Craving light, crisp, refreshing things, but still want to eat local and in season? This month's weather has journeyed far into late spring, making us want to throw barbecues and grill corn, but the local produce hasn't kept up to speed. Such is the paradox for the locavore. However, many classic summer standbys are well-suited for making right now, when lonely heads of cabbage and carrots still linger in markets. Some of these just satisfy that cooling effect, but can easily be made with less-summery ingredients. So break out of the soups and stew routine for what seems like a long, warm season ahead.
A heap of crisp, shredded fresh cabbage is the classic topping for Baja-style fish tacos. Fry some fillets of a local, white fish (like flounder), to contrast with this, and clutch it all in a fresh tortilla with crema to bind.
Mustardy, tangy, herbal, eggy – however you like to make potato salad, it's an easy fix for any season. Kept in cold storage, potatoes of all shapes, sizes, and colors can last – try it now with wintery herbs like thyme and rosemary and red onion for color.
They might not be as sweet as sweet corn, but cauliflower holds together well when flipped on a grill. Soak some big chunks in olive oil and season with salt, like you would with zucchini, and give them some char marks for great flavor.
Celery Root Remoulade
This gnarly root vegetable becomes tender and refined when shredded and served raw in this cool, creamy salad. The classic French application can be made with mayonnaise or crème fraiche, and shredded carrots might be added for contrast as well.
Cold Sesame Noodles
Break out the peanut butter and soy sauce for this tasty summer dish. As a picnic side or simple meal for one, chilled noodles are always refreshing, and cold.
Salad with Beets
Need some fresh color on your plate? Swap in roasted beets for fresh tomatoes, and give it a good squeeze of lemon juice. Beets are full of antioxidants anyway, and can be kept in cold storage for months. Add some winter citrus wedges along with beets for another dose of brightness.
A platter of these cheerful snacks never goes unfinished at a party. While egg-laying tends to slow down in the winter, fresh eggs are readily available once it begins to warm up. Liven up your deviled filling with citrus zest, or spring chives, which are popping up everywhere now.
Your Own Pizza
A great pizza has fresh mozzarella, not tomatoes, and that's easy enough to find. Simply crush a can of tomatoes with your hands and add a bit more salt before spreading it on the dough. Tear fresh mozzarella on top, and pop into the hottest oven you can muster, or the grill. Crack open a can of beer, and not miss those zucchini and peppers on a stick one bit.