Seasonal Fruit and Vegetable Guide – Autumn

by sophie on October 29, 2008 · 32 comments


This post is first of a new set of seasonal guides on Mostly Eating.  Quarterly seems like a good timescale for a produce guide; long enough to hide those little uncertainties induced by geography and climate which can easily throw things out by a few weeks.

Here’s what you will find in here:

  • a list of fruits and vegetables in season between late September to mid December (yep, I know, a little bit later than scheduled!).  I’ve developed my list from a consensus opinion across a variety of sources including Eat the seasons, River Cottage and the Scottish What’s on your plate guide.  It’s good for the UK and also for much of Northern Europe and the less sunny parts of the USA (for a State by State guide check out the Sustainable Table). For you antipodeans, Kathryn usually has a list for New South Wales (tell me if you know any sites with a wider coverage of Australia).
  • I’ve put together a longish list of recipe and snack suggestions that center around using seasonal ingredients to make sure that your diet is full of fruits and vegetables.
  • there’s a pretty PDF version of the list to stick on your fridge, or tuck into the front of your
    favourite vegetable cookbook as a quick reminder of what to look out for when you go shopping. The Autumn cooking suggestions are on the back.

Autumn produce guide
Autumn is a feast riches for the seasonal eater, with the luxury of an extended overlap between the last of the summer favourites such as courgettes and aubergine and exciting newcomers like pumpkin, chestnuts and kale.

Seasonal fruits and vegetables for Autumn

apples, damsons, medlars, pears, quince, plums, chestnuts, elderberries, artichoke, aubergine, beetroot, broccoli, butternut squash, carrots, celery, courgette, fennel, garlic, kale, leeks, onions, potatoes, turnips, watercress, celeriac, kohlrabi, pumpkin, jerusalem artichoke, parsnips, chicory, beetroot, cauliflower

Meal and snack ideas for Autumn
Start your day with spiced porridge studded with fresh plums and dried figs

Snack on carrot and celery sticks with a canellini bean dip

Roast a batch of parsnips and make a chestnut, parsnip and orange soup

Add a little bit of butter and a grating of nutmeg to mashed cauliflower as a side dish or an alternative cottage pie topping

Roast parsnips in olive oil, honey and thyme

Saute leek and celery in olive oil.  Add a couple of bay leaves, thyme and chunks of peeled and chopped potato and Jerusalem artichoke.  Cover with vegetable stock, simmer and blend into a soup.  Top with mixed seeds and freshly ground black pepper.

Bake plums in honey and cinnamon and serve with yogurt or crème fraiche

Cube butternut squash and roast in the oven.  Add watercress, chickpeas, hazelnuts and feta for a delicious salad

Saute a little sliced garlic and chilli in olive oil, add thinly sliced kale and cook briefly for an easy side dish. Top with a poached egg for something more substantial

Griddle sliced tofu until crispy on the outside and serve in a wholegrain sandwich with harissa paste  and slices of cooked pumpkin

Top fresh fish with julienne carrots, leeks and courgettes and sliced chilli and ginger.  Bake or steam in a foil parcel with a splash or lime juice or white wine.

Stir-fry tofu, broccoli and chopped pecans with a chilli, soy and honey sauce and serve with brown rice

Make an autumnal oat thickie with cooked plums or damsons, apple juice, yogurt and honey

Grate a pear into hot porridge and top with chopped walnuts and maple syrup

Bake fennel in a close fitting roasting dish with red onion, garlic, sage and a splash of stock. Season well and blend the cooked vegetables with a dollop of natural yogurt to make a simple sauce for pasta. Top with roasted pine nuts and grated parmesan.

Save any leftover butternut squash to use in muffins and cake bites

Roast florets of cauliflower in cumin and olive oil.  Toss the cooked florets with chickpeas, lemon juice and chopped green chilli for an easy lunchtime salad

Bake good quality sausages with sliced parsnips, apple and rosemary, drizzled with olive oil

Make a mezze plate with pears, walnuts and wensleydale cheese. Drizzle lightly with chestnut honey

Simmer quince in hot water with honey, lemon juice and bay leaf. Serve with a pork chop and a courgette pilaff

Concoct a hearty vegetable stew with kidney beans, canned tomatoes, celery, pumpkin and kale, seasoned with smoked paprika and dried oregano

Hope you enjoy the list! Apologies to my lovely Australian blog readers if you are feeling a bit left out. By the end of another year we’ll have a full set of seasonal guides and you can join in the fun.

I’m hoping to do a similar Winter guide which will be out late December/early January.  If you don’t already subscribe to Mostly Eating but would like to hear about the Winter edition, look for the Subscribe for updates notice near the top of the page to subscribe for new posts by email or in your RSS reader.


Abs October 29, 2008 at 12:55

I’ve been craving butternut squash all day and then you bust out that salad?! I know what I’m having for tea now. To Sainsbury’s, for spinach!

Foodeater October 29, 2008 at 17:20

Nice, some of the recipe ideas sound fantastic! I like that most of them seem quick and easy to make. I’m definitely going to try some of these great suggestions for cauliflower. Stumbled!

kathryn October 29, 2008 at 23:04

Good work Sophie. Your list is almost making me wish we were in Autumn as well. Almost.
And what a lot of lovely recipes you do have on Mostly Eating.

Josie October 30, 2008 at 13:33

Thank you for posting this, I’ll be referring back to it for sure! People don’t eat enough seasonal foods, in my opinion.

Yaffa October 31, 2008 at 04:30

Wow. Everything, and I really mean everything, sounds SO SO GOOD. Thank you!

Mindy November 1, 2008 at 09:55

Thanks for this list! I’ve been trying to cook seasonally lately, and your lists will definitely help a former-California girl (where seasons are almost non-existent!)

R khooks November 1, 2008 at 13:20

Great idea the seasonal eating guide cutout. I just happened to buy a beautiful ‘potimarron’ (small pumpkin) at the market today. Can’t wait to make something delicious with it.

Sophie November 1, 2008 at 14:31

Hi Abs – did you have the salad? Hope you enjoyed it!
Foodeater – thanks for the Stumble! It’s nice to spend time in the kitchen during the weekend but I’ve tried to stick with mainly quick recipe ideas that people can just about squeeze in after a day at work
Kathryn – thanks Kathryn, that is praise indeed! Hope you are enjoying the Sydney summer
Josie – I definitely agree. It’s good for the planet but also eating more seasonal stuff is such a good way of keeping eating fruit and veg interesting
Hi Yaffa – thank you very much!
Mindy – where have you moved to, are you still in America? I was thinking about the Californian climate when I was trying to decide if it was appropriate to say that my list applied the USA too! It must be fantastic for fruit to have so much sun all year round but I have to say that I love a proper misty and wet Autumn and Winter
Hi Rachel – the potimarron sounds very cute – hope it turns into something tasty. I will look out for a picture of it on your blog

Lizzie November 1, 2008 at 19:08

Wow this is perfect! I stumbled upon your list from tastespotting and it is exactly what I have been needing these past first few weeks of autumn. And you got some great recipe ideas too…thanks!!

Elaine November 2, 2008 at 04:30

Hi Sophie. Thank you so much for this list. There is a lot of overlap with the Slow Food Vancouver (my local) “What’s in season” in October/November list. Love the recipe suggestions and interesting combinations.
I’m saving this post as a bookmark on Delicious — how appropriate.

Sara November 2, 2008 at 17:56

I loved your list but was surprised that no one else pointed out that artichoke is on it twice. Which maybe is a good thing. I love ARTICHOKES!

Marilì November 3, 2008 at 15:23

Hi from Italy ! It’s my first time on this blog, and wow, it’very cool and interesting! Thanks for such an helpful list and a generous choice of suggestions on HOW TO USE IT !

Trig November 4, 2008 at 20:17

That’s a really good idea. I’ve emailed my dad, who’s getting organic fruit and veg deliveries and cooking seasonal food.

Sophie November 5, 2008 at 21:51

Hi Lizzie – glad my list fills a gap for you!
Lovely to hear from you Elaine. It’s interesting to hear that my list overlaps with the Vancouver produce schedule. I wondered if it would
Sara – many thanks for your eagle-eyedness :-) I’ve changed the list in the blog post to get rid of some of the excess artichoke. Will change the PDF at the weekend when I’ve got a bit more time
Marili – many thanks for your kind words. Good to hear that the list seems useful for Italy too; its hard to know how different the produce cycle is within Europe!
Thanks Trig, I hope the list is useful for your Dad. A veg and fruit delivery is such a great way to eat seasonally. If we didn’t have a really good organic fruit and veg market garden place up the road I would definitely be getting a regular delivery

Wendy November 11, 2008 at 20:21

Oh, I love the pretty PDF. If only my printer were working… Ah well, that’s what work is for! :)

Susan from Food Blogga November 12, 2008 at 14:18

Hmmmm… I’ve never had damsons or medlars. That has to change!

Michelle @ What Does Your Body Good? November 13, 2008 at 16:37

On the whole I feel like winter vegetables can be overlooked! This year I’ve fallen in love with squash of all kinds, especially their seeds.

Jonathan Brown November 16, 2008 at 15:17

This is brilliant. I now can’t wait for my little baby quince and meddlar trees to grow up and start fruiting.
I had a lot of fun recently with crab apples, plums, damsons and blackberries… mmm.

Claire November 25, 2008 at 20:57

When the cold months draw in you think that food will get a bit dull and less vibrant than food in the summer months.
But your list proves that there is so much delicious food out there in autumn. Bring on rich stews, homemade cakes and warm salads.
Can’t wait for next installment to find out what’s in store for winter

Jin November 11, 2009 at 15:42

Thank you so much for the lovely pdf! I’ll be printing it out and pasting it on my fridge door.
You’ve got a great blog- it’s my first time visiting!
Thank you again!

denise (chez danisse) November 18, 2009 at 02:05

This is great! Thanks for all of the wonderful suggestions.

mya September 12, 2012 at 08:17

Thank to this website i know what fruit grow in Autumn and i know bits more about growing crops and gardening !

jj May 8, 2013 at 07:05

some of these recipe ideas sound delish i’ll tell my mum to visit this website it’s great ;]

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this really helped me in my holiday homework!
thank you

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