The largest and busiest Greenmarket in all of Queens can be found in Jackson Heights. This busy market is held every Sunday, year-round and has something for everyone. Located right near Travers Park at 34th Avenue and 77th Street, the market wraps around 78th Street, where during summer months a kid-friendly and car free “play street” means kids can play and families can enjoy the special events that are held there each week.
With a wide selection of produce, dairy, meat, cheeses and baked items, a visit to the Jackson Heights Greenmarket makes putting a meal together easy. Best of all, is the interaction you can have with the local growers who are always happy to talk to you about where every item comes from and just how it was raised.
Stroll around the market you’ll find that organic greens, hormone-free milk and grass-fed beef are just the beginning. You can buy artisanal cheeses, wine, preserves, ice cream, pastries or crusty ciabatta bread. Looking for duck, or seafood? Yep, the Jackson Heights Greenmarket truly has it all.
I stopped by the Greenmarket and picked up everything I needed to cook a fantastic three-course meal. With a visit to the market and just a few pantry staples you can easily put together a unique and seasonal meal like the one below.
First Course: Warm Leek Dip with Moroccan M’Smen
- 1 large bunch of leeks from Phillips Farms, trimmed and washed
- Moroccan M’Smen (a buttery, flaky flatbread) from Hot Bread Kitchen
- Put leeks, 2 tablespoons of butter, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and any herb of your choice (I used a few sprigs of thyme) in a large pot. Season with coarse salt and add about 1 cup of water or stock (if you have it in your pantry) so that it just comes up the sides but doesn’t cover the leeks. Cover with a tight fitting lid and simmer on low heat for about an hour, or until leeks have become very soft and tender.
- Remove leeks to a food processor, and pulse until broken down but still a bit chunky.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve alongside warmed Moroccan M’Smen.
Second Course: Spiced Turkey Breast with Roasted Vegetables and Organic Greens
- One 2-2 ½ lb turkey breast from DiPaola Turkeys
- 2 medium onions, 3-4 Yukon Gold potatoes, 3-4 sweet potatoes from Phillips Farms, cleaned and roughly chopped
- About ¼ lb organic greens from Monkshood Nursery
- You can use any combination of spices from your pantry to season the turkey. I used ½ teaspoon each of ground cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, and oregano, plus ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper. Combine the mix with salt, pepper and olive oil to create a paste. Rub the spice mix evenly over the turkey breast and place on a parchment lined sheet tray.
- Toss vegetables with olive oil, salt and pepper and add to sheet tray with turkey. Roast at 425 degrees for about 45-50 minutes until turkey is fully cooked. Serve turkey and roasted vegetables with a salad of organic greens.
Dessert: Coconut Macaroons with Vanilla Ice Cream and Tart Cherry Sauce
- Coconut Macaroons from Not Just Ruguleh
- 1 jar of Tart Cherry Fruit Spread from Phillips Farm
- 1 pint Hudson Valley Vanilla ice cream from Ronnybrook Dairy
- Warm the Tart Cherry Fruit Spread in a saucepan over low heat, adding just a few teaspoons of water or fruit juice to thin, and then drizzle in the bottom of a serving dish or glass. Top with 2 scoops of ice cream and a macaroon, then eat it up before it melts!
Jackson Heights Greenmarket: The largest greenmarket in Queens, with a large selection of locally grown fruit, vegetables, eggs, dairy, seafood, honey, meat, and other specialty items. EBT/Food Stamps, Debit/Credit, and WIC & FMNP checks accepted. For more information, a list of farmers, and a calendar of events visit their website.
When: Sundays 8am-3pm, year-round
Where: 34th Avenue at 77th Street, Jackson Heights
By: Vivian Cardinale