I’ve had the good fortune to live a short walk from the Grand Army Plaza Farmer’s Market for the last four years, and on most Saturday mornings, it’s where you’ll find me.
I may depart my apartment with a plan to buy certain things, but I never leave with a list. There’s not much point. I buy what looks good to me. I am attracted to bright reds and oranges, lush greens and the deepest purples. I left with the intent of buying a winter squash and some sunchokes, maybe an eggplant.
And instead, I came home with these guys.
Leaving the market with more food than I intended to buy is what happens every Saturday (and it’s also what happens every time I go to Fairway). And as I step out of Grand Army Plaza, securing all the vegetables in my bags, making sure nothing gets bruised on my walk, positioning the canvas sacks in such a way that their straps won’t slip off my shoulders, I start to get ideas.
Kale… slaw. But you just had kale slaw yesterday. But you always want more kale slaw after you eat in at Blueprint. You need carrots for slaw. Another stop to make.
Squash… Hmm. Roasting? Yes. Paul (my boyfriend) likes acorn squash with maple syrup. Do we have maple syrup? Let’s put off the squash till later in the week. It keeps.
Broccoli. I could make the broccoli and carrot fritters I saw in Cooking Light this week! Yes! And I am stopping to buy carrots.
But I could also make fritters with the zucchini I got. I do have potatoes home. And parmesan cheese. And eggs. Yes. This could be dinner tonight.
The apples. Can’t tell Paul I bought more apples. (Sidebar: We went apple picking last week, and our crisper is FULL of 20+ pounds of apples.) But these are honeycrisps! The finest foods to spring forth from the earth! Whatever. They’re my apples and I will eat them. Happily.
I didn’t find sunchokes at the market. Where am I going to find sunchokes?
So I made a detour and went to Union Market, one of those smaller gourmet supermarkets where you want to buy everything and realize you’d need need a million dollars just to raid the produce section. Union Market has everything. They had to have sunchokes.
And they did. For $8.99 a pound (yikes!). I’m never particularly good with estimating weight in my hand, but I chose my chokes carefully, and ended up with about 2/3 of pound—enough to prepare a side dish for Paul & I for dinner one night this week.
Now, I’ve never made sunchokes. I’ve only had them at restaurants. They make a fantastic accompaniment to just about anything—steak, chicken, duck. Especially duck. Cooked sunchokes are tender or creamy like potatoes (depending on how much they are cooked), but what sets them apart from most root veggies is their nutty flavor. You don’t have to doctor them much to get the best out of them.
Time to look for recipes. Stay tuned.