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What’s In Season – October


Farmers Market -What’s in Season?

October already? It’s time for pumpkin spice and everything nice. Naturally, produce peaks at different times in different areas of the U.S., so this is a general guide to the produce you’ll likely find at farmers’ markets in North Central Texas around this time of year. You’ll find some short preparation tips for each type of produce, plus one of my quick and easy recipes at the end!

Broccoli is one of those poor cruciferous vegetables that has gotten a bad rap due to poor cooking methods (it’s no wonder kids don’t like overcooked steamed broccoli). I love raw broccoli florets on vegetable platters or in salads. It becomes totally irresistible once roasted with olive oil and sea salt. Broccoli goes great with lemon, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes and other bold flavors. Select small, tightly packed florets with minimal brown spots.

Cauliflower! Roasting cauliflower with olive oil and sea salt transforms the cruciferous vegetable from bland to French-fry irresistible. You can also pulse raw cauliflower in the food processor to give it a rice- or couscous-like texture. I am skeptical about cauliflower crust pizza, but plan on trying it soon. I will let you know how it turns out!

Corn is still going strong! It’s hard to beat corn grilled in its husk, served with butter and salt. To avoid genetically modified corn, buy organic.

Cucumber doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. Its vitamin-rich, hydrating qualities make it an excellent juicing ingredient. Peeled, muddled and strained cucumber makes an incredibly refreshing cocktail. Cucumber water is a treat—just soak cucumber and lemon slices in a pitcher of water.

Kale is so hot right now. I love to chop kale for stir-fries, or massage it with a dash of salt for salads, or lightly coat roughly chopped kale with olive oil and roast it for kale chips. You can also blend kale into smoothies or juice it.

Pears are generally more grainy than their cousins, the apple, and ripeness is fleeting. They are delicious, however. Pears pair well (see what I did there?) with blue cheese and balsamic vinegar in sweet-and-savory salads. In desserts, they’re lovely with warming spices, cream, honey and lemon. My fav caramelized pear with fresh cracked black pepper and blue cheese!

Pumpkins! Everybody loves pumpkin, right? As you well know, pumpkin go nicely with warming spices, like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves (all the standard ingredients in pumpkin pie mix). Roast fresh pumpkin for savory dishes or toss it into the food processor to make homemade pumpkin purée. (The moisture content in homemade pumpkin purées can vary significantly, which is why most bakers opt for canned.)

Sweet Potatoes! I used to hate sweet potatoes! Then I tried a sweet potato mash with cream and butter, awesome! Then came sweet potato fry again a winner! I still don’t enjoy sweetened, mashed sweet potatoes, but I could live off of salted, caramelized, roasted sweet potato. I especially love sweet potato pancakes!

October in North Central Texas can also give us arugula, green beans, eggplant, persimmons, fresh peas, red potatoes, and lots and lots of fresh herbs.

West African Veggie Stew


Prep     15 min             Cook   30 min           Ready In         45 min             Serves: 4


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pound sweet potato, peeled & cut ¼ inch slices
  • 1 large tomato, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ½ teaspoon each cinnamon and crushed red pepper
  • 1 quart chicken broth (vegetable broth if going Vegan)
  • 1 15oz can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups coarsely chopped spinach


  1. Heat oil in skillet. Add onion and garlic. Cook until onion is tender.
  2. Add sweet potatoes and tomatoes. Cook 5 minutes. Add raisins, cinnamon, red pepper and broth. Heat to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat 15 minutes.
  3. Add chickpeas and spinach. Heat through. Serve over cooked rice or couscous, if desired.


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