Saturday Farmer’s Market at Union Square
Though the forecast for the day predicted scattered thunderstorms, around noon the skies were clear, and it was a balmy 85 degrees in Union Square. Probably not the best day to have a Seafood Cooking Demonstration in the center of the market… But no one seemed to mind as they browsed the huge selection of produce, dairy, meat and poultry, and preserves, baked goods, and plants and flowers.
The Saturday market has the largest number of venders, and the selection of products is much greater. While it was mostly the same things in season, today there were several seafood vendors, tomatoes were available from hydroponic farm vendors, and there was an incredible bounty of fresh sweet strawberries from New York and New Jersey.
My first stop was at Red Jacket Orchards where I picked up a 32oz bottle of Joe’s Summer Blend juice ($3), a mix of fresh pressed apple and lemon juices. Red Jacket is known for their high-quality natural juices and ciders which are made from whole fruits that have been pressed using traditional methods, and no sugar, water, or flavors are added.
Next I stopped at S&So Produce, a farm from Orange Co., NY, that offers an incredible selection of lettuces, greens and herbs. I picked up some Baby Arugala ($2).
Beth’s Farm Kitchen offers some of the best jams, preserves, and chutneys I have tasted, with yummy flavor combinations like Gingered Rhubarb Jam, Neachycot Jam (nectarines, peaches, and apricots), as well as “Zany Jellies” like their Garlic-Rosemary Jelly and Mighty Hot Pepper Jelly. They also offer “Fulla Fruits,” a selection of no sugar added spreads. I asked one of the friendly older women to recommend a savory chutney. They offer about 20 varieties of chutneys ranging from the sweet Plum Chutney, to the spicy Zapricot Chutney with chipotle, apricots, and tamarind. I went with the Blazing Tomato Chutney ($8), which she recommended, and after a sample I too was sold. With tomato, apple, vinegar, sugar, onion, red pepper, jalapeno, ginger root, mustard seed, garlic, almonds, and allspice– it offers a little heat combined with a tart sweetness that would pair well with any summer grilled meats or fish.
At Hawthorne Farms they offer a huge selection of breads, baked goods, and artesian cheese. The vendor suggested I try one of their healthy protein-rich spelt breads, so I chose the Spelt Sourdough ($4), a dense and crusty loaf great for toast or sandwiches.
I also picked up a log of Chevre ($6) at Lynnhaven Farms, some Hydroponic Tomatoes and Basil from Shushan Valley Hydro farm, and Jumbo Eggs ($2.50 for half-dozen) and Wheat Pasta ($4.50) at Knoll Krest.
When I came home I made a delicious sandwich with some of the ingredients. See the recipe below.
Summer Saturday Sandwich
2 Slices Bread, Toasted (I used Hawthorne Farm’s Spelt Sourdough)
Beth’s Farm Kitchen’s Blazing Tomato Chutney
2 eggs, Poached
Siracha Hot Sauce (to taste)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
I left the sandwich open-faced and paired it with some simple grilled vegetable salad from Whole Foods Market.