I was recently informed (rightly so) that tomatoes are not in season, making my ratatouille post out of season (though not out of style!). So, I’ve decided to do a post on something more readily available to buy locally and in season in Massachusetts. Given that we’re in the very early stages of spring—so little has, in fact, sprung—this is not the easiest of tasks. But a few veggies that are local and still in season are kale, collards, and other dark, leafy greens.

I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in feeling that my appreciation for dark, leafy greens increases with age. Whereas spinach used to be something I ate only because Popeye did (who’s with me?!), I now go out of my way to include greens in my meals as frequently as possible. They go with so many different things – it’s fantastic!

Ask around at your local farm or specialty food store for good recipes for greens…in the meantime, a simple kale recipe makes a great side dish (or even by itself over brown rice or pasta).

Kale et al.

  • Put olive oil into a large skillet and set over medium heat
  • Add a medium-sized, thinly sliced onion (sweet or yellow) to the pan
  • Reduce the heat to low and sauté the onions for 5-10 minutes until translucent
  • Add two cloves of minced garlic
  • Add ½ pound of sliced baby portabella mushrooms (or the most available kind locally)
  • Raise the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms give up their liquid (at this point, cover so the liquid is not reduced)
  • Add sea salt, pepper, ¼ cup dry white wine (and any other seasoning—oregano, thyme, rosemary, parsley—as you wish) and allow to simmer, covered, for 5 minutes or so
  • For the last few minutes, pile in some freshly washed kale and other winter greens (remember, they will reduce in size) and cover the skillet, allowing for the steam of the mushroom/wine liquid to cook the greens
  • Serve immediately—brown rice, pasta, chicken, fish, steak—winter greens go well with everything!

There are some excellent resources around Boston to learn about local, seasonal foods (in fact, I’m trying to learn more about it so will be going on my own adventures in the upcoming months). Some stores/websites/markets that are a great starting point:

Formaggio Kitchen

Local in Season

City Feed and Supply

Edible Boston

Federation of Massachusetts Farmers Markets

Cuisine en Locale

Boston Local Food Festival

Savenor’s Market

Wilson Farm

Russo’s

Lovin’ Spoonfuls: a food rescue (where all the extra food can go!)

Feel free to share other places worth exploring – and of course, restaurants too!