Milk and Eggs 101: Fall Vegetables in Season
Fall is among us and it's time for some delicious, warm fall recipes! But before a recipe can be made, we will need some key ingredients, including some seasonal fall veggies, which will be the star of the show. Below are some fall vegetables in season. Scroll to the end of the post for information on how to roast your fall vegetables.
Fall Vegetables in Season
- ARTICHOKES have a second crop in the fall (the first go-around is in the spring) that produces small to medium artichokes.
- ARUGULA is a cool weather peppery green harvested in winter in warm climates, summer in cool ones, and grows in many places during autumn.
- BEETS are in season in temperate climates fall through spring, and available from storage most of the year everywhere else.
- BROCCOLI is more sweet, less bitter and sharp when harvested in the cooler temperatures of fall in most climates.
- BRUSSELS SPROUTS grow on a stalk, and if you see them for sale that way snap them up - they'll last quite a bit longer than once they're cut.
- CABBAGE is bright and crisp when raw and mellows and sweetens the longer it's cooked. The cooler the weather when it's harvested, the sweeter it tends to taste (this effect is called "frost kissed").
- CARROTS are harvested year-round in temperate areas. Unusual varieties are harvested during the carrot's natural season, which is late summer and fall.
- CAULIFLOWER may be harvested year-round, but it is by nature a cool weather crop at its best from fall into early spring.
- CELERY is at its best in the fall, with its harvest continuing through winter in warm and temperate climates.
- CHARD like all cooking greens, chard turns bitter when it gets too hot. Chard grows year-round in temperate areas, is best harvested in late summer or early fall in colder areas, and fall through spring in warmer regions.
- CHICORIES such as escarole, curly endive, radicchio, and Belgian endives are all at their best in fall and early winter.
- CHILES are best at the end of summer and into fall.
- EDAMAME are fresh soy beans - look for them in late summer and fall.
- EGGPLANT comes into season towards the end of summer, but bright shiny heavy-feeling specimens stay in season well into fall.
- FENNEL has a natural season is from fall through early spring. Like most cool weather crops, the plant bolts and turns bitter in warmer weather.
- GARLIC is another produce item that we forget has a season; fresh garlic is at its plump, sweetest best in late summer and fall.
- GREEN BEANS tend to be sweetest and most tender during their natural season, from mid-summer into fall in most regions.
- HERBS of hearty sorts are available fresh in fall - look for bundles of rosemary, parsley, thyme, and sage.
- HORSERADISH is at its best in fall and winter, but stores well and is often available in decent shape well into spring.
- KALE is like all hearty cooking greens - cooler weather keeps it sweet.
- KOHLRABI comes into season by the end of fall but stays at its sweet best into winter.
- LEEKS more than about 1 1/2 inches wide tend to have tough inner cores. The top green leaves should look fresh - avoid leeks with wilted tops.
- LEMONGRASS grows in warm and tropical areas and is usually available fresh in the U.S. towards mid-fall.
- LETTUCE is in season somewhere in the U.S. year-round. It can also be grown in low-energy greenhouses in colder climates through the winter.
- OKRA needs heat to grow. Look for firm, plump pods in late summer and early fall.
- ONIONS come from storage all year round but most onions are harvested in late summer through the fall.
- PARSNIPS look like white carrots and have a great nutty flavor. Look for thinner parsnips, since fatter ones tend to have a thick, woody core you need to cut out.
- PEPPERS both sweet and spicy are harvested in late summer and early fall.
- POTATOES are excellent storage vegetables, but most varieties are harvested in the fall.
PUMPKINS are the most common winter squash and come into season in September in most areas.
- RADICCHIO, like all chicories, radicchio is sweeter and less bitter when the weather is cool.
- RADISHES (all types) are so fast-growing that they can be sown several times during the growing season in most climates. Fall marks the end of the season for small red radishes and the beginning of the season for larger daikon-type radishes.
- RUTABAGAS (also known as "yellow turnips" and "Swedes") are a sweet, nutty root vegetables perfect in stews, roasted, or mashed with plenty of butter.
- SHALLOTS are harvested in late summer and into fall and are at their sweetest when fresh.
- SPINACH, indeed, has a season. It varies with your climate - year-round in temperate areas, summer and fall in cooler areas, fall through spring in warmers regions.
- SWEET POTATOES are often sold as "yams." They store well and are available from local sources year-round in warmer areas; from late summer through winter other places.
- TOMATILLOS look like small green tomatoes with a light green papery husk.
- TURNIPS have a sharp but bright and sweet flavor. Look for turnips that feel heavy for their size.
- WILD MUSHROOMS have different seasons throughout the U.S. Most wild mushrooms other than morels are in season in summer through fall.
- WINTER SQUASH of all sorts, like acorn squash or kabocha squash, comes into season in early fall and usually last well into winter.
- ZUCCHINI have a harvest season from summer into fall in most climates.
How to Roast your Fall Vegetables
Roasted veggies are a bit easier to eat than those veggies that are not. Roasting your vegetables will help with picky eaters and give your dish a little something different than the standard steamed veggie side dish.
1. Don't Skimp on the Oil
Cut your veggies into bite-sized pieces and toss them into some good flavored oil. You want the veggies to have a nice, glossy coating on them, but not too much that there's excess oil at the bottom of the bowl. This oil will help your veggies cook evenly and to a perfect crisp in the oven. We added a little bit of balsamic vinegar before and after cooking as well. Lastly, sprinkle some salt on your vegetables and toss. Here is where you can add black pepper or any other seasoning you would like.
2. Give the Vegetables Space
Spread your vegetables onto a baking sheet and be sure to keep them spaced out. You will want to see some empty space around each piece of vegetable so they can roast properly. Before putting your vegetables into the oven, make sure it is nice and hot first, ideally 425°F.
3. Roast Until You See Toast
Roast your vegetables until they are somewhat tender. You should be able to poke it with a fork through the charred edges. The charred bits on your roasted vegetables is the key to making them taste delicious. Overall, soft veggies will cook faster than the harder veggies. Also, smaller cut pieces will cook faster than the larger pieces. If you are unsure whether or not your vegetables are finished roasting, you can roast it for an extra 5-10 minutes just in case. Extra roasting doesn't hurt!