I picked up my first fall apple, a Paula Red from Carlson Orchards in Harvard, Mass., at Morning Glory last week. Yes, I only bought one. It was so pretty I had to have it, though I didn’t have apple plans. (Turns out Paula Red is a super early variety, a slightly more tart cousin of the McIntosh which starts ripening in late August.) Next, two Bartlett pears went into my basket. They were firm but smelled sweet; I figured they’d ripen up just fine on my counter.

A week later, the urgency to use two embarrassingly ripe pears and one lonely apple coincided with both the desire to make a rustic tart (aka galette) and the purchase of a bag of bacon ends at Grey Barn. I shuffled my proverbial deck of rustic tart cards and wound up with two minis in the oven on Sunday: A variation on the Savory Cabbage, Apple, Cheddar & Thyme Tart (mine had gruyere and bacon) and a sweet (fruit) tart that was half pear/half apple.

Susie Middleton

Those of you who’ve been Cook the Vineyard readers from the start (we’re already on issue no. 166 – in our fourth year!) know that I’m a big fan of the easy food-processor tart dough and endless filling ideas (both sweet and savory) for these forgiving tarts. But if you’re new to us or to making pastry, I encourage you to give these a try.

After tart-making, I still had one pear left. I decided to roast it, and while looking back at my Honey-Cardamom Roasted Pear recipe, I stumbled on a story I wrote about donning a white suit and trailing a beekeeper, who happened to be a Benedictine nun. Tucked in that story is an explanation of the fascinating process of how bees make honey. I’d forgotten how awe-inspiring it is.

Susie Middleton/Randi Baird

The next pear that comes through my door is going into Ellen Ecker Ogden’s Arugula, Caramelized Pear, and Toasted Walnut Salad.

Matthew Benson

And the next apple? Into Amy Traverso’s easy and delicious Apple Brownies. I pulled Amy’s Apple Lover’s Cookbook off my shelf this weekend to check out the apple primer; I’m determined to taste-test some new varieties this year.

Susie Middleton

And those Grey Barn maple bacon ends? They're my favorite new local find.

Susie Middleton

There isn’t a fall vegetable dish that doesn’t benefit from a little bacon. Since I’m growing a lot of green beans, this slow-sauté of beans, bacon and peppers (or onions) is in frequent rotation.

But you could try Corn and Yellow Bean Sauté with Bacon and Herbs to keep the corn season going.

Susie Middleton

Or you could jump into the Brussels sprouts season early with Brussels Sprouts, Bacon, and Garlic Slow-Sauté with Orange-Balsamic Butter.

Susie Middleton

If you’re hoping to eat your vegetables without bacon, I noticed my co-worker Steve brought Kale Salad with Sweet Potato Fries, Quinoa, and Blackberry-Lime Dressing to the office for lunch today. That colorful, nutrient-dense salad is one of my favorites.

Susie Middleton

It reminded me that with the season of orange vegetables bearing down on us, it might be appropriate to welcome the soup season with this beauty: Spiced Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Soup with Coconut Milk and Cilantro.

Susie Middleton

Keep it colorful and we’ll see you on Instagram @cookthevineyard. Be sure to follow us if you haven't already.

P.S. Just because I've stopped talking about tomatoes (finally, you say!) doesn't mean you shouldn't be taking advantage of the incredible abundance (and bargains) at the markets right now and making Vineyard Fall Tomato Sauce to put in the freezer! Morning Glory is offering a discounted price on purchases of six pounds of tomatoes or more.

Susie Middleton

The displays of both peppers and tomatoes at the farm stand are a visual feast unto themselves.

Susie Middleton


Thomas Humphrey

Farm and Field Report:
Seasonal Shift

The signs are all there - not a cucumber or zucchini in sight. It seems the seasonal torch has been passed to the orange vegetables.


What's Open on Martha's Vineyard

With things ever so slightly quieter on the Island (but everything still open), now is the time to get that ice cream cone or lobster roll, take advantage of shop sales, and get a reservation at your favorite Island restaurant. For a complete list of what's open, including hours, websites, and contact numbers, visit What's Open on Martha's Vineyard.


• S & S Kitchenette on 48 Main street in Vineyard Haven is having a Thai pop-up tonight, Wednesday, Sept. 14, starting at 5 p.m. until sold out. Sweet Chom’s Thai Night features a menu of Thai soups, curries, rice, wontons, salads and more.


• The Martha’s Vineyard Museum hosts cookbook author and food historian Joan Nathan for an event titled “What Makes a Meal More Than a Meal?” this Sunday, Sept. 18, from 10 a.m. to noon. Pre-registration is required.