The market has reached a critical mass: It’s no longer possible to snap up every piece of good-looking produce and carry it all home. Our plan of attack is to go early, do a walk-through before the buying frenzy, and bring big bags — oh, and hit the ATM first.
What to Look For
Looking at the thistlelike, lavender-colored bloom atop a long green chive stem, you might assume they’re all show. Not so. Chive flowers are clover-sweet and spicy as only the onion family can be, making them a sensational salad ingredient and a showstopping addition to that feed-me-fast staple, spaghetti with garlic and oil ($2 per bunch at Gorzynski, available Saturday).
We crunched our way through a lot of radish varieties (including pink, purple, red, and breakfast) to arrive at the conclusion that white icicle radishes are uniquely delightful. Long, slim, and juicy-crisp, they have a turniplike sweetness and a moderate, slow-building heat that begs for a creamy dip or savory dressing ($1 per bunch at Paffenroth, available Wednesday and Saturday).
Greenhouse-grown raspberries have arrived. They don’t come cheap: There are about 40 plump red berries per six-buck container, which comes out to fifteen cents a berry. But who’s counting? The delicate, fragrant, sweet little fruits are worth every penny ($6 per half-pint at Fruit Valley Orchard, available Saturday).
Sugar snaps are the first peas to be seen, and they’re particularly refreshing — look for pods that feel fit to burst to ensure they will be sugary in flavor and snappy in texture. After pulling off their strings, give the pods a quick blanch followed by an ice-water plunge. Plain, they make for excellent snacking, but it never hurts to gussy them up just a tad (see recipe) ($4.50 per pound at Cherry Lane, available Wednesday and Saturday).
This Just In
Wild Italian arugula is back at Mountain Sweet Berry Farm, and not only are the little leaves deliciously savory, peppery, and complex in flavor, they’re also delightfully clean. Mind-blowing salads are a simple dressing away ($3 per quarter-pound at Mountain Sweet Berry, available Wednesday and Saturday).
Overheard at the Market: Twelve-Step Department
“I’m addicted to this arugula. I can’t buy regular salad at the supermarket any more.”
— Zoe Singer