Throughout this year’s growing season, we’ll be interviewing local farmers and chefs, among other food lovers, on what produce and products they’re excited to cook with. For In Season, a series on Wednesdays, we’ll find out how people eat seasonally, what they cook in their own kitchens and how to cook with local food in our own homes, whether we shop at the farmer’s market, the neighborhood grocery store or get a Community Supported Agriculture box dropped on our front porch each week.
Have a question about how to prepare a specific seasonal food? Email it to food writer Sarah Baker Hansen at email@example.com.
Kevin Loth, farmer and co-owner of Shadow Brook Farms in Lincoln, said he’s looking forward to harvesting his overwintered spinach. It’s not like the bagged young spinach in the produce aisle. He planted it last September, he said, and is just now harvesting.
“There is a sweetness to the stem and more mouth appeal,” Loth said. “It’s got more substance and texture, and it’s more nutritious than the baby stuff.”
The leaves are much bigger on overwintered spinach, Loth said, and usually measure about an inch and a half wide by four inches long.
“It also has a crinkly texture,” he said.
Loth likes to eat his overwintered spinach in salads or lightly steamed, he said, topped with hard-boiled egg, goat cheese, salt and pepper.
Find Shadow Brook Farms at the Midtown Crossing market on Wednesdays, the Old Market on Saturday mornings and at Aksarben Village Sunday mornings during the farmer’s market season.
Marcus Samuelsson’s Overwintered Spinach, Leek and Carrot Saute
Celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson suggests serving this spring saute as a side dish or over whole wheat pasta or brown rice as a meal. For brunch, serve it with two poached eggs.
• 2 tablespoons canola oil
• 2 large carrots, cut into four pieces lengthwise, and cut into ¼-inch slices
• 2 leeks, halved and cut into ¼-inch slices
• 5 cups overwintered spinach, bottom of stems removed
• Salt to taste
• Freshly ground pepper to taste
• 2 tablespoons butter
Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the canola oil and heat until shimmering. Add the carrots and toss to coat in the oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes, until softened. Add the leeks and toss to combine with the carrots. Add ¼ cup water and salt and pepper to taste. Let cook until the water evaporates, about 10 minutes. Add the spinach and toss to coat. Cook until wilted, about 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the butter and stir to coat the vegetables.
— Recipe courtesy of MarcusSamuelsson.com.