1. Buy Local, Grill Local
Choose your meal based on what's in season now, and available locally. Aim to buy as much as possible food grown and produced within 100 miles of home.
2. The Substitute You'll Actually Pay Attention To
Some summer favorites just aren't available yet. Try these worthy substitutes until the harvest catches up with your appetite. Although there's really no substitute for sweet corn, how about grilling asparagus? It's quick, easy, and the grilled flavors this venerable veg evokes simply can't be beat.
Have a hankering for crisp, cool watermelon? Sub in strawberries they're ripe for the picking (and eating). Tired of waiting for "everything tomato?" Try our white gazpacho soup recipe that uses lots of garlic instead and will make your calendar-watching days a little more tolerable.
3. Let Us Help
Check out a couple of weekend menus for distinctive locally flavored meals that will keep your guests talking until Labor Day. Or, choose one dish and haul it to your neighborhood potluck party. Here's a menu that hits all the high notes for easy-to-find ingredients, flavor and good-old fashioned summer season fun. A duo of vegetable and fruit salsas, steak and vegetable grill, goat cheese and arugula sandwiches, a cool, creamy cucumber salad all topped off with sinfully delicious whole wheat brownies is sure to please any die-hard al fresco fan.
4. Spread Local Flavor
If you're hosting a barbecue, give it a local theme by encouraging your guests to bring food with regional flavor. If you're lucky enough to be attending someone else's party, wow them with your favorite dish then rave about the farm where you bought the ingredients.
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