Texas Living

Farm-to-Table: Early Fall Edition

By Celia Bryan-Brown 10.8.18

In the wake of a long, hot Texas summer, don’t make the mistake of thinking there’s no fresh produce to look forward to. As the cooler weather begins to roll in, an exciting new selection of fruit and vegetables is popping up in gardens and farmers markets across the state.

Check out our pick of the crop with early fall recipes for the ultimate farm-to-table feast.

Photo by Catherine Downes.


As summer fades, these deep purple nightshades are a delicious precursor to fall squashes. Ripened by the late-summer sun, firm-fleshed eggplants with shiny, blemish-free skins are brilliant at soaking up strong flavors and as a nice alternative to meat.

  • Barbecue miso-glazed wedges for a Japanese-inspired feast. They’re perfect stacked on a burger bun or alongside smoky barbecued meats. Try this recipe.
  • Fancy a casserole with a twist? Try the Italian favorite eggplant parmigiana and layer eggplant fried in olive oil with rich tomato sauce, fresh mozzarella, and Parmesan for a feast in a dish.
  • Try a Middle Eastern baba ghanoush. Smoky, rich, and creamy, this will be incredible with warm flatbread or homemade chips. Try this recipe.


early fall recipes

Photo by Catherine Downes.


Even with a single chili plant, you’ll likely have a bounty that will take some inventive, early fall recipes to work through. Chilies can be pickled, dried, or frozen to use later — but we love them fresh and ripely ruby red for the maximum punch of heat.

  • Flavor butter with chili and cilantro for a hit of intense flavor. Try slices of the butter on steak, fresh broiled corn, or fresh steamed green beans.
  • Marinate shrimp in chili and garlic with a hefty pinch of fresh lemon zest and a cloud of freshly chopped parsley. Try this recipe.
  • Griddle Padrón peppers over a high heat until the skins blister and blacken; they’re a fantastic entrée when sprinkled with salt.


pickled okra

Photo by Catherine Downes.


Okra is a Southern favorite but can be daunting if you don’t habitually cook it, due to its tendency to produce slime. If that thickening quality isn’t what you’re after, our solution is to cook it fast and hot.

  • Pickled okra is great to have in the pantry. It works with a whole host of early fall recipes, from pepping up Southern-style shrimp mayo salad to garnishing chilled tomato juice. Try this recipe.
  • Bhindi, an Indian-style fried okra dish, goes with naan or chopped onion salad and curries. Try this recipe.
  • Go classic with deep-fried okra. Smash with a meat mallet before breading and frying for maximum crispy goodness. Try this recipe.

For more cooking inspiration, try this roast lamb, or liven up your barbecue with some new sauces.

© 2018 Texas Farm Bureau Insurance