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.
Wait. A greater choice in foods? Wouldn’t eating seasonally limit your choice in foods? Not according to the intro of the book, and I think the author has a good point here.
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.
Does this sound familiar to you? I know it does to me. That’s one of the reasons this cookbook appeals to me. It’s arranged by season, and each season features one or more recipes for different herbs, vegetables, fruits and some meats for when they are in season. Not all regions will have a season for all the ingredients, I’ll never have local citrus fruits where I live, but there is enough in here that no matter where you live, there will be recipes you can use.

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


Watercress soup

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. 

Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

Cookbook: Seasonal food
If you're trying to eat seasonally, this cookbook will take you through the growing season - one ingredient at a time.