Life Beyond Lettuce

Six salads with autumn's best produce, from a farmers' market fanatic.

One reason Bill Telepan loves the Union Square Greenmarket in New York City is that it lets him pretend he's Italian. Okay, so Telepan, the chef at Manhattan's Judson Grill, has never been to Italy, nor has he ever cooked at an Italian restaurant. But that Italian credo about the best fresh ingredients simply prepared? That's an approach he can believe in, and it's one he applies to all the fall produce he finds at the Greenmarket, including squash (which he turns into a roasted winter squash salad with ham and parsley), cabbage (which evokes his actual ethnic heritage, Hungarian-Czech, and which he whips up into a glorious Savoy cabbage, kohlrabi and grapefruit salad) and especially beets. For Telepan, beets are a cause as much as a vegetable. If you think you don't like them, his candy cane beet salad with orange and fennel should convince you that you've been just plain wrong. Like the rest of these fall salads, it will also dispel any lingering longing for the tomatoes and lettuces of summer.

Wine notes by Beth von Benz, the sommelier at Manhattan's Judson Grill.

PUBLISHED November 2000