Cooking is one of my great passions, so when the local farmers markets open in late spring, I am over the moon. Meals are prepared throughout fall and winter from cookbooks and recipes I have collected over the years, but these are happily abandoned during the warmer months when I love to pick up the locally produced vegetables, fruits, and cheeses (and nuts and olives and honey and…) at our neighborhood farmers market and wing it. The ease and informality of these meals fit perfectly into our fluid summer schedules. There is very little preparation involved – I either tweak a simple recipe to fit what we’ve brought home or I throw together a salad with blue or goat cheese and an herb vinaigrette and simply grill the vegetables we’ve chosen alongside fresh fish or steak. Dessert is a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream served with whatever fruit or berry is in season. (Another great ending is my fuss-free “crisp” made by grilling peaches or nectarines and topping them with a drizzle of honey, ice cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and granola from the farmers’ market.)
Epicurious, one of my go-to sites for recipes, has a great peak-season map feature (here) where you click on your state and it tells you what ingredients are in season in your area. Even better, you can then click on the ingredient and it will give you a list of recipes featuring what you have chosen! Below I have highlighted a few of my favorite currently-in-season ingredients and included links to simple recipes I love. Bon appetit!
Roasted asparagus topped with a poached egg and sea salt (via simplybreakfast).
image 1 via Ashlee Rezin for redeyechicago