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11 Wintertime Recipes to Remind You of Summer

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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.

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get grilling

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.

Grilled Steak and Romaine Salad with Coconut Dressing
Grilled Steak and Romaine Salad with Coconut Dressing
Cauliflower Steaks with Green Harissa

Cauliflower Steaks with Green Harissa by Paula Disbrowe

Grilled Salmon Tacos with Avocado Sauce

Grilled Salmon Tacos with Avocado Sauce by sproutedkitchen

Mojo Chicken
Mojo Chicken

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.

Barbara Kafka’s Creamy Lemon Pasta
Barbara Kafka’s Creamy Lemon Pasta
Roasted Broccoli and Red Onions with Caramelized Shallots and Aioli

Roasted Broccoli and Red Onions with Caramelized Shallots... by Elizabeth Stark

Broiled Lemon-Honey Arctic Char with Citrus Sauce

Broiled Lemon-Honey Arctic Char with Citrus Sauce by Alexandra Stafford

Sunnier Salads

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.

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Warm Purple Potato Salad with Green Beans, Radish, and Fennel

Warm Purple Potato Salad with Green Beans, Radish, and Fe... by Judy Haubert

Small Oven's Green Salad with Preserved Lemon and Candied Ginger

Small Oven's Green Salad with Preserved Lemon and Candied... by Genius Recipes

Union Square Café’s Hashed Brussels Sprouts with Poppy Seeds and Lemon

Union Square Café’s Hashed Brussels Sprouts with Poppy Se... by Genius Recipes

Kale and Anchovy Salad

Kale and Anchovy Salad by Amanda Hesser

How do you beat the winter doldrums? Let us know how you bring lift to months of cold-weather eating.

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Summer, Winter, Lemon, Salad, Grill & Barbecue