Fresh at Farmers Markets This week

Get your rolling pins out! It’s time to bake some pies and tarts now that rhubarb is at area farmers tailgate markets.
On its own, rhubarb is very tart so for baking, it is used with other fruit (mostly strawberries since they have similar harvesting periods) as well as cooked with sugars or syrups. You can get rhubarb (if you’re early to market) from McConnell Farms (Asheville City Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market, Asheville City Market – South, and North Asheville Tailgate Market).
Technically a vegetable, rhubarb is used like a fruit. It is the first dessert-oriented produce of the season! And, fun fact: in the 1940s, the U.S. government considered it a fruit for the purpose of customs.
As for what fruit to mix it with for baking, strawberries will be available at market within the next couple of weeks. You can also use blueberries or raspberries, if you have some frozen from last year, or mix the rhubarb with jam from one of the jam vendors at markets, such as Mountain Man Preserves (Asheville City Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market, and Asheville City Market – South).
If you use a sweetener, stick with a local one such as honey from Sweet Betty Bees (Madison County Farmers Market and Weaverville Tailgate Market), or sorghum molasses from Mackey Farms (Madison County Farmers Market).
You can also use rhubarb in savory dishes. It’s known to go well with pork, fish, lentils, or nuts. Be sure to balance the flavor with at least a little bit of something sweet, such as those mentioned above. Another way to sweeten the dish is adding sweeter vegetables like carrots or sweet potatoes.
Other things you can find at market this time of year: microgreens, plant starts (you can use EBT/SNAP to purchase them!), ramps, asparagus, green onions, radishes, turnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, greens (including spinach, kale, collards, braising mix, and others), herbs (such as basil and cilantro), mushrooms, cheeses, breads, meats, eggs, baked goods, apple cider, and so much more!
For more information about spring opening dates for farmers tailgate markets in our region, visit our full list of market opening dates. For a complete list of Appalachian Grown™ certified tailgate markets browse our online Local Food Guide or online farmers market calendar.

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