New York City's Greenmarket program was founded by GROWNYC in 1976 with a two-fold mission: to promote regional agriculture by providing small family farms the opportunity to sell their locally grown products directly to consumers, and to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to the freshest locally grown food the region has to offer. This unique relationship between farmers and city residents has not only changed the face of regional agriculture, it inspires our menu on a daily basis.
Below, Executive Chef John Karangis shares more about his relationship with the greenmarket.
A few days a week I start my day shopping at Union Square Greenmarket before heading to our @unionsqevents kitchen. The market is my greatest source of culinary inspiration, propelled by the very important farmers and artisans that provide us with the wonderful raw materials we work with. I’m also drawn and inspired by the people who shop there…many of them are industry peers who I look up to. I see and learn something new, exciting and motivating each time I go. And as a chef who does what I do I consider it a privilege and a responsibility to know the folks we buy our food from-build relationships and learn as much about their products as possible. From that point I can share that knowledge and those stories with my teams, and as many clients and guests as I can.
See below for a recipe for Vadouvan Butter Dipped Radishes with Roasted Sesame Salt. Scroll further down to see more from my recent trip to the greenmarket, as well as how our culinary team used the produce we were inspired by.
Bright radishes from S & SO Produce Farms were the inspiration behind this Vadouvan Butter Dipped Radish with Roasted Sesame Salt. Scroll down for the recipe!
Vadouvan Butter Dipped Radishes with Roasted Sesame Salt
1/4 cup – White Sesame Seeds, toasted
1/4 cup – Black Sesame Seeds, toasted
2 tbsp. – Sea Salt Flakes
2 bunches – Greenmarket Radishes, such as French Breakfast or Easter Egg. Smaller radishes can be left whole, and larger ones can be halved or quartered for easy eating.
1/4 pound – Unsalted Butter, cut into cubes
1 tbsp. – Vadouvan Curry Spice
Method for the Roasted Sesame Salt:
In small bowl, mix white and black sesame seeds and sea salt. Set aside.
Method for the Radishes:
Wash and thoroughly dry the radishes; store in the refrigerator to keep cold.
In a heatproof bowl over a small saucepan with an inch of simmering water, add the butter and stir until it slowly melts. Remove the bowl from the heat when the butter is softened but still emulsified.
Add vadouvan to butter and mix until fully incorporated.
Dip radishes in vadouvan butter and lay on baking sheet to set. Chill in the refrigerator until just before serving.
Spread the sesame salt onto a tray and top with radishes. Enjoy!
Back at our kitchen, we quick-pickled and seasoned rhubarb from Samascott Orchards for…
...A lobster, pea and rhubarb salad at an event for 650 guests that we catered with chefs from Untitled (part of our USHG family). At this point in the plate out, hibiscus-rhubarb and pea-tarragon purées were topped with lobster and crispy buckwheat.
Always a treat to see Richard and the Lucky Dog Farm team. A few members of our team visited Lucky Dog Farm last season – it’s a must-visit when you’re upstate (make sure to get lunch at the Farm Store)!
With ramps from Lucky Dog Farm, we made ramp and ricotta cavatelli in the kitchen.
Gorgeous green onions from Bodhitree Farm! Years ago, a farmer introduced me to eating the very fresh roots. Edible when washed, their unique texture and sweet flavor is a great addition to salads, sautéed with vegetables or sprinkled on meat or poultry.
Adding the finishing touches to a special family meal dish we made: Lynnhaven Farm goat cheese agnolotti with variety of raw, roasted and pickled vegetables.
I always pick up fresh flowers to add color and life to the trays that we serve passed canapes on.
Check out Chef John's Instagram takeover on Union Square Greenmarket's Instagram, or see more of our local suppliers here.