Next week we turn to specialty and gourmet markets in search of seasonal produce and other ingredients. We'll return to Union Square with springtime's ramps and fiddleheads; in the interim, stalwart Greenmarketers can look forward to a winter's worth of greens, onions, garlic, potatoes, and apples — not to mention fragrant rosemary garlands, cranberry-pecan sourdough, guinea hens, Christmas trees, and jars of golden pear chutney.
Bobolink begins selling their whey-fed pork this week. They fatten their pigs with a byproduct of their own cheese, just as Italian prosciutto di Parma benefits from the production of Parmigiano-Reggiano ($9.50 per pound for chops; $6.50 per pound for roasts, ribs, and ground pork at Bobolink, available Friday).
Purple majesty potatoes have inky indigo skin and a deep violet interior that pales to lavender when steamed. Pulp the flesh with butter and hot milk for supremely smooth and savory mashed potatoes. Or cube them for a colorful potato salad (recipe) ($1 per pound at Paffenroth, available Wednesday and Saturday).
Good keeping apples include tart, juicy winesaps; dense, sweet fujis; and sweet red-delicious apples with a complexity that puts their overgrown supermarket counterparts to shame. Crunch on slices with some of the market's farmstead cheeses or cook them into gratins (recipe) or pies (recipe) ($1.20 per pound for winesaps and red delicious at Nemeth Orchard, available Saturday; $1.25 per pound for fujis at Caradonna, available Wednesday and Saturday).
The bumpy blue-hubbard squash is a particularly good storage variety, with sweet, silken, deep-orange flesh. When roasted, the skin turns green-gray, and the inside takes on a toasty popcornlike flavor that will add depth to recipes like this bruschetta (50 cents per pound at Hoeffner Farms, available Wednesday and Saturday).
Bunches of miniature nugget carrots offer a spicy, fruity intensity. Roast the dumplinglike roots with other vegetables or underneath a chicken to bring out their powerful flavor ($1.50 per bunch at Migliorelli, available Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday).
Mâche, a French salad green favored by chefs, is growing a little larger thanks to the recent rain and mild temperatures; the deep emerald leaves are packed with buttery, herbaceous flavor (recipe) ($2 per salad-size bag at Paffenroth, available Wednesday and Saturday).
— Zoe Singer