Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Maybe you’re still happily eating leftover pumpkin pie for every meal (no judgement). But chances are you need to restock your fridge to make a few lighter, healthier meals this week—say, salad. Fall greens are abundant at farmers markets right now, so there’s no need for these meals to be boring!

Bitter chicory family greens, like radicchio, frisée, and escarole, can be tamed into delicious fall salads with the addition of acid (lemon juice or vinegar). The bite of the greens balances rich cheeses, nuts, meats, or fruits. Try a radicchio and apple salad with blue cheese and toasted hazelnuts. Top a lightly dressed frisée salad with cured meat and a poached egg. Escarole makes a fantastic Caesar, especially with croutons made from your leftover Thanksgiving breads. You can find radicchio, frisée, and escarole at Gaining Ground Farm and Full Sun Farm has local hazelnuts (both are at North Asheville Tailgate Market’s Holiday Bazaar and River Arts District Farmers Market). Get bacon from Hickory Nut Gap Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market) or hot soppressata from Warren Wilson College Farm (ASAP Farmers Market). Blue cheese and a hard Parmesan-style cheese are both available from Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery (ASAP Farmers Market). 
The secret to a satisfying kale salad is to massage those greens until they soften up a bit. You can use regular curly kale or red Russian kale torn into smaller pieces with the stems removed or lacinato kale sliced thinly across the stem into ribbons. Place kale in a big bowl with a bit of dressing and use your hands to knead and squeeze. Then toss with whatever other ingredients you want. Keep it simple with a dash of lemon, olive oil, and shaved cheese, or incorporate other market ingredients like roasted squash and apples or carrots, radishes, and ginger. Kale is widely available at markets now. Look for several red varieties from Full Sun Farm and lacinato from Highgate Farm (West Asheville Tailgate Market and River Arts District Farmers Market) or Olivette Farm (ASAP Farmers Market). 
Tender salad mixes are a great way to yield a high quality salad with little effort. Try the mix from New Roots Market Garden, which often incorporates foraged wild greens along with baby lettuces and pea shoots. Pair these brightly flavors with persimmons from Lee’s One Fortune Farm and a some tangy goat cheese from Spinning Spider Creamery or Three Graces Dairy. New Roots and Lee’s One Fortune are both at ASAP Farmers Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market. Lee’s One Fortune can also be found at River Arts District Farmers Market. Get goat cheese at North Asheville Tailgate Market, River Arts District Farmers Market, and West Asheville Tailgate Market.
Find more details about farms and markets throughout the region, including special holiday hours, in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide.

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