This past Saturday I was up bright and early to get first dibs on all the goodies at the Inwood Greenmarket up in Northern Manhattan. I hosted another cooking class that afternoon in Washington Heights and needed to stock up on all of the ingredients.
I agonized over the menu for this class, knowing that a lot of things would be in season, but a lot more things would perhaps be just shy of ready for harvest, depending on temperatures and rainfall and other variables from the first part of the summer. Sure enough, as one vendor weighed the dozen cucumbers I was purchasing from his market stand, he remarked at how lucky I was to be getting the very first cucumbers of the season. Good for me, maybe not so good for the other Greenmarket shoppers since I had pretty nearly cleared out his cucumber stock as of 9:30 am!
Unfortunately, when I asked about the status of melons, which I was planning to use in a gazpacho dish, he told me I was one or two weeks too early still. Oops. I immediately started re-thinking my menu and was on the verge of scrapping the existing line-up with a new slate of dishes, but decided against that since I had already shared the menu with everyone who was coming that day. I went ahead and got the melons from the grocery store, figuring that everyone would be able to recreate the gazpacho at home with Greenmarket melons later this month.
Melons aside, here’s what I purchased from the Greenmarket:
- Goat cheese
- Yellow squash
Supplemented with a few staples from home along with some supermarket purchases:
- Olive oil
- Yes, melons
I led a group of 11 through three dishes: melon gazpacho (which we made first so it had plenty of time to chill in the fridge); a summer squash galette, or a rustic, open-faced savory tart; and a cucumber onion salad with homemade green goddess-esque dressing. Everything was so green! The dressing in particular was to-die for.
We all had a wonderful time. Everyone got to pitch in with the cooking and the prep, and I got a lot of great questions about cooking techniques, sustainable agriculture, and meatless meals.
As we were eating our late lunch, one participant told me that he enjoyed my production, delegation, and choreography skills! I hadn’t thought about it that way before, but I suppose communal cooking is a dance of sorts.
Can’t wait to do it again.