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How to Plan a Meal Around Seasonal Ingredients

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In the northern hemisphere, a winter tomato salad will never be as good as a summer one. Follow these tips from Annie Somerville, chef at Greens, San Francisco’s renowned vegetarian restaurant, to adapt your cuisine to the seasons.


  1. Visit a local farmer’s market and purchase the fruits and veggies that you can’t resist bringing home. Then start cooking with your creativity.
  2. Inquire about what’s good from the farmers’ market vendors or your grocer, as well as how to prepare strange fruit.
  3. Look through cookbooks and food periodicals for seasonal meal inspiration, then head to the market with a shopping list in hand.
  4. If you’re unfamiliar with most winter vegetables, for example, start with simple and recognizable components and work your way up. Use recipes that only have a few ingredients so that you can experiment and feel at ease.
  5. When you’re at the grocery, keep in mind that if something is pricey, it’s generally out of season.
  6. Purchase vegetables that you can envision yourself utilizing. There’s no need to go overboard on unusual foods.


Antipasto platters are a simple dish to change up depending on the season. Use grilled or roasted red and green peppers, eggplant, sliced ripe tomatoes, and blanched green beans in the summer. Use grilled or roasted carrots, turnips, or potatoes in the winter. Brined artichoke hearts, roasted garlic, mozzarella cheese marinated in a light, flavored olive oil, a bean salad, and olives can be used at any time of year.

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