green market

Union Square Farmer's Market

The Union Square farmer's market is one of my favorite places to visit in the City. The people watching is out of sight: some folks stroll through (especially tourists, families and caregivers with young children) and others race through at breakneck speed (like those who work in restaurants and have to quickly get specific ingredients back to the kitchen). 

The people who come to Union Square to sell their foods are uniformly friendly and willing to answer any questions. For example, I spoke with a cheese monger about why his cheeses were not organic. His animals are not fed hormones ever but if an animal gets sick, it is given antibiotics to get well. During that time, the milk from that animal is never used in the production of cheese but because of the administration of antibiotics, his cheeses are not able to be labeled organic. 



My kids love going to the farmer's market to see what's in season and to have little snacks along the way. On our most recent visit, the kids and I devoured over a pound of sugar snap peas and a pint of super sweet tiny strawberries. 


Here's just a small sampling of our farmer's market bounty. I'm going to use the rosemary later this week to season a white bean salad with roasted garlic. We'll fly through those eggs in a day or two (most likely scrambled) and the rest of the produce will be eaten raw. It's really hot outside today so I'm particularly excited to have fresh, wonderful foods that don't require my oven. 

Try It Tuesday: Pan Roasted Duck Breast!

Our family adventure to the Greenmarket this weekend led us to tasty pear cider, earthy shiitake mushrooms, organic eggs, ginger maple candies and best of all, duck breast. My kids have had chicken, turkey, goose and Cornish hen but somehow never duck. No time like the present! So in honor of Try it Tuesday, the main event last night was duck breast. The kids loved it and tore into it like cavemen! Amazing. In classic form, my "crust"-averse son took off the skin layer on top and my daughter quickly snatched it from his plate. He kept referring to the meat as steak, which my daughter was eager to correct. 

Pan roasted duck breast to celebrate Try it Tuesday!

Pan roasted duck breast to celebrate Try it Tuesday!

Duck tastes luxurious. The meat is tender and full of flavor and a great source of protein, iron and niacin. Bonus: my house smelled pretty great after cooking this meal. I have always been fascinated by the fact that duck is a red meat, not a white meat and by the fact that we eat it medium rare – something we'd never dream of doing with chicken. For more info about duck, click here. The best part of the whole thing is that it was super easy to prepare; it took about 20 minutes from fridge to table. 

Here's how:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Using a knife, crosshatch the fatty layer of skin on top. Season the skin of the duck breast with 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon ground mustard, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper. In a large saute pan, over medium-low heat, add the duck breast, skin side down. Sear for about 5-6 minutes. The fat that's rendered during this process can be used again on another occasion. Here are some great suggestions for what to do with duck fat. Flip the duck breast over and place the pan in the oven. Roast the breast skin side up for about 10 minutes (meat will be medium rare). Remove the pan from the oven and let the meat rest for a few minutes before slicing.