I snagged A Cook’s Bible: Seasonal Food by Susannah Blake off of a sale table outside an independent bookstore in Philadelphia last year. The book’s tagline, “How to enjoy food at it’s best,” let’s you know one of the reasons cooking seasonally is a good idea. Food that is picked in season and doesn’t have to travel far to get to your plate just has better flavor.
What are some other reasons for eating seasonally according to the author?
- It makes less of a negative impact on our earth.
- When foods are in season, they are the most plentiful and will be far cheaper than when they are scarce locally and have to be flown from halfway around the world.
- You’ll have a greater choice in foods.
You might assume that aiming to eat whatever is in season from month to month will limit your choice and leave you feeling deprived. But, bizarrely, you may find the exact opposite is true. By trying to buy seasonally, you may end up selecting unfamiliar foods and actually introducing greater variety into your diet. Despite the wide choice offered by supermarkets all year round, most people have slowly been reducing the range of foods they eat. With the same fruits and vegetables constantly found on the shelves, we have become less adventurous, sticking to what is familiar and producing a virtually identical shopping list week after week. Tomatoes, zucchinis, lettuces, broccoli, and apples go into the cart regardless, and meals begin to follow a rigid pattern.
Here are few seasonal recipes titles in each category. Take a look at these and then tell me if eating seasonally looks limiting.
Risotto with spinach and spring herbs
Linguine with arugula pesto
Roast asparagus wrapped in pancetta
New potatoes cooked with onion and garlic
Green beans roasted with tomatoes and herb-stuffed trout
Broccoli and blue cheese tart with walnut crust
Melting eggplant and Parmesan rolls
Wild mushroom pasta with spicy sausage
Pumpkin gnocchi with sage butter
Fig and goat cheese salad
Apple and blackberry crumble
Sweet and sour red cabbage
Leek and sun-dried tomato frittata
Creamy baked Belgian endive
Fish pie topped with creamy celeriac mash
Cooking with seasonal foods doesn’t mean you have to cook with only seasonal foods. You can find a balance between what’s local and seasonal and what’s not. However, once you start adding seasonal, local foods into your menus, I bet you’ll find yourself adding more and more.