Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Fruit can be hard to come by in the winter if you’re shopping locally in Western North Carolina. Apples are a rosy-hued exception, and they continue to be available from storage through most of the season. Creasman Farms (Asheville City Market-Winter, Transylvania Farmers Market) usually has ten or so varieties, ranging from the crunchy-tart Arkansas Black to the sweeter, juicier Pink Lady.
Of course apples are great for snacking or in salads, but they can also be a key ingredient in hot, savory dishes that take full advantage of winter markets’ other produce. Here are some ideas, especially if you’re working your way through half a bushel.
Braise a few cubed apples with sliced red cabbage (get it from Ten Mile Farm at Asheville City Market-Winter) for a couple of hours with butter, a glug of vinegar (cider, red wine, or balsamic), cloves, and peppercorns. Depending on how sweet your apples and vinegar are, you might add a bit of sugar. Enjoy with bratwurst (get it from Dry Ridge Farm).
Creamy squash soup, such as kabocha or butternut, also benefits from the addition of tart apples. You can usually find squash at New Moon Herbs Farm, Lee’s One Fortune Farm, and Ten Mile at Asheville City Market-Winter. Roasting both the squash and the apples before simmering brings out sweetness and depth. You can use chicken or vegetable stock, or branch out into other base liquids, like coconut milk, cider, or yogurt. Round out with your choice of flavors like ginger, curry, thyme, sage, maple syrup, or cinnamon.
Take your grilled cheese up a notch by inserting a few apple slices in between melty layers of cheese on toasted bread. Try the Alpine-style Liesl from Spinning Spider Creamery (Asheville City Market-Winter and Transylvania Farmers Market) or a gouda or cheddar-like style from Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery (Asheville City Market-Winter). Add dijon mustard and bacon or ham, if you’re so inclined.
If you can snag a bunch of Hakurei turnips (look for them from Olivette Farm at Asheville City Market-Winter), try sautéing them with apples and thyme and glazing with butter and a bit of cider vinegar.
Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region, even through the winter. As always, you can find information about farms, tailgate markets, and farm stands, including locations and hours, by visiting ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at

Sign Up for Our Newsletters