Union Square Greenmarket, New York City

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Union Square Greenmarket 05/11/11

Union Square Greenmarket 09/11/11

17th Street and Broadway
New York City
Mon., Wed., Fri., and Sat.
8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

slide show

What I Bought

green garlic and ramps
green garlic and ramps
Price: $2/bunch for green garlic
$3/bunch for ramps

If I possibly can, I make an annual pilgrimage to this market at this time each year, to load up on ramps. They’re available in an increasing number of good farmers markets elsewhere, but farmers have been trucking them into this ramp-crazed city by the crate load for years.

rhubarb and asparagus
rhubarb and asparagus
Price: $4/lb.

fiddlehead ferns
fiddlehead ferns
Price: $5/pint basket

Fiddleheads are the young coiled leaves of the ostrich fern, according to the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, which has produced a bulletin on this spring delicacy, including half a dozen recipes.

Japanese knotweed
Japanese knotweed
Price: $2/large bundle

This invader from Asia is one of the “least wanted” plants in North America, according to the Alien Plant Working Group. Since it can survive severe floods and quickly colonize scoured terrain, crowding out the native flora, it is an especially serious threat to riparian habitats. On the other hand, it happens to be highly nutritious, with abundant quantities of Vitamin A and C, as well as resveratrol, the same substance in the skin of grapes and in red wine that lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol, according to Wildman Steve Brill, a foraging guru who has posted half a dozen recipes for this plant on his web site. You could do your part to rid the continent of this invasive species by eating it.

tomatoes and sunchokes
heirloom tomatoes, baby spinach, sunchokes

Price: $4.75/lb. for tomatoes
$4/lb. for spinach
$4/lb. for sunchokes

pea shoots
Price: $20/lb.

(clockwise from top left) radish sprouts, buckwheat sprouts, arugula blossoms, tat soi blossoms
Price: $48/lb.

I do believe this has got to be the most expensive item, on a per pound basis, than anything I’ve ever purchased at a farmers market.