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Officially, it’s been winter for only a month or so, but that doesn’t mean I’m not already over it. I long for warmer days and colder meals—not the other way around. We’re months away from June, but in my kitchen, I don’t have to be. There’s a way, I realized, to convince my body that it’s in a different temporal space, a world away from snow boots and beanies.
To do this, I rely on light, summery flavors and methods of cooking that call to mind warmer months. Grilling, for example, doesn’t have to happen outdoors. Salads, a mainstay of picnics and barbecues, can be reimagined for the winter without adding too much heft. And lemon—oh, lemon, that bright and bubbly pop of acid!—brings the ease of summertime to any meal, no matter how drab the view outside your window.
The trick here is all in the grill pan, like this one here. It gives you those grill marks you love and that signature char without having to go outside. Get it nice and warm first, then lay down your protein. Don't be discouraged if a recipe calls for a grill; this indoor alternative will do the job.
Lighten with Lemon
Cozy up to everyone's favorite yellow citrus. It's plentiful in the winter (yes, citrus season!) but is an easy way to give your meals a sunny feel. Consider it a wintertime hack.
Just because it's not peak produce season, that doesn't mean we can't enjoy a simple salad. Opt for winter-friendly greens and give them the summertime treatment. To do this, keep your veggies raw and spritz them with zingy dressings (again, lots of lemon!). If it's a summertime treat you're really craving, then take a note out of our Food Writer and Recipe Developer Emma's book: Give corn and tomatoes and green beans a good char in the oven—this hides their out-of-season quality and adds a smoky element.
How do you beat the winter doldrums? Let us know how you bring lift to months of cold-weather eating.