Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Baskets of beans are starting to crowd farmers tailgate market tables. Common green beans, yellow wax beans, or deep purple burgundy beans are all great, versatile ingredients, whether you’re sautéeing a side dish, adding them to a salad, or preserving for later use. But here are a few specific varieties we’ve been excited to find in recent weeks.

Romano beans are a flat, Italian-style pole bean that have grown in popularity in recent years. We’ve spotted them from Lee’s One Fortune Farm (at many markets) in the past several weeks. Romano beans, because they have a larger surface area than a round green bean, stand up well to grilling or roasting whole. Just string and snap them, then toss in olive oil and cook on high heat until they are slightly charred (a cast iron or grill pan also works). Finish with coarse salt.   
Lee’s One Fortune Farm also has Chinese long beans (alternatively called yardlong or asparagus beans) in mixed bunches of green and purple. These can be grilled as well, or sautéed, but the Lees recommend leaving them raw and making a Thai-style salad. Slice the beans into roughly 1-inch pieces and toss with torn mint and basil, chopped peanuts, pickled onions, lime juice, and fish sauce. If you crave heat, throw in thinly sliced chile peppers. 
Haricots verts are a long, slender French variety prized for dishes like salad niçoise. Because they stay skinny even in mature form, they pack a lot of flavor while remaining very tender and are best only lightly cooked, such as a quick blanch and ice water shock. Both Green Toe Ground (Asheville City Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market) and Ten Mile Farm (Asheville City Market, River Arts District Farmers Market) have had haricots verts available. You can compile the rest of your fresh niçoise ingredients on your market trip as well: butter lettuce, new potatoes, cherry tomatoes, eggs for hard-boiling, and fresh tuna for searing. Add capers, black olives, and a Dijon vinaigrette.
Dragon Tongue beans, originally from the Netherlands, are a pale yellow wax bean, streaked with purple, though the purple fades when cooked. This multipurpose bean can be pickled, eaten fresh in salads or as crudité, steamed, braised, or stir-fried. Sleight Family Farms (Asheville City Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market) has them now.
If you’d prefer an Appalachian heirloom variety, McConnell Farms (North Asheville Tailgate Market, Asheville City Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market) has Flat Top Mountain pole beans, a flavorful type from Tennessee. In coming weeks the iconic Appalachian bean, the greasy, should start to appear. Named for their shiny, fuzz-free pods, greasy beans come in several varieties, including cutshort, greasy backs, or cornfield greasys. 
Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region. 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

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