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Greenmarket to Gotham: A renowned chef shares his farm-fresh recipes


Greenmarket to Gotham
Gotham Bar and Grill Vegetable Summer Rolls

Renowned Gotham Bar and Grill chef Alfred Portale has been engaged in a long-standing love affair with the Union Square Greenmarket in New York. And now, he’s sharing the recipes that have blossomed from that relationship with us.

His new mini cookbook, The Gotham Bar and Grill Greenmarket to Gotham Recipe Journal, features at-home directions for re-creating his favorite menus from the past three years of his popular Greenmarket to Gotham prix fixe lunch series, which he hosts each summer.

(This summer’s series started on Monday, with a Cherry Lane Farm-centered menu that included a strawberry and arugula salad and roasted baby vegetables and asparagus. It’s $28 for two courses and 10 percent of proceeds benefit Greenmarket nonprofit GrowNYC.)

Like the lunches, the recipes in the journal are all vegetarian. “While we’ve always offered vegetarian options at Gotham they were just that—lovely options,” Portale says in the journal. “I’m proud that we’ve now put our vegetarian creations in the spotlight, and are using so many local ingredients on the Gotham scale.”

Chef Portale
Chef Portale

There are 36 recipes in all, with an appetizer, entree, and dessert from a dozen Union Square Greenmarket farms. For example, Norwich Meadows Farm’s produce can be used to create a Baby Tuscan Kale Salad with raspberries and pink beauty radish, a Vegetable Summer Roll with rainbow carrots and baby bok choy, and Blueberries with Sweet Corn Cake and Yogurt.

The menus are also ingeniously organized to match the chronological weeks of summer, based on which produce Portale predicts will be at its seasonal height each week.

Gotham to Greenmarket also tells the stories of the farmers behind the colorful produce, like Alex Paffenroth, owner of Paffenroth Gardens in Warwick, NY, who left the Army to take over his father’s onion farm, saw his crops destroyed by hail storms, and later diversified his planting to include Jerusalem artichokes and dandelion root.

The stories are as vivid as the yellow summer squash and pink rhubarb in the photos, transforming each dish you decide to create into true food for thought. —Lisa Elaine Held

Greenmarket to Gotham debuts on June 21, but you can pre-order now, $22, www.gothambarandgrill.com