Don’t apples smell like autumn to you? Use the more sour varieties for pies and salads, enjoy sweeter ones on their own or with peanut butter, slowly dipping crispy slices and savoring the moment. Remember though that the regular, widely available apples may have been exposed to pesticides and/or covered with wax. Make sure you wash them thoroughly before eating or opt for organic ones.
Cooking with apples:
- Slow Cooker Apple Cake
- Perfect Apple Pie
- Spicy Apple and Savoy Cabbage Salad
- Baked Apples with Walnuts and Maple Syrup
- Rustic Apple Walnut Crostata with Gorgonzola
Sweet, slightly tannic black grapes are available throughout the year, but they sure are at their best in September. Again, you need to opt for organic heirloom varieties if you are looking for more than just sweetness. Black grapes work well in salads and, most certainly, on their own, nipped off, berry by berry, from a huuuge bunch!
Cooking with grapes:
- Dijon Chicken Salad with Grapes
- Nutty Wild Rice Salad with Kiwifruit and Red Grapes
- Nanny's Grape Salad
- Grape Banana Salad
- Roasted Grapes and Carrots
Fruit and vegetables, make way - juicy, crispy cabbage is making its entrance! While it will remain in season till the first gentle green sprouts of spring, cabbage is now at its freshest. You can stew it, roast with spices, sauté with garlic, or simply chop up and enjoy in fresh slaws. Here’s a cabbage shopping tip: choose the heads that weigh more than you expect them to. Cabbage is a useful ingredient to keep at hand, so never hesitate to buy a head when you see a good one!
Cooking with cabbage:
- Sauteed Green Cabbage With Onions
- Ramen Cabbage Salad
- Cabbage and Noodles
- Japanese-Style Cabbage Salad
- Spicy Cabbage Kimchi
Have you ever tried carrot noodles? Use a vegetable peeler to “peel” fully ripe carrots to their very core and then sauté them with chicken, sesame, or other seasonal produce! Another idea is to roast carrots whole – you will enjoy their sweet, caramelized flavor.
Cooking with carrots:
Cauliflower is another leader of the colder seasons. But September is probably the month to enjoy it raw! Or roast cauliflower florets with sea salt and a dash of quality olive oil! Or maybe, process it to make cauliflower couscous and cook it in the skillet to get a great side dish for any meal!
Cooking with cauliflower:
- Spicy Roasted Cauliflower
- Garlic Mashed Cauliflower
- Broccoli-Cauliflower Salad
- Fried Cauliflower
- Low Carb Cauliflower Leek Soup
Cherry tomatoes tend to ripen slower than their bigger brothers, so now is a good time not only to enjoy fresh cherry tomato salads, but to simmer them down one quiet September night to a flavorful sauce or spicy jam for less produce-packed months of winter.
Cooking with cherry tomatoes:
- Green Beans with Cherry Tomatoes
- Creamy Pesto Pasta Salad with Chicken, Asparagus and Cherry Tomatoes
- Marinated Cherry Tomato Salad
- Creamy Shrimp Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes
- Baked Cherry Tomatoes with Garlic
I confess: I’ve never tried fresh chickpeas, but I’m very eager to do it this year! The difference from their better-known state is that green chickpeas are harvested when they are still green, instead of being left on the vine till they dry. Fresh chickpeas are crunchy and sweet, plus their color is very vivid, so you needn’t cook them to long if you want your ready meal to please the eye as well as the taste buds! The places to look for green chickpeas are farmer’s markets and specialty groceries.
Cooking with chickpeas:
- Pakistani Spicy Chickpeas
- Indian-Spiced Roasted Chickpeas
- Quinoa with Chickpeas and Tomatoes
- Cholay (Curried Chickpeas)
- Middle Eastern Rice with Black Beans and Chickpeas
Cruciferous veggies have come to stay, but pears are a very different piece of work. One day they are unripe and mouth-puckering and the other – mushy and foam-like. But if you catch that fleeting moment when they are ripe and juicy, you will be delighted! Pears work well with cheeses, nuts, and balsamic vinegar; they are great when baked or poaches with spices, wine, or honey.
Cooking with pears:
- Baked Pears with Mascarpone
- Caramelized Pear Tart Tatin
- Pear Roquefort Salad
- Pears Poached in Spiced Red Wine
- Arugula Persimmon Pear Salad
Countless pepper varieties are finally ready to be enjoyed all at once! Just look at their beautiful color and gloss – aren’t they calling your name? Below you will find several pepper-packed cooking ideas.
Cooking with peppers:
- Roasted Pepper Cheese Spread
- Roasted Red Pepper and Crab Soup
- Bolognese Stuffed Bell Peppers
- Vegetarian Stuffed Poblano Peppers
- Portobello Mushroom, Fresh Peppers and Goat Cheese Pizza
Sheep’s Milk Cheese
Cheese is available all year round, but September is the month when sheep’s milk cheese from smaller cheesemakers has finally completed its maturing process. Enjoy the nutty flavor with fresh seasonal fruit, vegetables, and, of course, quality pasta.
Cooking with sheep's milk cheese:
- Brussels Hazelnut Salad
- Skinny Pesto
- Pear Roquefort Salad
- Baked Eggs with Arugula and Salmon
- Watermelon Feta Salad with Herbs
In September, you’ll see both summer squash varieties and thick-skinned winter ones crowded at farmer’s markets. Enjoy the tenderer ones – zucchini, yellow squash, etc. – while they are still fresh because you’ll get plenty of chance to opt for the firmer squash cultivars in their prime time – winter.
Cooking with squash:
What is your favorite September produce? What are you looking forward to enjoying every year? Feel free to share your ideas via email or by reposting the article to Facebook or pinning it and giving your commentaries!