55 Ways To Cook The Best September Produce

Fruits and veggies are at their peak right now.

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September might be the best time of the year for fresh fruits and vegetables. Farmers’ markets, and even big-box grocery stores, seem to be overflowing with beautiful produce ripe for the picking. And if your eyes are bigger than your tummy, there are easy ways to preserve this month’s bounty so you can enjoy fresh flavours throughout the late fall and winter. Here’s what you should shop for (and make) well in to October.

Photo, Erik Putz. Food styling, Ashley Denton. Prop styling, Emily Howes.

Apples

You can get apples year-round in Canada, but they’re at their peak in the fall. If you’re feeling extra festive, head out to an orchard and pick your own—here’s a handy guide to apple varieties.

Beets

Bowl of brightly coloured beets on blue and red tiles
Beet salad. Photo, Erik Putz.

Beets keep well for months, which is why they’re usually associated with winter. They’re also hearty and sweet, but nevertheless, they’re yummy all throughout the year.

Blueberries

Easy blueberry crumb cake with coffee
Blueberry crumb cake. Photo, Erik Putz.

We’re approaching the end of blueberry season, so pop as many in your mouth while you still can!

Bok choy

Celeriac, corn, mushroom and green onions in a blue-green bowl
Celeriac “ramen.” Photo, Erik Putz.

Find local varieties of bok choy in store during the summer and into the fall.

Brussels sprouts

Mastering the basics: maple and bacon brussels sprouts
Maple Brussels sprouts. Photo, Erik Putz.

Brussels sprouts have come a long way from being one of the most loathed vegetables at the supermarket. Eat them roasted or shredded and raw in a super healthy salad.

Cauliflower

Roasted cauliflower tacos
Cauliflower tacos. Photo, Sian Richards.

This superstar veggie is incredibly versatile, which is probably why it’s so popular.

Celery

split pea and ham soup with chives on the side
Slow cooker split pea and ham soup. Photo, Erik Putz.

Along with being a veggie platter staple, celery provides depth of flavour to soups and stews—it’s also essential to garnish a Caesar.

Corn

Corn recipes: Mexican elote Grilled corn
Grilled corn. Photo, Erik Putz.

Sweet cobs of corn, doused in butter and salt, are one of the season’s greatest gifts. Enjoy the good stuff before the frost sets in.

Eggplant

Plate of roasted eggplant drizzled with tahini sauce
Roasted eggplant with tahini sauce. Photo, Erik Putz.

Eggplants are at their peak right now, so while you can enjoy them year-round, you’ll want to plan a few eggplant-filled meals now.

Field cucumber

Platter topped with cucumber and potato salad.
Cucumber and potato salad. Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Greenhouse-grown cucumbers are available year-round, but you’ll find cukes grown outside, which are typically wider, only until October.

Field tomatoes

mixed herb cherry tomatoes in a blue bowl with fresh vegetables scattered around it
Herbed cherry tomatoes. Photo, Erik Putz.

Nothing beats the flavour of sun-ripened, field tomatoes—the greenhouse varieties don’t even come close. Eat them raw, or preserve them to enjoy throughout the winter.

Garlic

Ginger garlic glazed ribs on platter.
Ginger-garlic glazed ribs. Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Garlic can be stored year-round, but it’s harvested from July to October, so celebrate the season with dishes that pack some serious bite.

Grapes

Grape sorbet. Photo, Sian Richards.

If you want to buy locally grown grapes, you should shop for them in September (and perhaps try some Canadian-made wine while you’re at it).

Leeks

Leek recipes: Leek and pancetta galettes on a cutting board
Leek and pancetta galettes. Photo, Erik Putz.

Leeks provide so much flavour to savoury dishes. Just be sure to wash them well and don’t eat them raw (they just don’t taste that good before they’re cooked).

Nectarines

Shrimp quesadillas with nectarines recipe. Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Nectarines and peaches can be used interchangeably, but there are a few difference between these popular stone fruits—namely, peaches have fuzzy skin, while nectarines are smooth (and sweeter!).

Peaches

Peach upside-down cake with two slices cut out
Peach upside down cake. Photo, Erik Putz.

Peach season its reaching its grand finale, so enjoy this limited-time fruit while you still can!

Peach recipes

Plums

Classic French toast with roasted plums
French toast with roasted plums. Photo, Erik Putz.

Plums make the perfect snack as-is, but they’re even more delicious when baked, roasted or turned into jam.

Raspberries

Raspberry pie with a slice taken out.
Raspberry pie. Photo, Roberto Caruso.

Prolong summer by buying pints of raspberries. Eat them plain, stir them into yogurt, or better yet, bake with them.

Summer squash (including zucchini)

zucchini noodles
Pesto and zucchini noodles. Photo, Erik Putz.

Summer squash (immature squash that has soft, edible skin), which includes both green and yellow zucchini, is what you want for dinner in September. It’s the ideal way to slowly ease your way into heartier fall cooking.