Fresh from New York Farmers' Market Spring Season's Spotlight on Ramps


Over the weekend, my husband and I strolled a few blocks down to the Union Square Greenmarket, following a fabulous lunch at the Gramercy Tavern.  It's still early in the season, it will be a few more weeks before we see berries, tomatoes and stone fruits hit the market. I'm looking forward to it. During my recent visit I found a great seafood stand, Seatuck Fish Company, that was selling razor clams for $6.50/lb harvested off the shores of Long Island.


They also offered these huge littleneck clams for $6/dozen.


This is the first time that I have seen snails offered at any farmer's market. $2.99/lb

Shriners $3.99/lb. I've always enjoyed having these small fish deep fried, and eaten like fries.



It always amazes me the shelf life of some fruits and vegetables. These apples harvested from autumn of last year are sold at the market well through June.


Hawthorne Valley Organic farms sells Bianca, a delicious fresh soft white cheese for $6 a wheel.


The star of season at the farmer's market has been ramps. How do I describe ramps? Other than to say that is it is my newest favorite local vegetable. Ramps are wild leeks that are indigenous to the Appalachian Mountains in the northeast, and often found in moist areas of the forest. It has all of the delicate flavors of leeks with the heightened nuances of scallions and garlic chives. Also present in the flavor profile is a hint of sweetness, and pepper spice.

Compared to the woody leaves of traditional leeks, the slender feather-like leaves of ramps are tender and can be eaten raw. Best of all, ramps do not need to undergo the thorough rinsing necessary with traditional leeks to rid gritty dirt hiding between layers of leaves.

They were wonderful sliced thinly and sauteed with carrots in olive oil. Quite simply fresh, local and best.

49 comments:

Mari's Cakes said...

Loved it....I couls almost taste the pictures....evrything looks great!

The plate at the end look delicious, I'll keep my eyes open for some ramps, the ends of it look like Q-tips : D

alison said...

i am shure, you certainly bold a deliciuos meal with these fresh ingredients!i want some fries shriners...

Chow and Chatter said...

love your farmers market posts and I need to get some ramps

hope your well love Rebecca

Asha @ FSK said...

this is the Union Square market?? gotta hit that one now :))

Love the photo of the ramps! :)

Asha @ FSK said...

Oh .. the shriners are interesting.. will check them out next time .. did sardines last week :)

Andrea@WellnessNotes said...

Sounds like a beautiful stroll through the market! I've never had ramps, but they sound wonderful!

Belinda @zomppa said...

Makes me miss NYC!

tasteofbeirut said...

I have got to find these ramps! I love leeks so I am sure I would love these too; really liked how you fixed them too with the carrots;simple and full of flavor. Nice job.

Marc @ NoRecipes said...

Wow, I don't think I've ever seen razor clams at union square. I'll have to look closer the next time I'm there.

Angie's Recipes said...

The bamboo razor clams!!! WOW I love love these! They are so good in a soup, or simply to stir-fry with ginger or steamed.....sighs....I wish I could get some here.

Sook said...

I sure love fresh vegetables and stuff! Great pictures, Christine.

lululu said...

Awww.....razor clams!!!! I thought I would never meet you guys at all after I moved here to North America!
Christine, you've found me a whole new life!

alwayswinner786 said...

Everything look so fresh, great pics!
I too love to have deep fried small fish marinated with little salt, red chilly powder and little juice of ginger,garlic and onion for fifteen minutes and then fry them, they taste great!
Someday give it a try and let me know you like it or not!
Love always.

tigerfish said...

I thought you will be making something Ramps and Clams! are you? love all the fresh seafood available.

lostpastremembered said...

Hawthorne valley is the best..actually visited their farm upstate... so many happy cows and a truly beautiful spread... the secret of long life in my st bernards is their yogurt everyday! Love your stroll through union square and great pics!

Beth said...

Thanks for the ramps ideas! I'll have to pick some up at the market!

A Canadian Foodie said...

I see Angie has tasted and loves razor clams. I see them often at foreign markets - but never here. I have never eaten one. How do you get it out of its shell and how similar is it to the taste of a clam? Is it a long piece of "meat"?
I loved your short tour of the Union Square Market. That is one place I didn't get to last year in our 5 day trip. That is why NYC is still on the list. Five days is literally a whiff of the possibilities of that great city. But the whiff is mesmerizing, and will definitely draw us back. Ramps are not our here in the Edmonton area. I have heard so much about them the last couple of years, and truly appreciate your flavour description. So often, that is missed when people write about foods they buy and make... but you never do. That is what I love about you!
:)
Valerie

Bellini Valli said...

Alas no ramps available here that I am aware of. I think a trip east is in the cards.

My Carolina Kitchen said...

Send me some of those little neck clams please. The best clams I've ever eaten were freshly harvested just hours earlier out of Gardiners Bay on Shelter Island when my husband's family had a summer home there. At the time I had never eaten a clam - wow, how wonderful they were.

When I saw ramps on your headline, I immediately thought of Mario Batali. He loves ramps. I'm pretty sure they grow here in the mountains of NC and I'll be watching for them at the local farmer's market on Saturday.
Sam

kat said...

I'm hoping to be able to pick up some ramps at the farmer's market this weekend, I love them in scrambles egg.

Gulmohar said...

I wish I could have some of those small fish there..I love them too deep fried...aah yumm....

Ravenous Couple said...

love the green market..what a great bounty!

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I've got to get downtown to the green market. What beautiful photos of the seafood and produce!

Sara said...

I love these farmer's market posts. I'm so jealous of you over on the coast and getting fresh seafood! I love snails and clams and tiny little fried fish!! And I've never cooked ramps...but I will definitely look for them now and give them a try! Thanks for the tips and recipe!

Sophie said...

Georgous & lovely pictures of the lovely produce of these farmer's markets!!!


Lovely post!

Cool Lassi(e) said...

Lovely post. Just want those little fish, deep fried ofcourse! I make them with Smelt.

zwischengang - intermediate course said...

would love to visit one day one of the new york farmers markets...

The Blonde Duck said...

I got to go to an open market in New Orleans. It's so cool!

Gera @ SweetsFoodsBlog said...

You've just transported me to the NY market with these wonderful photos, I'd like to taste the Bianca cheese ;)

Cheers,

Gera

Chef E said...

Ahhh...good food is great!

Shiners, we use them for big fish bait, LOL!

Erica said...

Love the pictures!!!Love fresh cheese.

John Dryzga said...

Everything looks great. Never heard of shiners before, I'll have to look into them.

Joanne said...

I've been walking down to the Union Square market on saturdays and have been seriously reveling in all the bounty! Those ramps look delicious!

Table Talk said...

I am envious you have Union Square market at your disposal. Our farmer's markets are just getting started, and on a much more modest scale. I do love ramps and am thankful to have found them here this year!

Elizabeth in SLO said...

Wow, bottleneck clams, snails and ramps! What an amazing market!

Kim said...

I would love to go to the market in NYC. I bet you all have a great variety of things to chose from. The ramps look beautiful and I love that you paired them with carrots (carrots seem so underutilized and I'm not sure why)!!

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

Wor, all look so fresh and healthy, good for you!

Lori said...

I could read visit-to-the-market posts all day long. :) What great photos and all that fresh seafood/fish looks incredible. I've heard of ramps, but have never had them before. Sounds like they have a wonderful flavor.

Heavenly Housewife said...

Dont you just love markets? I am loving your beautiful pictures. Everything is so pretty.
Have a wonderful weekend ahead.
*kisses* HH

Claudia said...

I do love ramp season! Sauteed, shaved into salads and served with pasta. So delicate and oniony and sweet at the same time. I am jealous of your bounty! Those clams, oh my!

sweetlife said...

What great finds.. the shriners look amazing...and your ramps, I bet they added such a great flavor to your dish..

sweetlife

Debinhawaii said...

Gorgeous pictures--I am always so jealous of your farmers markets there--such big variety. I want some ramps! ;-)

OysterCulture said...

I never get tired of checking out farmers markets and I love to see how the ingredients change by location. Wow, to pick up some snails or clams for dinner - what a feast. Thanks so much for sharing!

Trissa said...

I love a weekend stroll through the Farmer's Markets after a great meal. What amazing seafood you managed to find for yourself and gorgeous pictures!

Katy ~ said...

I have not heard of ramps before so this post was informative and interesting to me. Love all the freshness of the produce and fish. You are so fortunate to have such bounty!

Kitchen Butterfly said...

I so desperately sought out ramps in London this weekend but....came home with Ung Choi instead :-) Love the photos

Mimi said...

I've heard of ramp, but have not had them, they sound fabulous.
Mimi

Megan said...

I have never had ramps before, but now I may try to get my hands on some since you've explained how they can be prepared and eaten. The flavor sounds just lovely too.

Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite said...

VERY excited for my Saturday morning stroll around USM this weekend! EEEEE!