Bouquets of Chive Flowers Bloom; Radishes and Raspberries Aplenty

For the hungry romantic, chive flowers that look like lavender.Photo: Zoe Singer

The market has reached a critical mass: Its 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 theyre 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 dont come cheap: There are about 40 plump red berries per six-buck container, which comes out to fifteen cents a berry. But whos 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 theyre 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, theyre 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
Im addicted to this arugula. I cant buy regular salad at the supermarket any more.
Zoe Singer