It’s February but it feels like Spring here in DFW. In fact, today is what I like to call the classic California day. It’s sunny, inching toward the 70s, and there’s not a cloud in the sky.

All that’s missing, really, is the mighty Pacific and the best fish tacos anywhere, and I’d believe I was on vacation. Well, almost, anyway.

Speaking of vacations, yes, I’m (gasp!) still writing about Will and I’s adventures in Europe from last year. As I was scrolling through our pictures, this one with all the fresh mushrooms, potatoes, and yes, even a pumpkin or two, couldn’t help making me smile. It’s from one of many absolutely gorgeous markets in Annecy, France.

Seeing all the fresh produce made me wish we’d rented a house instead of a hotel room so I could cook. It’s really no surprise why so many retreat to France for cooking school because who couldn’t be inspired by the local bounty? I know I would.

I’ve been on a bit of a vegetarian kick as of late, and while the local produce isn’t nearly as stunning as this, it’s incredible how tasty the humble vegetable can be when it’s prepared just right.

For dinner the other night, I ditched the usual recipe and improvised a bit with vegetables. While roasting a small container’s worth of grape tomatoes and a bundle of asparagus on separate sheet pans with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and dried oregano in the oven for 25 minutes at 375 degrees,  I caramelized an onion on the stove, a process that takes about as long as the vegetables but is totally worth it. Once everything was ready, I combined my efforts for a chunky Primavera sauce that I spooned over cheese ravioli.

For a dinner that took roughly 30 minutes to pull together, it was surprisingly satisfying. So if you’ve ever wanted tomatoes to taste summer fresh in the middle of the winter, just throw ’em in the oven. I’m not quite sure what happens while they’re roasting that makes them so incredibly addictive, but I can’t recommend them enough.