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SPOON-FED:

Seasonal Spoonfuls: A guide to summer seasonal cooking from the Lovin’ Spoonfuls team

As the growing season progresses, more and more fresh veggies are coming out of the ground here in New England. That means you’re likely seeing more in your grocery store – and we’re rescuing the same ones from our farm and grocery partners!

Following up on our spring eating blog, we’ve compiled a list of in-season Massachusetts food. If you’re interested in eating locally this summer, give it a look! And keep reading for a few recipes around some of our seasonal favorites: kale, bell peppers, and eggplant.

Spring season food in Massachusetts

  • Beets (June through December)
  • Cabbage (June through October)
  • Carrots (June through September)
  • Corn (June through August)
  • Kale (June through November)
  • Kohlrabi (June and July, September and October)
  • Apples (July through October)
  • Basil (July through September)
  • Blueberries (July and August)
  • Cherries (July)
  • Cucumbers  (July through October)
  • Eggplant (July through October)
  • Garlic (July through October)
  • Melons (July through September)
  • Onions (July through October)
  • Peaches (July through September)
  • Peas and pea pods (July through October)
  • Peppers (July through October)
  • Potatoes (July through October)
  • Raspberries (July through September)
  • Summer Squash (July through September)
  • Tomatoes (July through September)
  • Broccoli raab (August through November)
  • Cantaloupes (August and September)
  • Cauliflower (August through November)
  • Celery (August through October)
  • Currants (August)
  • Leeks (August through December)
  • Nectarines (August and September)
  • Plums (August and September)
  • Rutabagas (August through November)
  • Turnips (August through November)

See more on The Spruce Eats.

Kale

Kale is a dark leafy green that’s part of the cabbage family. Nutrient and mineral-dense, dark leafy greens are especially beneficial for health and well-being. Very high in vitamins A, C, and K, and a great source of fiber and manganese, kale is cost-efficient ingredient that can add a lot of nutrients to any meal!

Quick Kale & Chorizo Soup

Ingredients:

  • 2 oz of fresh chorizo sausage, finely chopped
  • 1 cup (1 small or ½ large) onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cups chicken broth or stock
  • 2 (15 oz) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 cups chopped kale (stems and leaves)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add chorizo to pan and saute for 1 minute. Add onion and garlic, cook until tender, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add broth and beans to the pan and bring to a boil.
  3. Stir in kale and season with salt and pepper to taste. Reduce heat to medium and simmer at least 10 minutes, up to 20 minutes. The longer it simmers the more the flavors will meld.
  4. Serve hot. Leftovers can be pre-portioned and kept for 2 weeks in the fridge or frozen up to 3 months.

Bell Pepper

Bell peppers are mild, not spicy, and come in a variety of colors including green, yellow, orange, red, purple, white, and even striped! They can be used in a wide variety of dishes and make a great flavor base for more complex dishes. They are very high in vitamin C, and a good source of vitamin A and B-6.

Mac & Cheese Stuffed Peppers

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz small pasta (macaroni or other shape)
  • 3 ½ cups shredded cheese (cheddar or a mix of types)
  • 1 cup milk (cream, half & half, or evaporated milk work too)
  • 4 large bell peppers (any colors)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400F. Cook pasta according to package instructions, drain, and set aside.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, combine macaroni, 3 cups of cheese, and milk.
  3. Cut the tops of the peppers off as close to the stem as possible. Remove stems and seeds, but reserve tops. Fill each pepper with pasta and top with remaining ½ cup of cheese.
  4. Place peppers in a baking dish or large muffin tin to keep them upright, and replace tops. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and beginning to brown. Serve hot.

Eggplant

Eggplant gets its name from the white, egg-shaped variety, but you can find many different kinds available. Most have been bred to eliminate bitterness and can be cooked without much preparation. Their rich texture makes them a great substitute for meat, thickener for stews and sauces, and filling dishes all by themselves.

Grilled Marinated Eggplant

Ingredients:

  • 1 large eggplant, cut into thick slices
  • ¼ cup oil (olive or vegetable)
  • ¼ cup vinegar (balsamic or red wine)
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1bsp garlic powder (or 3-4 cloves, chopped)
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dried basil (or 2 tbsp fresh, chopped)
  • ½ tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a large storage container with lid, whisk together oil, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, black pepper, basil, and red pepper flakes (if using).
  2. Add eggplant slices, close tighly, and shake well to coat eggplant entirely with marinade. Let sit at least 30 minutes or overnight.
  3. Remove eggplant from marinade and drain (reserve liquid). Grill eggplant on a hot grill, 3 to 4 minutes per side, until eggplant is soft and lightly charred. Brush or drizzle with reserved marinade to keep moist.
  4. Serve as a side, on sandwiches, or chop and add to pasta. Grilled eggplant can also be blended into a rich spread or dip.

Related posts:

Seasonal Spoonfuls: Spring

Seasonal Spoonfuls: Winter