Primetime for Beans But Also Tomato Fights

Magic Beans

Beans: Not just green anymore. Photos: Melissa Hom


Almost as good as Greenmarket food is the packaging. The environmentalist brings muslin for cheese-wrapping, the fashionista has a repurposed gift basket on her arm, and there’s a chef with a wheelbarrow-bike. We just met the most produce-specific shopper yet: She has a thermal bag for dairy, plastic containers for tomatoes and berries, ziplocks for baby salads, and regular bags for everything else. We stopped smushing peaches into our purse to watch her shop.

What to Look For
Long, flat Kentucky Wonder green beans just hit the market, and the Gorzynskis claim they’re so tasty they don’t need butter or salt. Braise them Italian style, or let the sweet, verdant beans speak for themselves with a simple steaming ($6 per pound at Gorzynski, available Saturday).

In the shell-bean bins, an ever-growing roster of fascinating legumes awaits savvy bean eaters. Go for the Pérignon: The smallish violet and ivory shells contain striking black-and-white-striped beans that cook into an exquisite lavender and gray. Their sweet, nutty flavor might just merit opening a bottle of Dom — or at least a nice olive oil ($4 per pound at Berried Treasures, available Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday).

“Every other tomato is bullshit,” chef Cesare Casella reportedly said, by way of convincing the farmers at Mountain Sweet Berry to grow heirloom Canestrino tomatoes. Ruddy, with fluted, gourdlike shapes and a high meat-to-seed ratio, their rich, silken flesh offers moderate acid and full flavor whether you eat them raw or simmered into spaghetti sauce ($4 per pound at Mountain Sweet Berry, available Wednesday and Saturday).

Blink and You’ll Miss It
Damson plums arrived a week ago and will last another week or two at best, so stock up on sugar — the little blue fruits are astringent until simmered into vibrant purple jam ($3 per pound at Locust Grove, available Wednesday and Saturday).

Overheard at the Market: Dirt Department
“Our celery is so huge because of our soil. Black dirt was known for growing celery before it was known for onions.”
— Zoe Singer