Dress Up “Summer” Produce for Fall
NASHVILLE - Some types of produce — sweet potatoes, for instance, or pumpkins — are truly fall crops. Planted in summer’s heat and harvested as the year winds down, there’s only one season per calendar year when they’re available. Watermelons are a prime example of a true summer crop; local asparagus is available for only a brief time in early spring.
Most types of produce, however, are merely cool weather or warm weather crops—meaning that as long as the weather conditions are right, they can be planted and thrive, providing harvests over and over. In Tennessee, the growing season typically runs seven to nine months.
Squashes like yellow crookneck and zucchini are called “summer” squashes only to set them apart from hard, or “winter,” squashes like butternut, acorn, patty pan and other true autumn varieties. Summer squash is planted in late spring to be available by early summer, but later plantings make these delicious and easy to use vegetables plentiful right up until frost.
It may be tempting to stash the fall crop of these tender squashes in the freezer for winter, but don’t forget to enjoy them fresh. After a summer of simple grilling and roasting, savory recipes can turn “summer” squash into hearty, cozy additions to autumn meals.
All types of produce typical to Tennessee should be available at local farmers markets across the state until frost. To find local farmers markets, local farms with produce or for recipes featuring seasonal Tennessee fruits and vegetables, go to the Pick Tennessee Products website at www.picktnproducts.org.
Savory Zucchini Pie
Makes 8 servings
2 cups shredded zucchini
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 white onion, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup all-purpose baking mix
3/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried sage
1/4 teaspoon paprika
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9-inch pie plate and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine the zucchini, eggs, onions, baking mix, cheese, oil, salt, pepper, sage, and paprika. Blend well. Transfer to the prepared pie plate.