Thursday, November 4, 2010

Fabulous Fresh Finds, Weeks 7 and 8: Fall Fun

Well readers, it happens to the best of us: I've fallen off the blog train, as I have in the past and probably will again. But I really have been going to the GAP Greenmarket (though we did miss two weeks due to yet more weddings).

On Oct. 23, we stopped by on the way to a pumpkin carving gathering at Lowlands Bar in Gowanus, in the hopes of getting a pumpkin. Not only did we get a regular pumpkin, we also got two mini pumpkins for decorating and some ornamental corn, all from Lebak Farm (Burlington County, NJ). We got a bunch of Fuji apples and — because it's my favorite fall vegetable — butternut squash from Phillips Farms (Hunterdon County, NJ).

We harvested the guts of the pumpkin, then separated the seeds from the core. We used the core to brew a Brooklyn Brewshop Pumpkin Dubbel beer — by roasting the pumpkin with brown sugar and adding the mixture to the mash and the boil — and I toasted the seeds up with some salt using this recipe. The seeds made a delicious snack while brewing and for several days after. The beer is still fermenting; we'll bottle in the coming week. (You can read about our progress on our blog, How's that for some shameless self-promotion?)

I roasted the squash with some butter and cinnamon, then mashed it. As for the apples, they were great on their own, or also paired with some leftover Lynnhaven goat cheese and drizzled with honey from Brooklyn bees (which I purchased at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's "Bee Day" celebration back in June). Totally local and totally delicious.

This past Saturday (Oct. 30) we were back at the market, stocking up on another butternut squash from Phillips Farms — I can't be without it for too long during the season — and some spinach, garlic and green beans from Cedar Hill Farm/Kernan Farms (Cumberland County, NJ). We also got broccoli rabe from Evolutionary Organics (Ulster County, NY), which we blanched and sauteed, then added to orecchiette and topped it with shaved grana padano cheese, for a lovely Italian-inspired meal. We also snapped up some grapes from Buzzard Crest Vineyards (Yates County, NY).

Of course, I couldn't leave without a non-food item. I kept seeing people with these large bunches of green leafy flower-looking things, so I investigated Lebak Farm's stand. It was eucalyptus, and I had to get some. The bunch was so big I had to split it into two vases (and my hands got pretty sticky handling it), but it's gorgeous, and it smells great in our apartment.

The Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket is held on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. year-round. The city's Greenmarkets are a program of GrowNYC, a non-profit geared toward improving the quality of life in the five boroughs through environmental programs. This particular Greenmarket, founded in 1989, is GrowNYC's flagship Brooklyn market and is its second largest market behind Union Square.

Fabulous Fresh Finds, Week 6: Poor Planning
Fabulous Fresh Finds, Week 5: Adjusting Expectations
Fabulous Fresh Finds, Week 4: Change of Plans
Fabulous Fresh Finds, Week 3: On the Road
Fabulous Fresh Finds: Week 2
New Blog Feature: Fabulous Fresh Finds