The Best Fall Produce Picks

  • Pick Your Produce, Coast to Coast

    The local food craze is catching on as a great way to eat fresher and tastier food while cutting down on the pollution caused by moving produce around the country in delivery trucks. By definition, local products take less time to get from the field to your stomach, and are better for you because they typically don't need the chemical ripeners that other products that spend extensive periods on the shelf do. Eating local also forces you to eat seasonally, and that gives you a closer connection to Mother Nature than you might get at your local grocery store. Crops vary by region, but here’s a general outline of the fruits and vegetables that are available in the fall: Central U.S. Garlic, celery, celeriac, apples, beets, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, carrots, chard, cucumbers, eggplant, kale, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, parsnips, onions, pears, potatoes, pumpkins, radishes, shelling beans, spinach, squash (summer and winter), tomatoes, turnips and zucchini. Eastern U.S. Apples, beets, broccoli, broccoli rabe, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, chard, celery, chicory, cucumber, cabbage, eggplant, escarole, garlic, grapes, kale, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, melons, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, pears, peas, sweet peppers, potatoes, pumpkins, radicchio, rutabaga, shelling beans, winter squash, turnips, watermelons and winter squash. Next slide: Western and Southern U.S. Photo Credit: Danielle Scott
    Pick Your Produce, Coast to Coast
  • Pick Your Produce, Coast to Coast

    West Coast Apples, artichokes, arugula, blackberries, blueberries, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, carrots, cantaloupes, celery, celeriac, chard, chilies, chard, collards, cucumber, corn, eggplant, garlic, grapes, green beans, green onions, scallions, artichokes, kale, kiwi, greens, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, melons, wild mushrooms, onions, parsnips, pears, sweet peppers, pumpkins, radishes, radicchio, rutabaga, shallots, shelling beans, sprouts, squash, spinach, tomatoes and zucchini. Southern States Apples, cabbage, collards, cucumbers, grapes, greens, okra, peppers, pumpkins, spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, tomatillos and winter squash. MainStreet spoke to several folks who have a special relationship with produce and they were kind enough to share their Fall favorites, recipe ideas and memories with me. Photo credit: pizzodisevo
    Krieg's Picks
  • Krieg's Picks

    Groundworks is a garden design, installation and maintenance firm based in Brooklyn that creates outdoor environments for residential and commercial clients on rooftops, terraces and suburban sites. Alice Marcus Krieg, co-founder of Groundworks, and her partner, Carmen DeVito, also host "We Dig Plants", a radio show on Sunday afternoons at 3:30 p.m. EST on the Heritage Radio Network. Listen live or check out the archived podcasts. Krieg cites these fall vegetable and fruits, because “they evoke my mom's kitchen." Here's her take: Raspberries "We always made jellies and jams, which is so amazing in February when taste is at a minimum. The color alone warms me up and the sweetness reminds me of warm days to come." Photo Credit: Alpha
    Krieg's Picks
  • Krieg's Picks

    Apples "For applesauce and pies, I love watching the apple peels slide off in one long, sensuous strip and then drying them." String Beans "Picking and snapping off the ends of beans reminds me of talking about boys, school, etc. in the kitchen and getting Mom's advice." Beets "I cannot get enough of that rich, beautiful hue." Okra "I love okra because of my grandma and grandpa's Tennessee kitchen. Even today, my mom fries it and my dad smiles as he travels back in time. These goodies are plentiful at the farmer's market so I get to re-create these memories with my husband ... and add his family's recipes to the mix!” Photo credit: jenny
    DiBona and Schulson's Picks
  • DiBona and Schulson's Picks

    Chefs Michael Schulson and Romeo DiBona of the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa in Atlantic City give us their fall picks. The Borgata is home to a wide array of fine restaurants and world-renowned chefs. Executive Chef and restaurateur Michael Schulson is the charismatic chef and owner of Izakaya, a modern Japanese pub (named one of the "50 Best New U.S. Restaurants, 2009" by Travel + Leisure magazine), located in the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, and the brand new Sampan, an intimate Asian restaurant in Center City, Philadelphia. Schulson is also a television personality - he was the star of TLC’s "Ultimate Cake Off". Next slide: DiBona's and Schulson's favorites Photo Credit: Jessica Rossi
    DiBona and Schulson's Picks
  • DiBona and Schulson's Picks

    Fall Favorite: Kabocha Squash "I love when the seasons change because it really allows you to eat foods that haven’t been around for most of the year. Summertime is for light foods and now that fall is upon us, I really enjoy squash because it’s a little heavier than the ingredients we have been eating." "Kabocha squash is great for grilling, steaming, braising or pureeing," adds Schulson. Its sweet flavor makes for great desserts, like his Kabocha Cheesecake with Cashew Streusel. Executive Chef Romeo DiBona (from Caesar’s Atlantic City and Old Homestead in New York City) was selected to helm the kitchen at Borgata’s Ole Homestead when it opened in 2003. Besides offering large, luxurious cuts of quality beef, DiBona gets creative with dishes including the blackened boneless rib steak with crabmeat and blue cheese and the 20-ounce veal T-bone topped with an exotic mushroom ragout. Fall Favorite: Acorn Squash "The color and taste is the best in the fall," says DiBona. "Cut [it] into rounds, grilled and seasoned." DiBona's favorite recipe is cinnamon- and espresso-crusted lamb chops with grilled acorn squash and sweet potato puree. Photo Credit: La Grande Farmers Market
    Fleming's Picks
  • Fleming's Picks

    Artist, designer and urban gardener Sean-Michael Fleming is a recent kale convert. “This fall, I am relishing the baby kale we are growing at the Secret Garden Farm in Bushwick, N.Y.," he says. "Simply prepared with a little lemon juice, olive oil, and shaved parm, it's a revelation - and a highly nutritious one at that!" Fleming is a member of EcoStation: NY, which operates three weekly Bushwick Farmers' Market locations. Photo Credit: Randy Robertson
    Krieger's Picks
  • Krieger's Picks

    New York Times bestselling author Ellie Krieger helps people of all ages achieve balance in food, health and life. She is a registered dietician and host of the hit show “Healthy Appetite” on The Food Network. Here are her fall favorites: Apples "I eagerly await apple season each year," Krieger says, "because I love the crisp juiciness of a fresh-picked apple. And going upstate to pick apples is an annual family tradition I treasure. I used to go as a child with my parents and now I bring my child. We head home with bags and bags of all different varieties. I love to make applesauce, apple crisps, apple pancakes ... you name it!" Sweet Potatoes "My favorite new family tradition is to make them into healthy fries using my Actifry," says Krieger. "They come out crisp and fabulous with only a tablespoon of oil. My eight-year old daughter devours them!” Photo Credit: Abhijit Tembhekar
    D'Amico's Picks
  • D'Amico's Picks

    Executive Chef Chris D’Amico, from the Bowery Hotel’s Gemma restaurant in New York, has worked for everyone from Franklin Becker at Local, Cucina and Capitale to John Delucie at La Bottega. In the summer of 2007, he was asked to open Gemma, in rustic Italian style. With a focus on simple authentic Italian fare, Gemma received a fantastic review from New York Times' critic Frank Bruni, and in less than a year, Gemma has become a staple in the competitive New York dining scene. In the fall, D'Amico loves to use local apples (Empire, Macintosh and Golden Delicious), Russian fingerling potatoes, and many varieties of squash from upstate New York (butternut, acorn and blue Hubbard’s). He incorporates pork from the Berkshires, as well as game meats such as duck, venison, squab, rabbit and pheasant that come from Long Island, Connecticut, New Jersey and upstate New York. Photo Credit: Nicola's Daydream
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