Now that spring has officially sprung here in the city, not only do we get to spend more time outside, but we also get all of our wonderful greenmarket vendors back! Since there is a such a variety of tremendously good produce available right now, I’ve taken to ordering only dry goods from FreshDirect and buying the rest at the Union Square Greenmarket on Saturday mornings.
It’s such a feast (both for eyes and stomach) that I can’t resist photographing, tasting and touching everything in sight. Ryan already makes fun of me for reaching out and touching anything and everything that attracts my interest (whether we’re at a bookstore, Barneys, or the grocery store), so I’m kind of glad that he’s typically not going to be around on Saturday mornings to witness my full-on love fest with the greenmarket.
I planned our menu for the week, mostly centering it around what I knew would be available—truly seasonal eating. This weeks menu features lots of spring greens (tatsoi, mustard greens, lamb’s-quarters and baby arugula), Swiss chard, asparagus, and ramps.
Oh, ramps. They’re an obsessive thing for most chefs, since their season is so short and they can be tough to find, but I find the obsession to be entirely justified. Just a few weeks ago, while at The Spotted Pig, we were treated to sauteed ramps with a farm-fresh egg on top. The pure simplicity and freshness of the dish reminded me that spring really is here and also motivated me to get some ramps as soon as possible.
The greenmarket is also the spot to find any certifiably weird ingredients that you may not be able to find anywhere else. Pineapple mint? Shiso leaf? Lavender-calendula tea? Goat meat? It’s all there.
It thrills me to no end that a) I can find this stuff and, most importantly, b) that I can support real agriculture in the middle of Manhattan. (And that I can touch everything ’til my heart’s content!)