Cheese pumpkins, those old jokers, sneaking up on the carrots.Photo: Zoe Singer
Take a hint from the squirrels gathering acorns in Union Square and drag home bags of heavy storage foods like apples, onions, and potatoes. That way you’ll be stocked for hearty cold-weather meals.
What to Look For
Beneath the increasingly cold ground, the lowly carrot has been attaining ever deeper, more nuanced combinations of nectar sweetness and earthy minerality. Now’s the time to take this ubiquitous root more seriously, pairing it with sophisticated flavors like those in this recipe for cold-weather pesto ($2 per pound for organic carrots at Keith’s Farm, available Wednesday and Saturday).
Lug home the biggest cheese pumpkin you can manage and crack the squat, pale shell to reveal an ambrosial fragrance, smooth orange flesh, and a cache of fat seeds. The meat makes for mellow, velvety soups, custards, and pies, and the seeds, roasted with oil and salt, are an addictive snack ($4 per pumpkin at S & SO, available Wednesday and Saturday).
Baby, spoon-shaped tatsoi leaves show up most often in salad mixes, but now heads of this glossy green are all grown up and full of flavor. Stir-fried or sautéed, the leaves become tender and spinachlike, while the stems retain a sweetness and watery crunch suggestive of bok choy ($3 per pound at Gorzynski, available Saturday).
Jerusalem artichokes, also called sunchokes since they’re relatives of the sunflower, look like knobby ginger and taste like mild, honeyed turnips. Roast them for a crisp exterior and silken interior, or pickle them to retain their juicy texture (recipe) ($2 per pound at Paffenroth, available Wednesday and Saturday).
Flying Pigs Farm just hatched a new product: chicken-liver pâté. A blend of their pasture-raised chicken, free-range eggs, pork lard, cognac, cream, and spices, it’s creamy and rich. For a rustic hors d’oeuvre, slather some over whole-grain toast, gloss with good olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, and serve with tart green-apple slices ($5 per four-ounce package at Flying Pigs Farm, available Friday and Saturday).
Blink and You’ll Miss It
Stock up on peeled ripe tomatoes packed in their juice. The picturesque red jars call up the glory days of summer, and their bright, hearty contents will liven up everything from lasagne to beef stew. Catch these this week ($12 per 28-ounce jar at Nine-Jay Nurseries, available Saturday).
— Zoe Singer