Jerusalem Artichoke: Beacon of Hope

Maggie and a J. Artichoke

Last fall when root vegetables were a-boomin’ I stumbled across a Jerusalem artichoke at the farmers’ market. It’s a charming little veg with a winning spunk that looks a bit like ginger root. I’d eaten Jerusalem artichokes in its cooked form, but never seen it in its raw and was delighted to get to take one home and experiment. IMG_7549As with my purple kohlrabi incident, I knew I wanted to try and cook with my newfound artichoke, but hadn’t any idea what. So after a comedy of errors in the peeling department, Ev and I simply sautéed it in a pan until it was soft.

IMG_7556We added a purple (!) pepper that we’d also found at the market with this stunning lime green interior. It was slightly more bitter than your average pepper, but beautiful and tasty nonetheless.

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Then we plopped our artichoke and pepper on a soft taco with greens. Probably not how nature intended, but a divine little treat nonetheless. The Jerusalem artichokes were heavenly and sweet. I might not be looking forward to root season returning, but I’ll keep this little reminder in my back pocket as a beacon of hope.IMG_7573 IMG_7575

These Little Piggies Went to Market

I’ve said so before, but I think it’s worth re-mentioning that the Union Square Farmers Market is the best place in New York City on a Saturday.

We met our fabulous friends Sam and Shosh for a lovely wander through the stalls and to procure some ingredients for dinner (details to come). The full array of fall harvest was out, along with all of the Union Sq standards.

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It’s hard not to find a little something for everybody there: freshly baked breads, cheese straight from the goat, sheep, or cow, cozy colored yarns, treats, and for the vegetable-enamored, everything.

There are comical gourds of all shapes, sizes, colors, and degrees of bumpiness, all hailing autumn.

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And copious amounts of kale, which is the super-vegetable when it comes to cold weather! There should be piles of this stuff for weeks, and we can’t wait to make kale chips, kale juice, cooked kale, massaged kale, and kale-kale.

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IMG_7016And while we’re on the subject of juice: mmm wheatgrass.

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And HONEY. Though I am mostly-vegan, I am not terribly convinced that bees are being exploited. I am, however, fairly uncomfortable with the possibility that agave workers are, and thus, I have not forfeited my right to eat honey. We bought some lusciously spreadable raw wildflower honey at the market, thick and butter-like in its consistency. Raw honey is uncooked, so it preserves its pollen, and is less processed, which is the best excuse to spread it on everything.  (But I do promise to keep an ear out for sad bee complaints.)

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Rooftops gardens WILL CHANGE THE COURSE OF HISTORY! (And you’ll attract more naysayers with honey.)IMG_7081IMG_7085

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We found Jerusalem artichokes! I’ve been too nervous to cook them because I haven’t the slightest idea what to pair them with. My cookbooks are void of Jerusalem artichokes entirely and I’ve found zero support on the internet. It’s the purple kohlrabi incident all over again. But that might be a project for tonight.IMG_7207 IMG_7205IMG_7198

The advertising for the revolutionary juicy pears was just too compelling. So we bought a phenomenal pile of Asian pears.IMG_7084 (1)

I mean Don Draper couldn’t argue with that.

Ooh, and ground cherries. They’re a kind of cherry-tomato hybrid with a really zesty sweet flavor – described in this blurry sign as being pineapple-y.  And they come in their own natural wrappers, making them a perfect mid-stroll snack.

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IMG_7117See? Gourds.

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And they weren’t the only bumpy creatures out and about…IMG_7089 IMG_7088IMG_7099

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We walked away with carrots, bok choy, peppers – including a purple one – eggplant, greens, and more. Afterwards we jumped on the L and headed straight to Brooklyn to start stuffing dumplings for dinner.