With many restaurants still closed or offering take out only, and more people working from home with more free time on their hands, cooking has become more popular than ever before. While people used to see cooking as a chore they had to rush through before getting to the next task on their list, people now see cooking as a form of joy. Whether you are making a simple grilled cheese with tomato soup, or cooking a fancy meal for “date night in,” one of the best ways to make sure you meal is full of flavor is by picking produce that is in season.
Have you ever noticed how the best restaurants seem to change their menu each season? It’s because certain produce only has its full flavor in one or two seasons out of the year. Building a menu based on which produce is in season is the best way to keep your meals flavorful and unique. Keep on reading for the best produce to buy in each season, and a fun recipe is which you can use these produce.
Spring is one of the best seasons for produce. After coming off of the rainy winter months, with still enough rain to keep plants green in the Spring, many different produce items are at their best during these months. While this list is not exhaustive, it does house some of the best produce you can buy during the spring months.
Crunchy Spring Salad: With Spring greens being so tasty and fresh on their own, there isn’t much you need to do to make the perfect Crunchy Spring Salad. Thinly slice some celery, radishes, and fennel and add to a green salad with herbs for the perfect Spring Mix. Toss with a lemon vinaigrette dressing and add shaved pecorino on top.
Steak and Asparagus: If you’re planning a date night, this is the perfect meal in the Spring. Head to your local farmer’s market and pick up some in-season asparagus. Pick up a USDA Prime cut of Ribeye, Filet Mignon, or Waygu if you feel like splurging. Coat the asparagus in olive oil, sprinkle with Kosher salt, and roast in the oven. Reverse sear the steak and you’ll never feel the need to go to a steakhouse again.
You may feel like with constant rains and frigid temperatures would prevent any produce from growing. However, sometimes the best things come from difficult situations. Surprisingly, there are many different produce to choose from that are at their best during the winter months. You just have to know what to looks for.
- Brussels Sprouts
- Shallots and Onions
- Sweet Potatoes
French Onion Soup: Let me just start out by saying, French Onion Soup was surprisingly difficult to find during my time in Paris. However, it is the perfect treat to make at home during the winter months. Grab some garlic, onions, thyme, bay leaf and Gruyere cheese for the perfect tasting soup. Make it in some oven safe bowls so the cheese can caramelize after being put in the oven.
Cranberry and Beet Salad: This is one of the easiest recipes that still packs a ton of taste. Pick out a few beets from the local farmer’s market, a pear, and some tasty looking strawberries. Add them to a fresh Spring mix salad and sprinkle goat cheese on top. Use a red wine vinegar dressing for a refreshing and tasty Winter salad.
Fall is the time people crave pumpkin spice everything. While we all know pumpkins are in season during the Fall, there are plenty of other Autumn produce that don’t quite get the love they deserve. While pumpkin will always be in demand during the Fall, impress your friends and family with these in-season Fall produce.
- Bush Beans
Parmesan Zucchini Crisps: This recipe alone is worth splurging for the Ninja Foodi. Buy an organic zucchini and splurge on some fresh parmesan from the deli. Simply slice to zucchini into thin rounds, toss them in olive oil, and sprinkle them with Parmesan and freshly grated pepper. Keep in mind parmesan is a salty cheese so you shouldn’t need too much extra salt. Place the rounds into the air fryer and voila! You’ll have the perfect crispy snack for the Fall months.
Creamed Spinach: This is the perfect side dish for any Fall meal. Even if you’re not big on greens, creamed spinach will have your mouth watering for days. While spinach is the base of this dish, it truly is just an excuse to eat buttery and cheesy goodness. Add this as a side to a stuffed chicken dish or with turkey and be ready for your guests to be awe struck.
Summer is a month where produce is abundant and thriving. With veggies so fresh and so full of flavor, you may even forget that you’re eating healthy. This is the perfect season to take weekly strolls down to your local farmers market and see what your local businesses have to offer. Summer is the season of BBQs and backyard pool parties. Having the perfect side dishes in your arsenal that utilize in-season produce is all you need to be the perfect guest.
- Green Beans
- Sweet Peppers
Table-Side Guacamole: This is one of the easiest and quickest recipes for when you’re in a pinch. All you need is tomato, avocado, onion, lime, and garlic. You can even use garlic powder if you don’t feel like peeling garlic. Simply smash the avocados, Chop up tomatoes in thick chunks (1:1 ration with avocado). Add in yellow onion to your liking and sprinkle with sea salt for flavoe. Squeeze some lime juice on top and you’re done!
Mexican Street Corm: Mexican Street Corn or Elote as its known in Mexico is an amazing snack or side dish. There’s nothing better than when you make it while corn is in season. Made with fresh corn, cilantro, sour cream, mayo, peppers, quest fresco, and lime juice, this tasty treat will have your guests chasing after more. Go light on the mayo if you’re seeking a lighter and more fresh flavor.