A Seasonal Eater's Guide to Fall Produce and What to Cook With It
Cool breezes whip through the air, and the nights may be getting shorter, but we're all for it, as this time of year is arguably the best time to eat. Why, you ask? Because Fall is synonymous with harvest season, a magical time when tomatoes, pears, butternut squash, and blackberries — not to mention many other favorites — are at their finest. Keep reading for an overview of when to expect these autumnal delights as well as recommended recipes for each item.
— Additional reporting by Nicole Perry
The Fall Food: Apples
Apple harvest season runs from August through November with some varietals like Gravensteins coming to markets as early as the end of July. The rest of the year, these fruits are available thanks to cold storage.
The Fall Food: Broccoli
Broccoli is available year-round but is at its peak during the chilly Fall and Winter months.
The Fall Food: Butternut Squash
Winter squashes like butternut squash are typically harvested October through December and are available as late as early April thanks to their hearty nature.
Maple-Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale, and White Bean Salad
Get the recipe: maple-roasted butternut squash, kale, and white bean salad
The Fall Food: Chestnuts
As one might guess from their cultural ties to the holiday season, chestnuts are typically available during blustery Fall and Winter months, roughly October through January.
The Fall Food: Cranberries
Cranberry harvest typically runs from September through October, and they are available fresh through December.
The Fall Food: Cucumbers
Cucumbers are at their peak growing time from early Summer to mid-Fall (June through November).
Baked Eggs With Tomato, Cheese, and Fire-Roasted Eggplant
Get the recipe: Filipino baked eggs with eggplant
The Fall Food: Fennel
Fennel is available year-round, with its peak in the Fall months.
Blood Orange, Fennel, and Avocado Salad With Lemon Citronette
Get the recipe: blood orange, fennel, and avocado salad
The Fall Food: Figs
Figs are typically at markets from mid-Summer to early October.
The Fall Food: Ginger
Ginger's harvest season runs August through November, and it is available through cold storage all the way into February. During the rest of the year, try substituting ginger juice 1:1.
The Fall Food: Grapefruit
Zingy grapefruit can be found at farmers markets from September through April.
The Fall Food: Kale
While kale is generally available year-round, the peak of its season is in Fall and Winter.
Farmers Market Cantaloupe, Kale, and Ginger Smoothie
Get the recipe: cantaloupe, kale, and ginger smoothie
The Fall Food: Pumpkins
Pumpkins are available as early as late September and as late as early April, with their peak falling in the Fall and Winter months.
The Fall Food: Raspberries
Although their peak is in Summer months, raspberries have, thankfully, a long season that runs from May through early November.
The Fall Food: Strawberries
Strawberries are at their sweetest from April to July, though they are available at farmers markets as early as March and as late as October.
The Fall Food: Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are typically available September through March, with their peak season ending in December.
The Fall Food: Tomatoes
From rainbow-hued heirloom varietals to juicy Early Girls to the tiniest grape and cherry versions, tomato season is surprisingly long. Smaller varieties can come to harvest as early as April (but more typically around June) and last till November; larger tomatoes are available through the peak Summer and mid-Fall months.