Autumn Seasonal Vegetable Guide

Autumn Seasonal Vegetable Guide

As the beaches, lakes, and swimming pools clear — so, too, does the summer produce. As temperatures drop, the farmers market stand becomes filled with countless varieties of seasonal produce and the intense flavors and textures of the fall take flight. While these produce items are a dream for organic catering companies such as ours, they also are wonderful to experiment with when trying new recipes in the comfort of your own kitchen.

Whether you’re making pies, casseroles, or a side dish, you might find yourself asking what fruits and vegetables are in season and how can you utilize the season’s bounty to enhance your dishes.

That’s why we’ve put together an autumn seasonal vegetables guide — to help you spice things up in the kitchen and get experimenting with fall and winter vegetables! We’ll even throw in some inspiration from our own catering menus to get those creative juices flowing.

Butternut Squash

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Butternut squash can be roasted and eaten on its own or tossed into scrambled eggs. It’s especially good mixed into an autumn salad — made with kale, toasted nuts, and dried cranberries. Try adding healthy olive oil dressing for extra flavor!

Eco Caters Menu Item Inspiration:

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Brown Butter and Crispy Sage

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts can be shaved, fried, roasted, or sautéed and used for everything from pizza toppers to a tater tots (yes, tater tots)! The flavor profile works well with ingredients like balsamic vinegar, Parmigiano-Reggiano, and crispy pancetta.

Kale

The cooler weather is what keeps kale sweet — so autumn is the perfect time for indulging in this leafy green. Use this veggie for kale chips or as a hearty salad with quinoa and red onion. It’s also delicious chopped finely and scrambled with your eggs. Kale is very low maintenance to grow at home so try adding this veggie to your fall vegetable garden!

Parsnip

Parsnips are a root vegetable that thrive during the cool season. They have a mild taste and make for a wonderful side dish when roasted with carrots. Serve them alongside baked fish or turn them into a soup with cauliflower and fresh herbs.

Pumpkin

When it comes to seasonal produce, nothing says autumn quite like pumpkin. You can use pumpkin puree for breads, soups, and pies, or even add it to your smoothies and homemade pasta dough. Use the seeds for salads, granola, and pumpkin brittle. The pumpkin possibilities are endless.

Eco Caters Menu Item Inspiration:

Pumpkin Cheesecake with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

Herb Mix with Pumpkin Seed, Shaved Purple Onion, Tomato, and Sweet Pepper Vinaigrette

Leeks

Leeks are similar to onions, but with a sweeter flavor. Try using them for a savory dinner galette with potatoes or grill them alongside asparagus for a seasonal side dish.

Radicchio

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This red-leaf Italian chicory has a pleasantly bitter taste and can be eaten raw or roasted. Try using it in fresh pasta, on top of pizza, or as a base for a salad with a creamy dressing.

Eco Caters Menu Item Inspiration:

Grilled Salmon with Smoked Chili and Brown Sugar with Baked Radicchio and a side of Summer Squash

Cabbage

Like kale, cabbage tends to get sweeter as the cool weather comes. You can shred it for salads and slaws, use it as a taco topping, and even pickle it.

Eggplant

From the end of summer into early fall, you’ll find eggplant in your local grocery store or farmers’ market. Deep purple in color with a shiny skin, eggplant makes for a fantastic base for vegetarian dishes. Use it for eggplant parmesan or add it to your stir-fry. It also tastes wonderful when marinated, roasted, and used on a sandwich.

Eco Caters Menu Item Inspiration:

Grilled Beefsteak Tomato topped with Roasted Eggplant, Onion, and Garlic, set in a Roasted Vegetable Jus

Herbs

One of the best ways to add flavor to your hearty autumn dishes is by utilizing fresh herbs. During the fall months, bring home a bundle of parsley, rosemary, sage, or thyme — and get creative with integrating the lovely herbs into your dishes.

Zucchini

Zucchini tends to be bountiful in both the summer and fall. It can be used in everything from nutritious baked goods like breads and muffins to veggie frittatas, soups, and salads.

Eco Caters Menu Item Inspiration:

Zucchini Roulade with Almond Ricotta, Pistachio, and Crispy Parsley

Cold Quinoa Salad with Red Onion, Italian Squash, Mint, Basil, Dried Cranberries, and an Apple Cider Vinaigrette

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are packed with nutrition and can be added to chili or turned into pancakes. In the mood for a snack? Consider sweet potato chips or baked sweet potato fries served with a spicy chipotle sauce and blue cheese turkey burgers.

Cauliflower

cauliflower-3170069_1280-1024x682 catering san diego wedding cateringA member of the cabbage family, cauliflower can be baked, mashed, and used in casseroles. It can even be sautéed to create a vegetarian spin-off of “orange chicken” or used as a crust for pizza. Cauliflower is definitely one of the most versatile fall vegetables because it can be used so many ways!

Eco Caters Menu Item Inspiration:

Roasted Mushrooms with Cauliflower, Farro, and Housemade Ricotta

Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti squash is harvested in early fall and can be eaten and enjoyed for months thereafter. You can use it as an alternative to noodles with marinara sauce, in a vegetarian casserole, and it also tastes incredible when fried.

Eco Caters Menu Item Inspiration:

Spaghetti Squash with Market Vegetable Ragout

Wild Mushrooms with Fried Spaghetti Squash and Truffled Sriracha

Onions

You can find onions year-round, but most are harvested in the late summer and fall. Though you may initially think of onions as an accompaniment, in the autumn, consider them the star. Use them for onion soup, in tarts, and to create gourmet mac and cheese or sliders.

Eco Caters Menu Item Inspiration:

Lentil Cake with Syrah Braised Carrot, Bell Pepper, and Onion; finished with a Grilled Onion Broth and Syrah Reduction

Fermented Vegetables with Roasted Onion Dip and Zesty Ranch

Mushrooms

Though mushrooms are available year round, they’re at their peak in taste and texture during the fall and winter months. Use them in stuffing, as a veggie burger option, or to jazz up brown rice.

Eco Caters Menu Item Inspiration:

BBQ Bella Slider with Caramelized Onion and Frisee

While there are many benefits of catering, our goal is to equip readers with the knowledge they need to create delicious and seasonal meals in their own home. Whether you’re cooking for a holiday crowd, or simply looking to throw together a tasty weeknight meal, we hope this guide has given you some inspiration for fall seasonal vegetables and how you can incorporate locally sourced food into your cooking.

Have any favorite flavors you like to utilize during the fall? Or any produce you love to grow in your fall garden? Leave a comment to let us know how you cook it and what recipes you create! We love gathering new ideas for seasonal autumn recipes.

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