i do really try to center my meals around foods that are in season, agriculturally or traditionally. i think it forces variation into my diet and also is just complementary. when i lived in florida, i lamented the lack of seasonal change, and now that i'm back in the northeast, i'm always excited when one season gives way to the next. eating in accordance with natural cycles only adds to my appreciation of them.
BUT...there's no denying that there are prototypical meals that exemplify the seasons. it finally got COLD here this week and i found myself wanting to escape the winter come dinnertime, so i worked up a summery plate. in my eyes, barbecue goes hand in hand with rising mercury. luckily, it's easy enough to prepare indoors any time of year and there are any number of foods that lend themselves well to a healthy dousing of sauce.
asparagus and basil, like most produce, are available not only "in season" but year-round, which i guess warrants some kind of dubious gratitude. i mean, i'm glad to have them whenever i want, but they're also indicative of the disruption of farming by consumer demand. (get these politics off my plate!) ah, well, i balanced all this with the ever-loving potato, a cold-weather crop and also only the greatest thing nature has ever invented.
a meal for the dog days of december: BBQ tofu (lightly breaded, sauteed & brushed with BBQ sauce), asparagus (lightly doused with olive oil, tossed with salt, and broiled) and pesto mashed potatoes (garlic steeped in some melted EB, then tossed with basil chiffonades and mixed with soymilk & potatoes).