Midtown Farmers Market: Week 7—Bring It On
By Tom // Posted 13 June, 2010 in: Farmers Market
Look at all them vegetables! Only a couple of weeks ago that I was whining about the slow pace of the season; now the dreamed for abundance is upon us: radishes, fingerling potatoes, frisée, beets, strawberries, rhubarb, spinach, a rainbow of chard, sugar snap peas, broccoli, mint, basil and a jar of the salsa Mayor RT Rybak just can’t get enough of (I take market vendors at their word). An imposing haul, but I refuse to be intimidated! I am invigorated! Sure, my crisper drawer may be stuffed up to the glass now, but I will not let any of these veggies languish past the next weekend. The key is to attack your produce head on — don’t sit on it trying to make it last through the end of the week: this much produce lasts forever.
Within an hour of returning from the market Saturday morning, I had the oven fired up roasting beets — a roasted beet can be used without any forethought in salads, sandwiches and side dishes — a raw beet, not so much. As it happened, I layered beet slices with basil and chevre in a terrine that we ate that very night. If you don’t have the patience for careful stacking and weighting, this trio works just as well in a salad. The radishes were also gone by Saturday evening, roasted to make these crostini from the New York Times.
With the knowledge that the strawberries wouldn’t last overnight on our warm counters and lose much of their flavor in the refrigerator, after enjoying a few berries fresh I cooked the remainder into a strawberry sauce with just a little sugar. We’ll be eating this sauce all week; it was perfect for Sunday morning waffles enjoyed with the World Cup on in the background.
Even after separating all the stems from the spinach leaves, the bag of spinach I was left with (which I paid $2 for, by the way) was still taking up half of the crisper drawer. Obviously, it would have to go. I like spinach salads as much as the next guy, but quantities like this demand to be cooked. You know those recipes that, if you go to the grocery store, force you to invest a small fortune in spinach only to have you cook it down to a small fistful? Those are the recipes you want to make with farmers market spinach. Case in point: spinach lasagna.
One and a half days after the market, I’m feeling reasonably good about my progress: beets eaten, radishes roasted, spinach dispatched, strawberries sauced. I even made headway through half the head of frisée in a salad to accompany the lasagna. I have plans for some of the rest: the chard is bound for a north African soup, the rhubarb will likely become jam. If I remain vigilant, the fridge should be empty again just in time for next week’s market.