Local In Season
Your Guide to Winter Produce Print
Right Food for the Season - Early Winter
Written by Liz Lamson   

When you live in New England in the deep freeze of winter, and snow is covering the ground, how can you eat seasonally and locally? It's possible! During the spring, summer and fall months our CSA boxes and local farm stands are spilling over with luscious berries and plump vegetables. Then winter sets in and you may think it's over until March or April. This is not the case, and I am here to point you in the right direction. 

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root vegetables

Root vegetables: Named so because the edible piece is part of the root structure and must be dug from the ground to harvest. These consist of radishes, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, beets, and the lesser known celeriac (celery root). When roasted in the oven either alone or all together these make for a tasty and nutritious side dish or main course. For example, use a variety of root vegetables in a filling and soul-warming winter soup. Root veggies are high in vitamin C and fiber, and they take on a pleasantly sweet flavor when cooked or roasted in the oven. 

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Farmers' Market on Wheels Print
Features - Farmers and Markets
Written by Michelle Lahey   

Snappy asparagus, juicy tomatoes, plump, sweet cherries – it’s easy to enjoy the taste of fresh, seasonal produce. Unfortunately, despite the abundance of it we have here in Boston, there are still some neighborhoods that don’t have access to any of it. Thankfully, a group of locals are hoping to change that – with a farmers’-market-meets-food-truck.

Daniel Clarke and Josh Trautwein – both Northeastern grads - recently launched a Kickstarter campaign for their invention, Fresh Truck (you can learn about the rest of the Fresh Truck team here). Their goal was to raise $30,000 in order to bring healthy food to the communities that need it most, in bus form. Not surprisingly, Clarke and Trautwein reached their goal, and plan to deliver their first busload of goods in April or May.

“Everyone deserves the opportunity to eat healthy and be well,” Clarke said.

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Locally Sourced Gelato Print
Features - Chefs and Restaurants
Written by Michelle Lahey   

This time of year, nothing beats a spoonful (or, bowlful) of cold and creamy gelato. But here in New England, it can be hard to find a gelato that’s made with ingredients produced locally. Thankfully, Pazzo Gelato Café, which has recently opened in North Andover, is changing that – just in time for summer.

Pazzo offers up to 20 gelato flavors each day. The flavors change regularly, but expect innovative creations such as Pistachio, Peanut Brittle, and Pineapple Mango Sorbetto.  

To help fulfill our gelato cravings, we had a chat with Pazzo’s owner, Jim Demotses, to get the lowdown on his product, and why he feels it’s important to work with local farmers. 

Why did you choose North Andover for Pazzo's location? 

My wife and I live in North Andover and so it was very appealing to be part of the community in a new way as a business owner. I also saw an opportunity to fill a niche with quality-driven, hand-crafted, artisan frozen dessert options in a warm, inviting atmosphere. 

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Mint Pesto Print
Right Food for the Season - Early Spring
Written by Michelle Lahey   

I have a very vivid memory from my childhood involving mint. My aunt walked my siblings and me through her garden and had all of us try a fresh mint leaf. At the time, it tasted like nothing but toothpaste with an odd, chewy texture. Let’s just say I didn’t love it, and that unpleasant taste stayed on my tongue for quite some time afterwards. 

mintNow that I’m older – with a small, city-size garden of my own – I have much more appreciation for the bright, refreshing herb. Which is a good thing, considering it grows with a vengeance. This time of year, there’s so much of it that there is no guilt in plucking up several roots in order to make use of the aromatic herb in every recipe possible.

A typical go-to for mint in this gardener’s kitchen is cocktails. But sometimes, testing liquor-based recipes in the middle of the workday just doesn’t seem appropriate. And since most other herbs grown around this kitchen get turned into pesto, the only logical idea was to use this mint in its own pesto creation.

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In Honor of Strawberries Print
Right Food for the Season - Early Summer
Written by Michelle Lahey   

Strawberries. They’re juicy, sweet, and unbelievably addictive this time of year. That’s why Massachusetts devotes an entire month to celebrating them. 

Strawberry Shortcake

From June 7th through July 7th, the Mass Farmers Markets is celebrating its 6th Annual Strawberry Dessert Festival. Throughout the month, a slew of restaurants in the state will be serving inventive strawberry desserts and donating a percentage of sales from those desserts to Mass Farmers Markets. Mass Farmers Markets is the only statewide, non-profit organization that works to sustain and strengthen our farmers markets. To date, the festival has raised $60,000.

“This year, most of the restaurants are giving 50 percent of the sales from the special strawberry item to Mass Farmers Markets in support of our mission to sustain local farms and foster healthy individuals and communities across the state of Massachusetts,” said Jeff Cole, Executive Director of Mass Farmers Markets. 

Participating restaurants include SofraOleanaHarvest, and The Beehive, who just so happens to be donating 100 percent of their sales to the cause. Desserts range from traditional strawberry shortcake to more innovative dishes like Strawberry Goat Cheesecake with Strawberry Coulis and Strawberry Sorbet, made by Bistro 5

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What's In Season? 

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(click here for a printable chart)  

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