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Winter flavors are deep and sweet, warming and rich with unexpected bright notes; much like the experiences we hope to create with friends and family when clouds and cold send us indoors. In season now are onions, potatoes, beets, carrots, celery root, brussel sprouts, squash, turnips, parsnips, horseradish, cabbage, fennel, leeks, persimmons, pomegranates, and all shapes and sizes of citrus: oranges, lemons, grapefruit, clementines, satsumas, kumquats and mandarins.
When spring comes to Columbus after a long winter, we share with plant life an urge to uncurl and stretch up toward the sun. Stalks, leaves and flowers poke and bloom their way into the open air and we pile them on our plates, hungry for their fresh flavor and vitality. At their best now are tender greens like young kale, collards, mustard, turnip or spinach; alliums like spring onions, ramps, scallions and flowering chives; fat asparagus, arugula, radishes, rhubarb and the year’s first fragrant strawberries.
The days are golden and long, and local produce arrives at the market still warm and smelling of earth. It’s summer, and we arrange our baskets to avoid bruising the juicy fruit and tender vegetables that, prepared simply, make the most memorable meals of our year. Look for ripe berries: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries and more. Seek lettuce, sweet corn, tomatoes, asparagus and melons.
The season that sneaks up on us. The sun cools almost imperceptibly into a sudden chill. In the markets, local apples and thick-skinned gourds slowly edge out the corn, berries and summer squash until rich, deep hues like crimson, butternut and pumpkin are all we see. We think about how to cook our vegetables: whether it's best to saute, roast or braise the dense flesh and hardy leaves to unlock the deep-rooted sweetness of a long growing season. Now is the time to look for parsnips, potatoes, pumpkins, squash, endive, escarole, dark, leafy greens, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, apples, pears, and grapes.