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.

Words by Valerio Farris at Food52

[Photos/recipes via Food52]