Fall, finally!

This is quite possibly my favorite time of year.

We finally get a little relief from the heat, and the fall harvest here promises lots of fresh vegetables. Wild- game seasons have started, too. It’s a great time to eat.

During the past couple of weeks, farmers markets have blossomed. The tables and stands, sparse with waning summer crops, are now overflowing with fruits and vegetables. (I love you, eggplant, but I think we need to take a break.)

These days there are plenty of fresh new things to cook in interesting ways, like persimmons, sweet corn, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, radishes, pumpkins and other squash, and greens, like kale and turnip greens.

One fall vegetable I love to cook is pattypan squash.

Pattypan is that cute little scalloped squash that you’d rather decorate with than chop up and cook. But they’re deliciously tender and mild. Pattypans are also the perfect one-serving size and don’t require peeling.

This recipe is very simple and great for busy evenings. It’s also easy to modify to whatever meat or vegetables you have on hand. For instance, I made this one with Italian-inspired flavors, but you could easily make it with more of a Tex-Mex flare by using chorizo, hot peppers and cheddar.

The autumn harvest is off to a great start. In the coming months, I hope you’ll enjoy squashes like these, hearty greens, fall tomatoes, crunchy root vegetables and more to be found at farmers markets and produce stands all over the state. Keep reading for recipes and ideas for what to do with it all.

Teresa B. Day is a local food writer and author of the “I Eat BR” blog. You can reach her at teresabday@cox.net.