Early Fall Produce Guide

Miriam Alvarez-Rosenbloom, Layout Designer

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I am always reluctant to like fall and the eventual winter it promises. But for food, the month of September brings together everything good there is to eat. It can still be warm enough to eat watermelon outside, but the next day I can be slow-roasting squash. The abundance of the harvest season could never be condensed into a single page, so here are just a few of my favorite things in season right now.

Peaches: I prefer to buy peaches firm and let them ripen for a few days to avoid bruising. Nonetheless, I often find myself at the farmers market in need of the most perfect, ripe peach in that very instant. If you are searching for a good peach, find one that smells very peachy. It seems obvious, but it works. Though peaches have been around all summer long, now that it is cold enough to boil large pots on the stove for any amount of time, I will be making jam to save through the winter.

Winter squash: I am happy once the word “squash” doesn’t mean mushy, watery summer varieties and begins to define the delicate richness found in the fall. As soon as the season begins, I rush to get Acorn and Delicata squash, which are delicious roasted with lemon, maple syrup, and butter, or with thyme and chili flakes.

Sweet potatoes: I will eat sweet potatoes cooked in almost any way, but cold weather means that I can roast them for several hours at a low temperature and be rewarded with the caramelized, creamy result. Or, when I’m not in the mood for that, I cube them and roast at 400º F until lightly charred and soft inside.

Brussels sprouts: To those who cannot understand the true beauty and value of the Brussels sprout, please broil, grill, roast, saute, or cook in any way that will give them the browned, crisp edges they deserve. If you have lemon juice or vinegar, the right amount of salt, and a flavorful cooking fat, you can’t go wrong.

This piece also appears in our September 2018 print edition.