Lesser-known local vegetables New England should be eating


Interesting. Back in April I was in Portland, Maine and it happened to be Maine Seaweed Week. We got to try a type fresh called sea beans that was pleasant and refreshing in an asparagus dish and as a garnish to a cocktail, of all things!

I wonder if we’ll see New England seaweed more widely marketed in the future. I actually have yet to run across our regional seaweed sold anywhere (though the article mentions wakame being sold at Whole Foods).

And I do enjoy beet greens much more than I like beets. The greens wilt fast though. At their best right after beets are picked, so the only time we get to have the greens is on beets from the CSA farm we subscribe to in the summer.

My favorite onion is called the Red Long Onion of Tropea. Our CSA share is the only place I have seen it here.


I saw sea beans everywhere in Seattle, but I strangely have never seen them here in the Boston/N.E. area. I enjoy seaweed, not only as the ubiquitous wakame salad and roasted seaweed sheets for sushi, but my mom used to make a Chinese seaweed soup with that was quite tasty. These were larger pieces of purplish-black seaeed; not the green ones you find in miso soup. I wonder if that can be harvested locally.

I don’t care for beet greens, and I don’t like Swiss chard either. Tried to be a good sport and cook them several times, and just blah. I’d rather compost stuff the for my garden.


Makes sense. I love both beet greens and chard and I find the flavors to be similar.


Love chard and beetroot tops, as well as the roots. Actually, I buy beetroots more for the tops. They contain even more nutrients than the roots.

“Seabeans” (samphire to us) are readily available and I eat it all the time. Versatile veg that doesn’t need any seasoning.

I also eat seaweed regularly. Apparently not good to do that due to high iodine content.


I’ve seen seabeans at the Fresh Pond WF – they’ve been in the section past the fresh herbs, near the packaged wheatgrass, etc., just before you get to the sauerkraut and pickles…

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I have read that you shouldn’t leave the greens on your carrots because they draw nutrients out of the root veg. So if you don’t want to eat the beets, it may be wise to leave the greens attached as long as possible.


No seabeans today at WF.

I’ve seen dulse from Maine in stores in California - dried and packaged. Not sure if it was at Whole Foods or at the local hippie grocery.

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Re beets: I eat both the roots and tops. When in season I buy them with tops intact. Tops for stir-fries. Peel for broth (to drink or cook something in it to get the colour), roots for everything else.