Seasonal stars of Georgia gardens

Inspired by books such as “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” and “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan, more people have taken a seemingly simple question — “what should we have for dinner?” — and made it a call to action.

Beyond confusing slews of diet books and nutritional science studies, Pollan’s simple axiom “eat food, not too much, mostly plants” beckons like a beacon of sanity. And wanting to do the right thing for the environment and our bodies, we shop farmers markets for local produce or sign up for a weekly community supported agriculture farm box.

The only problem is, the fresh green zucchini that looks so appetizing at the farm stand or plucked from the cardboard confines of a CSA box takes more effort to make into a satisfying meal than, say, tossing some chicken on the grill.

At Dynamic Dish on Edgewood Avenue, chef-owner David Sweeney creates all sorts of elegant and flavorful vegetarian fare. And many of the natural and organic ingredients Sweeney cooks with come from local farms within a 100-mile radius of his restaurant.

“I’m a big believer in eating what’s growing around you in the season,” Sweeney said.

In keeping with that philosophy, Dynamic Dish also serves as a CSA pickup point for Barnesville’s Greenleaf Farms.

Although Sweeney is obviously a booster for the farm-to-table movement, he’s not blind to the predicament of those who are sometimes daunted by the task of cooking what’s inside the box.

“You’re going to have to want to cook every weekend if you’re going to subscribe to a CSA,” he said. “It’s not like ordering takeout. You have to be prepared to not know what you’re going to get from one week to the next, and then to work a little when you get it.”

Many of Sweeney’s dishes are inspired by Mediterranean cooking and rely on abundant Georgia vegetables, such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and greens.

“When you look around at farmers markets in Georgia,” Sweeney said, “you see the same or similar types of produce that you’d find in a Mediterranean kitchen. If those things aren’t eaten raw, they are roasted or served in very simple fashion, with lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar and some herbs. Not only is it a simple way to eat, it’s a really healthy way to eat.”

Among the current crop of Sweeney’s veggie inventions, find a cool cucumber soup with yogurt and dill, and borekas, phyllo pastry “cigars” stuffed with roasted squash, peppers and feta cheese.

“In my style of cooking, I always appreciate the flavor of the vegetable and then work to enhance or pair that with other things,” Sweeney said. “In the borekas, the pepper and the squash are really highlighted. The flakiness of the phyllo is the comfort element. But what you’re really reacting to is the vegetables and the cheese combined.”