10.24.09: appetizers (bruschetta with San Marzanos and calamari a la plancha)

San Marzano Tomatoes

San Marzano Tomatoes

I never would have thought that a gray, drizzly miserable Saturday morning would yield such sunny fruit.  After several hectic weekends, I insisted that Elizabeth and I meander out into the city even though it was a lousy day.  [Ed.–you insisted?  I believe I was the one dragging you!] I was perusing the tents of the Union Square green market waiting for the skies to open trying to snag some great produce while avoiding the NYC-markup  (double trouble since it would be compounded with the liberal guilt markup inherent to outdoor farmers markets).  This market has an amazing number of merchants which helps to keep things interesting as well as competitive.  My problem with several of the smaller markets is that they lack selection and what they’ve got isn’t worth what they charge.

Tomatoes were lackluster this year due to weird weather and blight and honestly, I’ve felt their absence.  This is born out in my obsession with the $5 tomato, which was soooooo good and totally worth every penny.  When I saw the hand-written ‘San Marzano’ tag, I was so excited I didn’t even care to ask what the tomaters did to deserve such a noble moniker (my guess is seeds come from Italy).  Anyway,  these little guys would have probably made a better cooked dish, but I wanted to taste them fresh, so I resolved to schlep then back uptown for simple bruschetta before dinner (you can see a few split from during the 100+ block ride north on the subway).

This dinner was completely provided by the fresh market.  It was great.  Now, I realize that I have the privilege of shopping at a fresh market with (I’m guessing) 50+ vendors, but wherever you are, there’s no substitute (or rent hike) that replaces taking the time to find some buried treasure in an unlikely location.  Food shopping shouldn’t be a chore- like I said, it was raining and crowded and the subway has been all messed up for the past month, but somehow, this was a great trip and the results were delicious.

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2 comments
  1. Those are some beautiful tomatoes! I am so jealous of your proximity to a good, large market like that!

  2. Vicky said:

    great blog! i go to the union square farmer’s market every saturday… and any wednesday I can

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