"Although meat, milk, and eggs have been available all winter, the animals are out on pasture now. That means egg yolks are taking on a deeper yellow, milk is a bit more vitamin-rich...."
Spring has arrived in New York in the form of shockingly hot weather (85°F?!), crowded trains full of bare legs, and over at the Union Square Greenmarket, green garlic, ramps, asparagus, and spring onions (though the last two were completely sold-out by midday over the weekend).
Several stands were selling ramps, but Mountain Sweet Berry Farm seemed most excited about theirs. If you look closely, you'll see that someone who's been reading Alice Waters scribbled recipe ideas on that sign, like ramps with bacon and ramps risotto.
We bought green garlic from Norwich Meadows Farm, where they recommended using it instead of chives or to make fresh broths. Disclaimer: carry your green garlic in a separate bag from you other groceries, unless you want the pungent plant to leave your cookies tasting like focaccia.
Jam, bread, and heaps of apples still filled most of the stands. The late-fruiting varieties, like Mutsu, Pink Lady, and Fuji, are still nice and crisp. On the other hand, the Jonagolds and Galas we sampled were mealy enough to make us want some Granny Smiths from New Zealand.
Windfall Farms had a lovely selection of greens and microgreens, about half from the greenhouse and half from the fields. We also found broccoli rabe and wild mustard at Migliorelli Farms. Not to be confused with the cultivated variety--which adds a pleasant spice to salads--wild mustard is an intensely bitter weed that grows rampant in the springtime. Like nettles and lamb's quarter, it's quite nutritious, and flavorful in a way that would frighten small children. One idea is making this recipe, a white bean and mustard greens dip.
Although meat, milk, and eggs have been available all winter, the animals are out on pasture now. That means egg yolks are taking on a deeper yellow, milk is a bit more vitamin-rich, and vendors are flaunting their meat now that it's truly grass-fed. Ronnybrook Dairy's competitor Milk Thistle was handing out samples of some of the most outrageously delicious cream-line milk we've ever tasted.
Farmer Joy Quattro told us to roast the pheasant in a brown-and-roast bag over a bed of onion and sweet potatoes--the pheasant eggs should be simply hard-boiled to enjoy their naturally sweet, mild flavor. As for the goat ribs, try wrapping them in foil and slow-cooking them in the oven for a few hours until the meat reaches falls-off-the-bones texture. As for the lamb bacon, simply toss it into a frying pan. Let your dogs figure out what to do with the buffalo.
The market scenesters over in California, who have been munching on Gaviota strawberries and fresh fava beans for weeks might feel sorry for us New Yorkers after reading this post.
Well, we feel sorry for you, because you have to fly all the way across the country to try these buttery, crispy, organic oatmeal raisin cookies from Hawthorne Valley farms. Better book a flight soon (and bring us some tangerines).
Wild greens Asparagus Ramps Spring onions Green garlic
Morels Garlic scapes Fiddlehead ferns Strawberries Fava beans
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