New York, N.Y., Saturday, Oct. 23, 2010

Union Square Greenmarket, Oct. 23, 2010

The Market:
Union Square Greenmarket
17th Street and Broadway
New York City / map
Mon., Wed., Fri., and Sat.
8 a.m. to 6 p.m.


Market-Goer: Mark Thompson


This is the time of year when summer meets fall in the farmers market. Summer items — tomatoes, peppers, beans, cucumbers — are still in abundance, but they not for much longer. The pumpkins are among the harbingers of that news.


Previous reports from this market:
April 7, 2010
Oct. 23, 2009
July 11, 2009
Nov. 5, 2008
Aug. 9, 2008
Feb. 20, 2008
Dec. 14, 2007
Oct. 5, 2007
Sept. 27, 2006
May 13, 2006

What I Bought:


red radishes, black radish, parsley roots


I almost never leave this market without at least one oddball item that I have rarely if ever seen before. Among today’s discoveries: parsley roots. Searching back through Seasonal Chef, I noticed that I have purchased parsley roots at a farmers market at least once before, in Santa Monica, Calif., on April 5, 2006, but those wispy roots weren’t anything like these. The sign on the table where I bought this hefty bunch says they’re good for flavoring soups, stewing or pureeing. A quick Internet search yielded another good idea: boil some parsley roots with potatoes and mash them together to make parsley-inflected mashed potatoes.


Price: $1 for red radishes
$5/lb. for black radish
$2.50/bunch for parsley root




Delfino cilantro


This is an unusual variety of cilantro, with leaves that are fern-like rather than flat. It should be popular with farmers because, unlike more conventional varieties of cilantro that go to seed after just a couple of days of hot weather, the delfino variety is very slow to bolt, according to the listing for the variety in the Park Seed catalog.
Price: $1.50/bunch


Heirloom tomatoes


There were lots of tomatoes in the market today, including tables full of spectacular heirloom specimens, for only $2 a pound! At least they were spectacular looking as displayed, bottom up. Flip them over and you’ll see why they’re selling at half the price that heirloom tomatoes typically fetch in this farmers market.


They are aesthetically challenged, end of the season tomatoes, clearly showing signs of the ravages that cool, wet weather inflicts on tomatoes. No matter. The bad spots can easily be trimmed away. The red tomato was as juicy and sweet as a tomato at the peak of summer. The yellow one, which I think is a pineapple tomato, one of my favorite varieties, was tougher skinned and drier than one harvested at mid-summer, but it still tasted like a real tomato, and, blemishes and all, was far superior to an immaculate supermarket tomato.


Price: $2/lb.




fairytale eggplants, brussel sprouts
I’ve never seen tinier eggplants. The smaller ones, as you can see, are just a bit bigger than a nickle.
Price: $3/lb. for eggplant
$3.80/lb. for brussel sprouts


all-blue potatoes, Jerusalem artichokes
Price: $3/lb. for potatoes
$4/lb. for Jerusalem artichokes


cranberry beans
Price: $4/lb


sugar pumpkin
Price: $2

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