Looking for an Okinawa sweet potato? How about a kabocha squash? Green luobo radish? Look no further than Bodhitree Farm's Greenmarket stand.
One of the great things about shopping at any farmers' market is the unusual—and delicious—produce that you just don't find at the grocery store. After ten years at the market with Yuno's Farm, Nevia No started struck out on her own and started Bodhitree (Yuno's Farm is still at the market under the name Lani's Farm). From Bordentown, NJ, Bodhitree strives to introduce Greenmarket shoppers to new types of produce, including a number of Asian varieties that are worlds apart from their Western counterparts, while still sharing a few defining characteristics.
Take the sweet potato: Bodhitree sells traditional Western sweet potatoes, but they also sell three Asian varieties: two with purple flesh, and the white fleshed Japanese sweet potato (only the traditional and Japanese varieties were available this week). On the outside, the Japanese sweet potato looks like a more knobby, jagged tuber, but when cut it reveals a white flesh. The taste is less sweet, "almost chestnut-y," farmer Debi Farmer told me this week. "It still has that hint of what we would refer to as a sweet potato, but it's a completely different flavor." As someone who does not really enjoy sweet potatoes, this is a veggie that I want to see more of.
The kabocha is another Japanese variety that Bodhitree specializes in. Sometimes called a Japanese pumpkin, the kabocha is dense and sweet, and while you usually see them with a dark green skin, Bodhitree has both green and orange kabochas. There are also a number of varieties of radishes and peppers, including the Japanese shisito pepper and the prized Spanish pimiento de padron--both are wonderful blistered in a pan and doused with lemon juice and sea salt. Most days, Bodhitree holds cooking demos with samples of their cooked food, showing that with little more than a skillet and some olive oil, you can get a delicious vegetable dish on the table, whether you're using traditional broccoli or a more exotic option. Stop by and have a taste, and you'll probably start stockpiling their produce.
Bodhitree Farm are at the Union Square Greenmarket on Wednesdays and Fridays, at the Abingdon Square Greenmarket on Saturdays, and at the Piermont Farmer's Market in Piermont, NY (unaffiliated with the Greenmarket) on Sundays. Click through the slideshow to see more of what Bodhitree had on offer this week.