Sunday, May 26, 2024

Comfort Kitchen’s confit pork belly with seared dal cake is one of the dishes available at weekend Popportunity events in Starlight Square. (Photo: Comfort Kitchen)

With the most bitter winter weather expected to be behind the region, the Central Square Farmers Market is due for an opening Monday in Starlight Square, the open-air complex in Central Square.

Popportunity pop-up shops are also open noon to 4 p.m. every weekend through the end of March, weather permitting, offering everything from vintage clothing and art to honey, candles, granola and skin care products.

Joining the shops is Comfort Kitchen Popportunity, a pop-up version of a restaurant opening in Uphams Corner, Dorchester, led by chef Kwasi Kwaa with the help of Biplaw Rai (formerly the co-founder of Dudley Cafe in Roxbury) and Nyacko Pearl Perry. The small-plates menu celebrates flavors and ingredients of the African diaspora – what Kwaa calls “global comfort food” – such as an oxtail and okra braise; slabs of confit pork belly with seared dal cake; and pork or vegetable momo.

The square’s first winter market is expected to be open noon to 4 p.m. for eight Mondays through March and April as an extension of the existing Popportunity, with seed funding from the Cambridge Community Foundation for a test season, said Nina Berg, creative director for the Central Square Business Improvement District.

Wood MarketSheds are being used to shelter vendors at upcoming Monday farmers markets. (Photo: Mass Farmers Markets)

The market will have vendors work out of MarketSheds, wood structures that have been used in in similar events in Dorchester and other communities starting this month; the Central Square Winter Farmers Market is expected to be the largest installment of them so far, according to information from the BID. (Cambridge’s Steven Nutter is a co-creator of the sheds, which are locally sourced, can be assembled within a few hours by as few as two people with a minimal set of tools, and can be taken apart and stored between winters.)

“Winter market stalls provide shelter to the vendors and their products while allowing the market to operate in an outdoor setting, thus providing a safer shopping experience for consumers during the Covid-19 pandemic,” said state Department of Agriculture commissioner John Lebeaux, who is expected as a guest for the Monday market launch with Edith Murnane, executive director of Mass Farmers Markets.

Plans for the Starlight Square stage are also taking shape next week, with the BID hosting an information session online at 2 p.m. Tuesday for event and performance organizers. Last summer the stage hosted frequent chances for residents to see theater, dance, comedy and more for free, with tickets subsidized by city government.