Seasonal Menu Planning from Around the U.S.

This week in the Kitchen Cure we're talking about menu planning. Yesterday I promised I'd give some suggestions for seasonal menus from around the country.

Leave us your suggestions in the comments, and make sure to tell us where you are geographically, since "seasonal" and "local" are not interchangeable. International contributions encouraged!

Click through for menus from New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Ohio.

Elizabeth, in NYC suggests the following menu based on what she's seeing in our Farmers' Markets:

Use asparagus but do something a little different, do the asparagus puree on buttered bread (with or without the prosciutto) that I wrote about last year. I also think a small piece of roasted asparagus on top of a knob of goat cheese, on a cracker, would be good.

For a recession-friendly meal, spaghetti with ramps and sausage.

I know there are sun-chokes at the market. Maybe slice some thin and fry them into chips as a garnish.

Or the Pizza with Morels and Ramps. I tried the NY Times pizza dough from the Sunday magazine a few weeks ago, and I loved it. Delicious and economical. I did 4 pizzas for 8 people, just bringing them out one by one throughout dinner (they only take 7 minutes to cook, so there wasn’t a ton of wait time). The bacon/Gorgonzola/dried fig was great.

Spinach salad

I loved this pistachio cake which was part of Virginia/Mateo kitchen tour.

Or, if you want to stick to the market and go with apples, I’d saute them with butter and brown sugar and put them over vanilla ice cream, maybe with some dried cherries or a crumble of biscotti/cookie/graham cracker on top.

Dana, in San Francisco offers this menu:

Pizza 'Carbonara': Guanciale (or bacon), Parmesan cheese and scallions, an egg cracked sunny side up on top, fresh black pepper. After it is out of the oven and cut, a handful of wild arugula tossed with olive oil on top. (Sand dabs would be very seasonal and local, too)

Side of oven-roasted asparagus with a small bowl of aioli for dipping. Maybe a relish salad of favas and chopped radish, dressed in olive oil and lemon and topped with sheep's milk feta.

Dessert would be fresh strawberry pavlova or fool. Or even just sugared strawberries with minced basil on top to keep it lighter.

Also pink and yellow and peach Ranunculus in a vase, a few bottles of a bright and crisp wine wine and maybe some Chet Baker or Jolie Holland on the stereo.

Faith, representing Ohio (where she laments, Farmers' Markets aren't open yet,) offers this menu from her Mothers' Day lunch:

Fresh spinach dip in bread bowl ((from a project Faith is working on... shhhh)
Blackberry Elderflower Spritzer with Mint
Slow Cooker Lemon Garlic Chicken
Ricotta Spaetzle
Spring Salad with Radishes and Pumpkin Seeds
A broccoli and cauliflower casserole with rice and Gouda (from Faith's secret project)
Ina Garten's Lemon Cake with Lemon Buttercream

Here's a Southern California suggestion (from my mom in LA!) we ran last year but it sounds so good I'll offer it again:

Fava bean bruschetta or grilled artichokes with a lemony fava bean puree (made with lots of olive oil)
Pasta carbonara with fresh peas or asparagus
Blanched kale or spinach salad with a blackberry dressing
Cornmeal cakes with balsamic strawberries or rhubarb

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