Kale To Citrus: Eating Seasonally in the East and the West

I recently returned from Los Angeles, my hometown. One of the reasons why I love visiting LA in the winter is the bounty of crops one finds at the farmers' market. Down in Hollywood, where we hang on Sunday mornings, farmers sell a dozen varieties of citrus, several kinds of avocados, and more greenery than I see at a New York market in the height of summer. They might have gridlock, but they sure have nice winter crops.

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We had daily salads with mandarin supremes, a blood orange cake and perfectly ripe Pinkerton avocados in every egg burrito. For an eastern girl, it's a gift to eat so well as the calendar slogs its way to the end of winter.

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Meanwhile, back in New York, we're facing the deepest darkest time for folks who eat seasonally. Aside from a few delicate greenhouse-grown greens, we're looking at the last scrappy kale, hard root vegetables and the end of the 2010 apple crop. But these things offer their own delicious pleasures too, not to be overlooked.

With winter eating in mind, here's a roundup of favorite recipes from The Kitchn, using the crops that are in season right this moment from East to West. Consider it a back-pocket guide through the last weeks of winter that will keep your cooking in sync with the earth.

West

Avocado Toast
Citrus and Onion Salad
Creamy, Tangy Avocado Dressing
Vegan Recipe: Quick and Tangy Artichoke Barigoule
Lemon and Sea Salt Focaccia
Vietnamese Ginger Crab
Fridge Clearing Avocado Soup
Meyer Lemon Whiskey Sour: A Sunny Drink for Winter
Blood Orange Ambrosia with Crème Fraiche
Citrus Salad with Lemongrass Syrup

East

Fried Egg Kale Toast
Kale Slaw with Peanut Dressing
Chicken Stew with Kale and Cannellini Beans
Baked Potato Soup With Bacon, Onion & Cheddar
Kale and Potato Puree
Bacon-Wrapped Potato Bites with Spicy Sour Cream Dipping Sauce
Kale and Apple Soup
Maple Syrup Cocktails
Snow Day Treat: How To Make Maple Syrup Taffy
Rosemary Apple Turnovers with Honey

Meet in the Middle!

Kale Salad with Blood Orange and Meyer Lemon
Roasted Chicken Thighs with Fennel & Lemon
Chickpea Casserole with Lemon, Herbs & Shallots
Kale Salad with Pecorino and Lemon
Teeny-Tiny New Potatoes with Lemon

What are the seasons like where you are, and what are you cooking right now?

(Images: Emily Ho; Rebekah Peppler; Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan; Emily Ho; Emily Ho; Faith Durand; Kathryn Hill; Faith Durand; Leela Cyd Ross; Sara Kate Gillingham-Ryan)

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