Try the Season’s Freshest Foods at NYC’s Greenmarkets
New York City’s greenmarket network is one of the largest city-based series of farmers’ markets. When the women (and men) of BlogHer 2010 descend on NYC, East Coast farmers will be harvesting peak summer produce. Tomatoes, cucumbers, summer squash, peppers -- these are just a few of the vegetables to taste and enjoy from the markets while visiting the Big Apple.
For a taste of some of the produce that was available just a week or two ago, check out Jess and Garrett’s photo-post on We Heart New York. “With so many good things coming into season, using the kitchen for storage just doesn't seem right,” they write alongside delicious photos of how they’re using summer’s bounty from the greenmarket.
One of the largest, most well-known of the greenmarkets is the one held on Saturdays in Union Square. “Founded in 1976 with only 12 farmers, Union Square Green market is now the largest and most diverse outdoor urban farmers market network in the country,” writes Tammy of Adventures of a Florida Girl in DC. “Today over 200 family farms and fishermen participate, and over 30,000 acres of farmland are protected from development.”
“Union Square is one of my favorite places to spend my Saturday late mornings and early afternoons,” writes Elise of After 5 in New York. “Always a bustling area of the city, Union Square morphs into a green market that features local New York farmers and artists every Saturday in the spring and summer.”
Jamie of Adventures in SF visited the Union Square greenmarket on a recent trip to the city. “No matter what city I'm in, or what season it is, I like checking out the local Farmer's Market,” she writes. “I love seeing what produce is available, talking to the local customers, meeting the regional farmers, and seeing what local producers are there.”
The Experimental Gourmand created a totally local frittata from the Union Square greenmarket in June. If you’re not a farmers’ market shopper, her description of the ingredients might convert you:
I love the collage of vibrant colors that come together in this dish. When you cut open the frittata, you see the bits of green from the vegetables and herbs with specks of white from the cheese, all surrounded by deep yellow eggs. The yolks of some of the eggs from Knoll Krest Farm, my standby source for these, were almost orange, which is why the hue of the final product came out as richly-colored as it did. This recipe was also a great way to use up some of the vegetables I'd bought a week or so ago, and that were sitting in my fridge looking for a home. It is rewarding to me to see that it is possible to create a mostly locally-sourced dish.
I'd shelled my own peas that I'd bought at Migliorelli Farm (and brought back the pods for composting the next week). The asparagus had come from Terhune Orchard, which might also be the same source for the lone garlic ramp, I can't remember exactly. My go-to source for herbs when they are at the market is Stokes Farm. I picked up the basil there, some of the first I've seen this year. Lynn Haven Goat Farm has gorgeous logs of goat cheese, some with herbs and some without. I've cooked with their product before, and it has produced excellent and flavorful results. Even the butter I used to cook everything in came from the market, from Ronnybrook Farm.
Nikki of Nikki’s Kitchen Table found some beautiful eggs -- the kind perfect for frittatas -- during her own spring visit to the Union Square greenmarket. “As usual, nothing I bought was actually on my shopping list so I now need to rethink my weeked cooking plans,” she says, and I have to say, that is often my experience at the farmers’ market. Sometimes shopping with an open mind is the best way to go!
Christina of the Practical Farmers of Iowa blog spotlights a video about Rick Bishop, a Roscoe, New York berry farmer who sells at the Union Square greenmarket. Christina highlights some of the key quotes from the video, in which the farmer talks about his connection to the land and his market shoppers.
Karen of Healthy. Happy. Life. provides a set of 10 great tips for visiting the Union Square market, or any farmers’ market, for that matter!
The Union Square greenmarket is only one of the great markets available in the New York City greenmarket system.
Jenny of Hummingbird Appetite highlighted the Inwood greenmarket in a recent post. “The market has a little bit of everything: fruit, vegetables, cheese, ducks!, fish, seafood, grass-fed beef and turkeys,” she writes. “I bought all my potted herbs (thyme, basil, chives and parsley) from the greenmarket.”
Kim of Affairs of Living mentions the Cortelyou greenmarket in Brooklyn in her post about a long weekend in New York City, but her post is worth checking out if you’re a gluten-free traveler -- she offers great tips about other, non-farmers’ market places to shop and eat while in the Five Boroughs.
Looking for a terrific, locally-made Bloody Mary mix? Try the Ninth Street greenmarket, recommends Sarah DiGregorio of Fork In The Road. There, you can find Toigo Orchards’ Birth of Pain Bloody Mary mix, which provides a spike of heat from farm-grown scotch bonnet peppers.
Grow NYC offers a PDF map of all New York’s greenmarkets, which can be handy to keep in your smartphone or print before visiting the city.
Photo Credit: Photo by Barbara L. Hanson, shared under an Attribution 2.0 Generic Creative Commons License.