Monday, September 17, 2007

Victory at the Greenmarket

Brothers and sisters, I have come to tell you that it's true: farmer's markets are a great way to save money. The best part is, they're also a great way to feel tremendously luxurious, to take pleasure in your purchases and in your food and cooking.

On Saturday, after brunch with a friend at a local tea room (!), we walked back to my apartment, picked up K, and set out for the Union Square Greenmarket. O bliss! O joy! It was a beautiful day, and the produce was cheap. We got a big bunch of basil for $1, two Kirby cucumbers for another $1, four ears of sweet corn for another $1, four perfectly ripe organic tomatoes for about $2, three beautiful apples (two Macoun, one Fuji) for $1.50, four white peaches for $3, and the best red onion I've ever tasted for $.75. We also splurged, spending $4 on a pound of heirloom tomatoes (nearly the last of the season) and $8 on a little round of a cheese that can best be described as a sheep's-milk Camembert. The cheesemaker sampled me a bite of the Feta, and I was going to go with that (to put on top of the tomatoes for dinner), but once he sampled me the softer cheese, I was hooked, and went with that one instead.

And then, on our way out, there was a special on raspberries and blackberries: 3 boxes for $5! We split the deal with our friend, and took home two boxes of tiny, iridescently sweet raspberries for $3. Glorious.

Dinner was the heirloom tomatoes with thin slivers of red onion (plus sea salt & balsamic vinegar) and the sheep cheese with half of a baguette we picked up at the adjacent Whole Foods for $1.79. Lunch today is a salad of Kirby cucumbers, tomato, red onion (and we've still only used half of it!), and sweet corn kernels. Dinner tonight will be tomatoes with feta (just the grocery-store kind, which I have a chunk of in my fridge), onions, and basil & the rest of the baguette, and dessert will be white peaches. Lunch tomorrow will be a salad of sweet corn & baby spinach. And then, perhaps, we'll be done with our greenmarket bounty.

All this for about $15 apiece! I'm going to look really seriously at making the greenmarket a Saturday tradition, and trying to eat for at least the first half of the week on the produce I buy. Problem is that I'm not very good with your cold-weather vegetables, your squashes and root veggies. But I think the frugality (not to mention the tastiness and eco-friendliness) they dangle like a carrot in front of me (mmm, carrots!) might just be enough to get me trying.

4 comments:

k said...

oh man, squash is the best. So good that even during summer's bounty I miss it.

http://www.wildoats.com/u/recipedetail11764/

http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/recipes/recipe/0,1977,FOOD_9936_31053,00.html

http://vegetarian.about.com/od/vegetariancrockpotrecipe/r/sweetsquash.htm (slow cooker recipe)

or just split in half and oven roasted with brown sugar. Delish. And cheap.

Anonymous said...

Bronx Chica- Union Square green marker is wonderful! I did it once and then became lazy. You saved a bunch of money plus the vegatbles and fruits are delicious!

SavingDiva said...

I might have to check out my local farmer's market.

peachykeen said...

I enjoyed your post and was just thinking today while at a groddy supermarket uptown that the produce at Union Square's farmer's market would probably be cheaper. I wanted to buy butternut squash and make a big batch of soup instead of buying the carton of soup that sells for $3.50 at the supermarket. But the squash itself was kind of pricey, so I held off. I got 3 Macintosh apples for $1.77 (unit price $1.69 per lb.) that I'm sure were not as good as the ones you bought!