Autumnal French recipe inspiration using seasonal produce

In France it is easy to get produce to cook seasonally, all you need is a little inspiration…

Pumpkin on a chopping baord surrounded by other vegetables
Autumnal French recipe inspiration using seasonal produce
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With autumn comes a whole different group of produce, which in France is easy to make the most of.

France in particular is a country where you notice what is in season by what is stocked on the supermarket shelves.

Often in the smaller greengrocers and supermarkets only fruit and vegetables that are in season are on sale.

Not only is this good for the planet but also for your cooking: by eating produce that is actually in season offers the opportunity to get the most out of the vegetable in question.

It also offers the opportunity to try cooking new recipes that perhaps would not necessarily be tried if access to all the same products was available.

Vegetables in season in October



Bell peppers


Brussel sprouts






Green tomatoes








Shelling beans


Butternut squash


Gratins are a good option to make the most of these autumnal vegetables, using up any root vegetables in a cupboard.

Gratin dauphinois is a classic; a dish hailing the Dauphiné region in south eastern France.

Read also: France’s Mont d’Or seasonal cheese is back

Gratin dauphinois is made with raw potatoes, rather than boiled as with traditional potato gratin. Thinly sliced raw potatoes are layered in a buttered dish rubbed with garlic and then cooked in cream and sometimes cheese, depending on the recipe.

However, gratin can also be made using other autumn vegetables, in fact, most of these can be made into a gratin.

Cauliflower, broccoli, brussel sprouts, leeks and beans all taste delicious cooked in a bechamel sauce and topped with a crispy, cheesy, breadcrumbed topping.

Autumn and winter are the seasons for roasting, and root vegetables are among the best for this.

In France autumn is hunting season meaning local butchers often stock more game meat.

To accompany roast meat, or served as a winter style salad, roasting the seasonal vegetables is a great option and a good way to diversify its uses - after roasting it can be turned into soups, added to lunch boxes or served as a side.

Autumn is also the season that traditional and celebrated dishes return to menus; beef bourguignon and coq au vin are likely to be common features on the dinner table.

Similarly as the weather slowly turns, Savoyard dishes such as tartiflette - potatoes cooked with reblochon cheese, lardons and onions - and squash farci (stuffed squash) become more appealing and seasonal.

And even raclette season is starting earlier. While it used to mark the start of winter, raclette season has been moving earlier and earlier in the past couple of years, with supermarkets now stocked with raclette produce from September.

However while raclette season may now start in autumn, it is still closely associated with the weather, meaning this year’s unseasonably warm spell could push it back.

October to December is chestnut season in France, and there are even two small villages in the Var department - Collobrières and La Garde-Freinet - that hold special chestnut festivals to mark the occasion.

Collobrières is considered the chestnut capital of the world, boasting 2,220 acres of chestnut trees that produce tons of chestnuts every year.

Many types of chestnuts and chestnut related products are available at the festivals, from cakes and pies to preserves and pastes.

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