This past Saturday was my inaugural visit to NYC's Union Square Farmer's Market. Actually, it was my first time ever at a farmer's market, and it was amazing! I perused the stands and saw some unbelievable produce. I spoke to several of the farmers/sellers about their goods and everyone was so knowledgeable. Impressive! Unfortunately, I don't have any pictures of this momentous occasion, as I left my camera at home since it was supposed to thunderstorm on Saturday. Of course it didn't. I don't want to talk about it.
Let's talk about the goodies I scored instead. I was lucky enough to pick up some blue potatoes, asparagus, sugar snap peas, mesclun, ramps, green garlic, and Bosc pears.
Growing up in the Bahamas, I've had the opportunity to eat fruits and vegetables which are fresh from the garden. It's been a while since I've done that, which must account for my forgetfulness when it comes to washing things such as lettuce. I taste tested one of the lettuce leaves and was shocked to feel grit in my mouth. It immediately dawned on me that maybe I should thoroughly wash everything before I start the cooking process. Just a thought.
The moment I got home, I broke out the mesclun and sugar snap peas and made myself a quick but simple salad. I drizzled some balsamic vinaigrette over the greens and tossed. Afternoon snack? Check.
The lettuce was crisp, yet tender. The mesclun I purchased had a slightly bitter taste to it, but it was well rounded out by the sugar snap peas. I love crunchy things, so the peas were an awesome purchase. I'm tempted to go back to the market just to snag another bag of these pods!
On Sunday morning, I woke up to a beautiful bunch of asparagus staring me in the face. I'm always trying to come up with new ways to eat asparagus so that I'm not bored by it. Since I love omelets, I figured it would be appropriate to make an asparagus omelet.
Serves 1 person
- 4 stalks asparagus
- 2 eggs, beaten
- salt & pepper
- 1 small ramp, diced
- 1 small green garlic bulb, diced
- handful Fontina cheese, grated or in small pieces
1) Blanch the asparagus stalks in boiling water for ~3 minutes. Remove and chop into thirds
2) Meanwhile, add the diced ramp and green garlic to the beaten eggs. (See comments below.) Add salt and pepper to taste.
3) Add egg mixture to a small, buttered frying pan. Swirl the egg mixture so it covers the bottom of the pan.
4) After a minute or two check to make sure the bottom of the omelet has set. Flip the omelet over so the other side can cook as well.
5) Add the asparagus and Fontina cheese on the top of the omelet, to one side.
6) After another minute or two, slide the omelet out of the pan and onto a plate. While the omelet is still warm, fold in half.
As my friend Anjelika would say, Bon Appetit!
This omelet was so fresh and satisfying, even though the ramps almost threatened to overpower the eggs and asparagus. Ramps are similar to an onion. They are almost out of season so I was lucky to snag some at the only stand still selling it at the market. When I make this again...because I will make this again...I would saute the ramps prior to adding the egg mixture. That way, they will have a more mellow presence in the omelet. The green garlic could have been more prominent as well. Green garlic is a young garlic clove, so the flavors are not as developed as a mature garlic bulb. I could have used maybe two small bulbs instead of just one. But I will still say that this omelet was amazing. And since the asparagus was really thin, it was much sweeter and tender-er than a thicker stalk. (I know that tender-er isn't a word, but work with me here.)
Here's a tip for making omelets extra fluffy. After pouring the egg mixture in the frying pan, wait about 20 seconds for the egg to begin to set. Then, with a spatula, begin pulling back the edges of the omelet gently. When you can see the bottom of the frying pan, tilt the frying pan in that direction so the "non-set" egg mixture can fill the empty space. Continue to do this until the egg mixture is gone or you are ready to flip. You should have a nice fluffy omelet now!
While I was at the farmers market I happened upon a sign that advertised blue potatoes. Um, yes please! I love those blue Terra chips that Jet Blue serves on its flights. I hate that they only have 6.5 potato chips in each bag, but that's another story.
I wasn't sure what to do with the potatoes so I thought I'd go au natural and just roast them. I wanted to enjoy that beautiful blue color.
Roasted Blue Potatoes
- ~10 small blue potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
- olive oil for drizzling over potatoes
- 1/4 tsp rosemary
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- salt and pepper
- 1 small ramp, diced
- 1 small green garlic bulb, diced
1) Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
2) Place potatoes in a roasting pan and drizzle with olive oil.
3) Chop up rosemary and thyme if they're fresh. (I used dried herbs so I crushed them in my palm before sprinkling them on the potatoes.) Add salt and pepper to taste.
4) Sprinkle the diced ramp and green garlic over the potatoes.
5) Use fingers to evenly spread the olive oil, herbs, ramps and green garlic over the potatoes.
6) Bake for ~45 minutes. The time will vary depending upon your oven, the size of your potatoes, and how soft you like your potatoes. Use a fork to test whether or not they are done.
Ahhh blue goodness! I began eating these potatoes as soon as they came out of the over, irrespective of the fact that they were a scorching 350 degrees. I'm a visual eater, so even though they tasted just like regular potatoes, they were definitely a notch higher on my rung because of their gorgeous color. Pretty soon, I also discovered that these are great snacks. About 3/4 of the potatoes were gone about an hour and a half after they came out of the oven. Oh well, I'm trying to support our local farmers here!
Thus, I consider my first visit to the farmers market a raging success. I can't wait to go back as soon as possible so that I can show you what else I find!