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
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.