The big greenmarket at Union Square in Manhattan was jammed yesterday due to the pseudo spring weather. I went there hoping for a taste of the real thing, and while disappointed in that regard — most of the produce still came from winter storage — I got the usual lift from buying, and later cooking, ingredients straight from the farm.
What was available? In the fruit department, still nothing but apples. The vegetables were divided into two camps:
1) Roots, roots and more roots, including potatoes, onions (many
varieties), parsnips, celeriac, carrots (yellow and orange) and Jerusalem artichokes.
2) Sprouts and micro-greens, including fava greens, pea shoots, corn sprouts and sunflower sprouts, among others.
I chose the Jerusalem artichokes, also known as sunchokes, and fava greens.
There are countless ways to prepare Jerusalem artichokes. One that I learned from Marcella Hazan is a gratin with butter and parmesan. But I like them even better raw, in which state they are crisp and crunchy like water chestnuts, but with a slightly sweet, nutty taste.
Combined with the fava greens in a salad, they actually do taste of spring. Here’s the recipe:
3 c. fava green leaves (stems removed)
1 c. Jerusalem artichokes, peeled (or well-scrubbed) and sliced
1 tbsp. minced red onion
Salt and pepper
Toss the greens with enough olive oil to lightly coat the leaves, a few drops of lemon juice and salt and pepper. Scatter the slices of Jerusalem artichoke on top, and then the red onion. Drizzle with a little more olive oil. Serve and enjoy.