Only two days ’til the spooks and spirits spill out in force for tricking, treating, and spades of ghoulish fun, so it’s not that surprising that we’ll be going all out for the last Greenmarket of October, right? Of course not! The shifting palette of fall foliage mingles with apples, baked goods, and mounds of fresh gourds and pumpkins to make this time of year one of the most beautiful and flavorful harvest periods there is. With the Halloween Harvest Festival hosting Haunted Pumpkin Garden activities for families, donut-eating contests, “Witch’s Brew” samplings and creepy-crawly compost events, it’s nothing you want to miss out on, plus it gives you an excuse to wear that stunning new autumn jacket you just bought.
As a primer for what we’ll likely see on the tables this Wednesday, last week offered a broad spectrum of goodies. From Migliorelli Farm, we saw a Pantone gradient of fresh cauliflower, deep green spinach, all sorts of pumpkins and squash, and fresh tomato juice to remind you that the brunch Bloody Mary never takes a break in New York. Red Jacket Orchards came in on the fruity end of the spectrum, boasting a cadre of pears including Yali, Bosc, and Seckel varieties; apples ranging from Jonamac to Golden Supreme; and enough fruit juice and cider to stock your fridge for a good while. Gajeski Produce brought in the hearty meal fare with fennel, savoy cabbage, Tuscan kale, sweet potatoes and—a personal favorite since I discovered crock pots—fresh collard greens.
But what meal would be complete without at least some kind of dessert, if not an entire bread basket? Meredith’s Bread had that covered with assorted pies and tarts, brownies, cookies, biscotti, and bunches of breads—oatmeal walnut, Anadama corn, and challah varieties among them. Honestly, they’ve always got it covered.
The NYBG Greenmarket runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. each Wednesday through November 27, with free short-term parking for Greenmarket shoppers. The market accepts food stamps, EBT, WIC/FMNP, and Senior coupons, in addition to cash and credit or debit cards. Learn how to use EBT, WIC and FMNP at the Greenmarket. November is the last month of the Greenmarket before its winter hiatus, so don’t miss out! And head below for a zesty squash recipe from our pal Mario Batali.
Halloween Harvest Festival
Come out to celebrate Halloween and the Fall Harvest season! Thank our farmers and bakers for their hard work throughout the season and have some extra fun. Discover what owls eat and learn what other Haunted Pumpkin Garden activities you can do at the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden, find Creepy-Crawly Compost Decomposers with volunteers from the NYC Compost Project in the Bronx, and participate in other fun activities such as a “Guess the Weight of the Pumpkin” contest, a doughnut-eating contest, and tasting a sample of Witch’s Brew!
Scapece Di Zucca
Serves 8 (Source: The Food Network)
- 2 medium butternut squash, seeded and cut into 1-inch slices
- Salt and pepper
- 4 tablespoons plus 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 medium red onion, sliced paper thin
- 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 clove garlic, sliced paper-thin
- 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Season the squash with salt and pepper, drizzle with 4 tablespoons olive oil, and place in a single layer on 1 or 2 cookie sheets.
Bake in the oven until just tender, about 18 to 20 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together the remaining oil, vinegar, onion, chile flakes, oregano, and garlic and season with salt and pepper. Remove the squash from the oven and pour the marinade over. Allow to cool for 20 minutes in the marinade, sprinkle with fresh mint leaves, and serve. This dish can be made earlier in the day but should not be refrigerated.
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