THE GREENMARKET'S MUST-HAVE NEW VEGETABLE
Every summer I fall in love with a new vegetable at the farmers' market. A few years back, it was New Zealand spinach, a hearty, incredibly flavorful variety with leaves and stems that didn't basically shrink down to nothing when you cooked them. Last year it was lamb's quarters; I was addicted to their slightly slippery texture and earthy flavor, and to wrapping them in tortillas with melted cheese--yum. This year, my new crush is a variety of pattypan squash called flying saucers that Yuno's Farm sells at the Greenmarket at Manhattan's Union Square on Mondays and Fridays (and elsewhere on other days). Oddly, these squash don't look anything like flying saucers; they're squat like pattypans but they have points or spokes all around, and they're dark green with striations and bright yellow. They're also hard as a rock, and slightly fuzzy. So far, I've only had them sauteed and roasted, and I already think they're the tastiest summer squash I've ever had. I recently cut them in half lengthwise and sliced them crosswise 1/2 inch thick to show off their spokes, then roasted them at 450° on a lightly oiled baking sheet with thyme sprigs and salt and pepper until lightly browned on both sides. We had them hours later at a picnic and they were devoured by adults and children alike--even without the sauce I'd made to go with them.