I was thinking yesterday would be the first day for the Greenmarket in my neighborhood, but that was according to last year’s calendar; this year it opens in June. That will be great, as it’s only a couple of blocks from where I live and will be very handy for Saturday morning shopping runs. But in the meantime I had been hoping to do a big post about how wonderful it is at the Greenmarket, and I suspected that photos of children running around the playground with no vegetables in sight were not going to serve the purpose. So I headed to the Greenmarket at Union Square, which is open year-round.
Union Square is almost too easy a Greenmarket to love. It’s the one that started it all, back in the 1970s; it’s open four days a week, and according to the CENYC site it draws 60,000 shoppers a day in peak season, who are usually standing between me and the tomatoes. Of course it’s far too early for tomatoes now; the fresh produce in the stalls is dominated by root vegetables, mixed greens and apples.
But there’s so much more you can get from the regional farmers. I had a lovely chat with the couple from Grazin’ Angus Acres of Ghent, N.Y., who were selling grass-fed, dry-aged beef and had well-used copies of The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Raising Steaks on their table. They proudly pointed out pictures of their own Eggmobile, which readers of Omnivore’s Dilemma will recognize from Joel Salatin’s system of integrated natural agriculture, and offered samples of a truly delicious sausage. I bought a pound of ground beef, which I plan to use tomorrow night to make Mexican Meatball Soup (from Half Assed Kitchen).
There were lots of other vendors selling beef, as well as chicken, lamb, eggs, and more. For example, flowers:
And even yarn:
There are a lot more pictures to see on my Flickr page.
In addition to the ground beef I got some onions, eggs, popcorn, potatoes, apples, and the biggest carrots ever. I was planning to make a stir-fry with some soba noodles we had on hand, so I picked up a few less seasonal ingredients in my neighborhood and set to work.
I told you the carrots were huge.
Once I’d prepped my ingredients and had the noodles cooking, I put some oil in a cast-iron skillet and got started. (A wok might have been better; we used to have a good one, but it got rusty some time during our long stretch of apartments with electric burners and I think my husband tossed it during a move, so I’ll have to get another before long.) I started with the onions, then added vegetables and let them cook. Of course with the volume of food I had in the pan it got a bit too deep to really be a stir-fry; this works well for me by the time I add the broccoli because the steam coming up from the rest of the vegetables is perfect for cooking it.
Once I had most of the vegetables in I cleared some space in the center of the pan and added beaten egg, using the wooden spatula to break it into curds as it cooked up. When the egg was fairly solid I added my flavor sauce, then tossed in the boiled soba noodles and let it all cook through for a couple of minutes.
For dessert I made apple crisp. First I put together the topping, a combination of flour, rolled oats, brown sugar and butter.
Then I sliced up some apples: a layer of Galas, a layer of Granny Smiths (for tartness) and another layer of Galas.
I topped the apples with some lemon juice and a bit of nutmeg and cinnamon, distributed the crisp topping as evenly as I could, and set it to bake at 375 for 45 minutes.
By the time we were ready to dig in my camera battery had died and was recharging, so no pictures of the cooked filling, but believe me, it was delicious.
Apple crisp goes nicely with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream, or (as I tried at the cafe at MoMA on Friday) mascarpone, but it also stands well on its own.