Saturday, May 26, 2007

While you were stuck in a Memorial Day traffic jam

I was at the Union Square greenmarket, waiting for Mr. Picky-Pants in front of me to finish selecting his fiddleheads one curly bit at a time. Maddening! Here's today's haul:

part of today's haul

A fluffy bundle of thyme and several loooong branches of rosemary ($1.75 each from Stokes Farm), and some rhubarb ($2.50, I think; can't recall who grew it).

Sweet William

An armful of Sweet William ($4, from the same people who grew the rhubard). Don't worry, we're not going to eat it.

fat organic beets

Two fat organic beets with abundant greens, from the people who also sell home-made kimchee. I can't remember how much these were but beets are never pricey. These beets are destined to become beetroot, cardamom and sour cream soup; I'm not yet sure what I'll do with their greens.

French sorrel

A quarter of a pound of organic French sorrel ($4.50-$5), from the same people who grew the beets. It's expensive but it's one of my favorite greens. I also picked up a pound of nice-looking sea scallops from P.E. & D.D. Seafood and this sorrel is likely going to be used to make a sauce for the scallops. I really want to try this recipe for butter-braised radishes with sorrel too; maybe next week.

plump shallots

Plenty of over-sized shallots ($2.50 for a small basket, from a stand in the southwest corner of the park).


A pint of fiddleheads from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm ($4). These are what I went to the greenmarket hoping to find. Like ramps, they can be hard to come by even during their very brief season. They are ferns that have yet to uncoil; they're prized in Maine but happily they grow within NYC greenmarket range too. This recipe is very simple and very good; it's the only fiddlehead recipe I've ever used but they come out perfectly tender and I'm going to keep using it. If you're inclined to pickle things (ahem!) there are a few recipes here for pickled fiddleheads.

the last ramps of the season

A bundle of ramps ($2.50, I think), also from Mountain Sweet Berry Farm. According to their sign these are the last ramps of the season. I know I've said I could eat ramps with fresh pasta every week but I've just had my biannual carb freak-out so these will likely go into some sort of egg dish.

Araucana chicken eggs

Good thing I got eggs, then. These odd-colored and irregularly-sized beauties are from pasture-raised Araucana chickens, a distinctive rumpless breed originally from South America and now raised by fanciers in the U.S. and elsewhere. These were expensive eggs, $7/dozen, but I always buy local free-range eggs at the greenmarkets so I like to invest in super-delicious eggs. I wasn't really thinking when I asked the guy who sold these what's different about eggs from pasture-raised chickens but on the way home I thought about his explanation and realized that these chickens are really rather better-off than others — a "free-range" chicken doesn't necessarilly have a pasture to loll around in.


  1. These pictures are fantastic. The greenmarket you go to looks great.

    What are you going to do with the rhubarb? I got some from my Mom's backyard last week and made some jam. (I want to blog about it but haven't got to it yet.)

  2. me? you're looking at me?
    pickled fiddlehead ferns? Moi?!? you think I'd be into that? nah... well... maybe... uh, yeah, yeah, I'd like to try those!
    thanks for the tip!

  3. Thanks Laura!
    I was going to make this recipe for strawberry, rhubarb and rose fool but I didn't find any nice strawberries today, and it turns out I only had 1/2 lb. of rhubarb. I simmered it with 1/4 c. of sugar and 2 tbsp. water just now and I'm going to stir in a couple teaspoons of rose water and a bit of lemon juice, and see if I can find some strawberries to have with it tomorrow. I might use it as the topping for a cornmeal cake. I was also tempted by this recipe for sour cream rhubarb squares; they sound like an interesting sort of rhubarb brownie (blondie? pinkie?).

    Ann, ha! You are one of the picklingest people! I am still meaning to try your pickled red beet eggs; I really want to wake up one morning and have one for breakfast with dark, grainy toast.

  4. Is there a soup update? Beetroot, cardamom and sour cream soup sounds intriguing.

    I never see sorrel for sale. I purchased seeds for my garden plot so perhaps next spring I'll have sorrel of my own.

    Do the Araucana eggs taste different from other fresh eggs?