The autumn harvest is off to a great start. In the coming months, there will be squash and hearty greens, fall tomatoes and crunchy root vegetables filling tables at farmers markets and produce stands all over the state.

These first couple of weeks will be a nice combination of summer vegetables that are still available and fall produce that is beginning to arrive, making for a well-rounded meal.

Eggplants are still being brought to the farmers market, and as I was strolling past them on a recent trip, I had a sudden craving for one of my childhood favorites: Shrimp and Eggplant Casserole. It’s an easy-to-make dish that is truly sumptuous. It’s a great way to wrap up my summer eggplant recipes as we head into fall.

I Eat La.: Recipes for Shrimp and Eggplant Casserole and Persimmon Bars

Persimmons have started popping up on tables at the market, and that got me thinking about these scrumptious Persimmon Bars. These bars are a rich treat for dessert or even breakfast.

Available through February, persimmons have a rich, creamy texture and taste a bit like honey with a hint of pumpkin or butternut squash flavor. This delicate little fruit has substantial pulp and is complemented by warm spices, refreshing lemon or both. 

Enjoy this change in the season for both weather and produce. It’s a beautiful time to cook in Louisiana. Dive in and make the most of the fall season the minute it starts. It will be gone before we know it!

Teresa B. Day is a local food writer and author of the “I Eat BR” blog. Contact her at