Fall Vegetables 101

October 14, 2016

What’s the best way to shop, store and cook fall vegetables? Let this SupermarketGuru reference be your guide.

What are Fall Vegetables? Deep hued vegetables, heartier than summer vegetables and often sweeter because they’re harvested in cooler temperatures.

How to Buy: Look for smooth skins with no blemishes, woody texture, and firm to the touch. Endive should have crisp pale yellow or green leaves; buy radishes and beets with green fronds attached. Discard radish tops at home. Cook beet greens. Most fall vegetables do not have a fragrance, so if they smell intensely “sweet” - do not buy.

Choices: Squashes: acorn, butternut, hubbard, pumpkin.
Greens: watercress, arugula, endive (aka chicory, witloof or French endive). Brussel sprouts.
Roots: turnips, carrots, parsnips, gold or red beets, okra.
Choices vary by region, so check with your local market.

How to Use: Squashes and gourds make “bowls” for grains and vegetables: scoop out seeds, drizzle lightly with olive oil, stuff and bake.
Add bok choy to soups at the last minute or lightly stir fry with rice.
Peppery watercress or arugula are excellent in salads, add bite to dressings; endive fresh in salads, stuffed with chicken salad or oranges or braise them.
Brussel sprouts: steam, sauté, or bake. Jerusalem artichokes (sunchokes), squashes, beets and gourds make great soups.
Sunchokes are crunchy raw in salads, can be sir fried, boiled, steamed or mashed.
Carrots, parsnips, and turnips add sweetness to mashed potatoes.
Curries love okra.

How to Store: Most squashes and gourds can be stored on the counter if used within a few days. Refrigerate all other vegetables. All cooked leftover veggies should be refrigerated.

Health Benefits: Vitamin C, A, folate, potassium, fiber and more!

Smarter Shopping Trivia: Freshly harvested onions, garlic, sweet potatoes keep for weeks in well-aired baskets.