By Madison Jackson & Julia Howard
Spring is finally bringing warmer weather and with it an abundance of much-anticipated seasonal produce to the Saratoga Farmers’ Market. Greens, in many forms, including perennials, hearty cold-weather crops, and greenhouse-grown, have been catching our eye, and we invite you to try some fresh new flavors of the season.
Several farms at the Wednesday and Saturday farmers’ markets offer varieties of greens. This includes red romaine, baby spinach, radicchio, green romaine, red leaf, arugula, mustard greens, red chard, and tatsoi. These greens offer distinct fresh flavors and textures, and they are high in nutritional value, too. Depending on the green, some may be cooked, wilted, or enjoyed fresh as a salad.
Vibrant sunflower and sweet pea shoots are available at Leaning Birch Farm on Saturdays. Pea shoots have the sweet, grassy flavor of snap peas with a refreshing crunch, and sunflower shoots have a nutty taste with a similar crisp bite. According to Nic Fera of Leaning Birch Farm, both are a year-round crop for their farm. “They are great to add a little fresh accent to dishes,” says Fera.
Capital Greens NY brings varieties of microgreens to the Saturday farmers’ market, including the mixes like their Signature Gourmet, Thai Basil, and Gourmet Fiesta. Microgreens are young vegetable greens packed with nutrients and are easy to incorporate into many dishes or used as a garnish. Try them on sandwiches, in salads, on pizza, or blend them into a smoothie.
If you’re a fan of fiddleheads, stop by Ramble Creek Farm this month while they’re in season. Fiddleheads are young shoots that grow from the ostrich fern, and with a very narrow harvest season, you can only enjoy these shoots in the early spring from around late April to early June. With a nutty and sweet flavor reminiscent of asparagus, fiddleheads may be steamed, braised, or sauteed, as they contain a trace amount of a toxin and cannot be consumed raw.
This week, we encourage you to try something new, whether it be a new product or shopping with a new vendor at the Wednesday or Saturday markets.
This week’s recipe: Spring Vegetable Pasta