Monthly ArchiveJune 2009

NYC Greenmarkets 25 Jun 2009 11:13 pm

Borough Hall Greenmarket: Happy 25th Birthday!

A reminder that the Borough Hall Greenmarket in Cadman Plaza is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year with a day long party this Saturday, 6/27. You can play CENYC’s Recycling Game; talk to a rep from Slow Food about sustainable food systems; see videos and historical photos of the market and its farmers and customers; and eat some great food: American Seafood will be grilling up some of the local catch, and Dan Leader of Bread Alone will be grilling pizzas made from seasonal ingredients. You can read more detail on the event flyer.

And oh, of course, there’s the market itself, which on Saturday will be bursting its seams. If you’ve been away from the greenmarket  you’re in for a shock –  I got one when I visited this morning, and I go every week! Suddenly, alongside the sugar snap peas, spring onions, lettuces, rhubarb, radishes and strawberries we’ve seen for the past few weeks, today there were raspberries, black raspberries, blueberries, cherries (sweet & sour), cherry tomatoes (red & yellow), zucchini, yellow squash, pod peas, kirby cucumbers, green beans, yellow beans… I lost count after that. The floodgates of summer food have been thrown open, and from now until November the greenmarkets will give you wider variety and higher quality than anything you’ll find in the supermarket.

So head to Cadman Plaza this weekend! Pick up some great food, congratulate the market and its farmers on the anniversary, and celebrate your luck at having such an exceptional greenmarket in your neighborhood!

Seasonal Cooking 22 Jun 2009 09:44 pm

The Williamsburg Ricotta Quest: Day 2

It was Saturday. I was hungry. I needed rest from my weekend labors, and I needed a rice ball. I knew Lorimer Street Meat Market at Lorimer St. and Skillman Ave. makes some good rice balls, so I decided to stop in. While a butcher warmed my snack my eyes browsed under the counter, and there I found a truly remarkable ricotta.

It was packed in what looked like a small metal flower pot, with a creamy dome of cheese like an ice cream scoop on top. It came in small (1-1/2 lb) and large (3 lb) sizes.  The dome of cheese was covered with a plastic sheet bearing the stately name of the cheesemaker: Lioni Latticini, Inc., formally of Lioni Italy by way of Brooklyn though now headquartered in Union NJ. Their own website describes best what I’d just found: ricotta made the “’old fashioned’ way… hand dipped and scooped in order to preserve the texture and allow for a truly premium, chunky-style Ricotta.”

Their claims did not exaggerate. The cheese was flavorful and fresh, slightly sweet and moist and creamy while still maintaining the curdy chunkiness the website brags about. It made a delicious version of my standard spinach-ricotta spread (flavored this time with a bit of nutmeg) that I enjoyed all week on slices of Nunzio & Sons’ sourdough bread.

The Lioni Latticini website tells the story of a family company making cheeses according to traditions brought over from Italy. Though they’re operating on a fairly large scale (they’re suppliers to Whole Foods), this was far superior to a Sargento or Polly-O tub o’ ricotta.  Aside from the tin of Ricotta I brought home, they also make mozzarella, and a basket cheese like I’d found on my previous ricotta quest.

Lorimer Street Meat Market has this ricotta delivered twice a week. As close as this is to my apartment, not to mention its proximity to Brooklyn Kitchen, I expect I’ll be stopping off for this ricotta fairly regularly.

No information yet about Pecoraro Dairy, near the corner of Leonard and Metropolitan. I called to find out whether and where their ricotta could be found in the neighborhood, but did not get a call in return. Very mysterious.

Read part 1 of the Ricotta Quest here

NYC Greenmarkets 20 Jun 2009 06:50 pm

Greenhorns at the Vermont Pharmacy in Carroll Gardens

Remember the Vermont Pharmacy? The storefront on the corner of Carroll and Henry that seems eternally to’ve been filled with the decrepit remains of what may once been a store? For the entire decade I lived in the area I always wondered how such a prime neighborhood location could stay idle. Well today I learned two things about it : first, that today it’s hosting a party to promote The Greenhorns, a non-profit that works to support and recruit new farmers (as well as a film about the same). This morning I stopped by as they were setting up and watched them roasting goat meat on a bicycle-driven spit. They’ll have plenty of other food besides, along with music, demos, and a film screening. Stop by!

Secondly, I learned that later this summer the storefront will re-open as the Pharm/Farmacy, which will sell produce and goods from local farms, along with natural sodas & ice cream. That section of the neighborhood has long needed a produce market, and it sounds like they’re getting a good one!

More info:

NYC Greenmarkets 18 Jun 2009 10:07 pm

Borough Hall Greenmarket: Father’s Day and 25th Anniversary Party

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Borough Hall Greenmarket in Brooklyn’s Cadman Plaza.The market is marking the occasion with a day-long celebration on Saturday, June 27th. There will be, of course, lots of food (Long Island seafood and made-on-the-spot seasonal pizzas), along with talks and demos featuring green energy and slow food. You can play the Recycling Game and see videos and photos highlighting the market’s history, its farmers, and its customers. The party runs from 8am to 6pm. You can download a poster for the event here.

But first, in honor of father’s day, this coming Saturday, June 20, Fred Wilklow of Wilklow Orchards will be talking about his father and grandfather who farmed the land that Fred still farms.  The farm has been in their family since 1855, and Fred has been with the Borough Hall Greenmarket since its first season in 1984. If you were around the market today, you may have heard Fred’s son Albert giving a talk about how the Wilklow Orchards apples go from seed to tree to truck to greenmarket. You can read more about Fred Wilklow and Wilklow Orchards elsewhere on Dave’s Kitchen.

NYC Greenmarkets 18 Jun 2009 09:48 pm

Greenpoint Greenmarket – Mid-June

Yes, there were strawberries at the market last week, though by the time I’d finally got myself there (noon) they were long gone. Lauren, the Greenpoint market manager, told me they’d been brought in by Red Jacket Orchards and that they’d been especially delicious.

Dont miss marionberry jam from the Jam Man

She also told me to talk to the Jam Man, of B & B Jams, and to ask him about his marionberry jam. No, it’s not named for the former mayor of Washington D.C., it’s a berry bred in the Pacific Northwest from a cross between blackberries and raspberries.  Apparently it makes really tasty jam.  This is the first year that the Jam Man’s marionberry bushes have produced berries. He started them two years ago without really even knowing if they’d take to the Northeast’s climate. But take they did. Since this is their first berry-bearing year though, the crop will be limited.  The Jam Man says he’ll have marionberry jam next week for sure, but not for long after that. (Apologies to the Jam Man for the poor quality photo. I forgot to charge my camera’s battery, and so had to resort to my phone’s camera.)

As usual, I found something unusual: at the Osczepinski booth, as I was stepping up to pay for my gorgeous red spring onions, I saw a sign for horseradish greens. I did a double-take: yes, horseradish greens.  Next to me a woman reached for a bunch at the same time I did, and for the same reason: she’d never seen them before and couldn’t pass up the chance to try them. Her plans for them? She planned to add them to a gumbo she was making for a party. No doubt her guests got a real treat. As for mine, I’m thinking the peppery leaves will make an awfully good risotto. Mmm…

Coming up at the market this week: kale and rainbow chard from Garden of Eve, more strawberries from Red Jacket Orchards, Peas at Healthway Farms and snap peas at S&SO. There will also be an event in honor of Father’s Day. So bring your dad and get  your veggies!

NYC Greenmarkets 12 Jun 2009 05:39 pm

Greenpoint Greenmarket Early June

The Chamomile at Greenpoint Greenmarketdelightful surprise last week, in an early June visit to the Greenpoint Greenmarket, was big bunches of fresh, fragrant chamomile at the booth for Garden of Eve Farms.  I brought one home and clipped it to the side of my fridge. It’ll hang it there until it dries, and then I’ll peel off the leaves and flowers for tea. Osczepinski Farms had chamomile as well, and it was looking abundant enough that you’ll hopefully still find some on the shelves in the upcoming weeks.

Osczepinski Farms was also full of  surprises last week. Theirs is the first booth you see as you approach the market from the eastern, Lorimer street side, Radishes from Osczepinski Farms - Greenpoint Greenmarketand as I did so my eye was practically assaulted by a deep red blaze of piled up bunches of radishes. They were nearly big as apples. They didn’t have quite as much spiciness as the multicolored radishes I’d gotten a couple of weeks ago from Fishkill Farms in the Boro Hall market, but they were certainly crisp and delicious. Osczepinski’s booth has been bursting at the seams in recent weeks. Alongside the radishes (and chamomile) they had beautiful red and white spring onions, lettuces & spinach, cut cilantro, parsley, basil, and rhubarb. I was told they’d also had tiny beets earlier inRadishes from Osczepinski Farms - Greenpoint Greenmarket the day, but by the time of my late-morning visit they were already sold out.

Other finds: a Spring Onions from Osczepinski Farms - Greenpoint Greenmarketfirm, dry feta cheese from Consider Bardwell. And in conversation with Kate from Cayuga I got an update on their plan to bring flour to the market: they’re waiting on approval from CENYC (the flour comes from a partnership with another farm, not solely from Cayuga, so the partnership needs to be approved before it can sell in NYC Greenmarkets). I didn’t see any strawberries, but I’m expecting they’ll be plenty tomorrow.