potatoes with black beans, salsa verde and hot sauce! Sweet potatoes elsewhere:

  • Crispy Sweet Potato Roast by Smitten Kitchen
  • Miso-Maple Sweet Potato Tacos by Love and Lemons
  • Sweet Potato Granola by Minimalist Baker
  • Vanilla Bean Sweet Potato Waffles by Joy the Baker

View more C+K sweet potato recipes ↣

Tomatoes

How I wish red, ripe tomatoes were in season year-round. We’ll have to get our fill this month. Ripe tomatoes don’t need much help when it comes to preparation—a sprinkle of sea salt and a drizzle of olive oil is about all you need. Raw and roasted tomatoes are also amazing with garlic and basil. I’m pretty obsessed with burst cherry tomatoes—whether roasted or cooked in a pan on the stovetop—they never let me down. Tomatoes elsewhere:

  • Homemade Bloody Mary Mix by Big Eats, Tiny Kitchen (by my friend Alissa, I can attest firsthand that this stuff is AMAZING!)
  • Really Good (Vegan) Tomato Soup by The First Mess
  • Rice-Stuffed Tomatoes by Smitten Kitchen
  • Roasted Tomato Caprese with Avocado by Not Without Salt

View more C+K tomato recipes ↣

Looking for an ingredient that didn’t make the list? Check my new ingredient index for relevant recipes.

Want to peruse a full list of my fall recipes? Here you go!

More resources you might appreciate: 14 easy weeknight dinners, fruit and vegetable tools you actually need, 16 recipes that pack well for lunch (see also, lunch packing tips) and 10 fresh and filling salad recipes.


Watch the video: Best Fruits and Vegetables to Buy - Autumn September, October, and November (January 2022).