cover image Greenmarket Cookbook

Greenmarket Cookbook

Joan Schwartz, Joel Patraker. Viking Books, $29.95 (256pp) ISBN 978-0-670-88134-5

The assistant director of the Greenmarket program, Patraker shares his zest for home-grown fruit, vegetables and produce in this celebration of the successful Union Square Greenmarket in New York City. The program began in the 1970s when Barry Benepe, founder of Greenmarket, wanted to find a way to sustain farmers in New York's Hudson Valley by supplying fresh produce directly to urban customers. Recipes, organized seasonally, are fairly simple, relying more on the taste of fresh produce than on culinary inventiveness, but there are a few exceptions: Chile Pumpkin Soup, Marinated Kermit Eggplants with Japanese Flavors and Crimson Chocolate Cake made with beets and carrots. Patraker and Schwartz use anecdotes to remind shoppers what a pleasure it can be to walk down the aisles choosing among greens, including mizuna and lamb's quarter, or just inhaling the scents of lavender and lilac. Their comprehensive lists of the various vegetable and fruit varieties (with names for tomatoes such as banana legs, purple calabash and black pear) will delight cooks and poets alike. This inspirational book may compel city dwellers to visit their local farmers' market and go home laden with chervil, savoy cabbage, hen of the woods (a type of wild mushroom) and quince, or slice some heirloom tomatoes and Aji peppers for an easy salad with feta cheese in summer. 150 color photographs by Marry Kim. (June)