Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

If ever there was a year to channel all of your romantic energy into cooking a fancy meal at home, this is it. Get what you need on Saturday at ASAP Farmers Market or, if you want to celebrate on a different day or make a series of Valentine’s week meals, shop at River Arts District Farmers Market on Wednesday. Of course, the ideal menu is totally subjective, so adapt as you want, but here’s our take on a classic Valentine’s Day market dinner. 

Start with a colorful salad. Mix a bit of purple into a green salad mix with radicchio from Ten Mile Farm (ASAP Farmers Market) or purple brussels sprouts from Highgate Farm (River Arts District Farmers Market). Sweeten it up with apples from Creasman Farms (ASAP Farmers Market) or add some bite with Ten Mile’s fuchsia-centered watermelon radishes. Top with shaved or crumpled cheese from Spinning Spider Creamery, Three Graces Dairy, or Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery (all at ASAP Farmers Market; Spinning Spider is also at River Arts District Farmers Market). Finish off with your choice of dressing—maybe a maple vinaigrette with apples and radicchio or a creamy lemon-tahini dressing with radishes and brussels sprout leaves.
Next, go for a side dish that’s velvety and maybe even a little nostalgic. We like the cheerful hue of carrot soufflé or baked sweet potatoes with butter and cinnamon. If opting for the former, you’ll also need eggs; get them from Dry Ridge Farm, Lee’s One Fortune Farm, or Mysenica Family Farm at ASAP Farmers Market (Lee’s One Fortune is also at River Arts District Farmers Market). Pick up carrots from either Ten Mile or Highgate. Sleight Family Farm, at ASAP Farmers Market, has sweet potatoes.
Not all special occasion dinners need to revolve around a main meat course, but if steak is your love language, you can find plenty of options from Dry Ridge Farm, Hickory Nut Gap Farm, or Warren Wilson College Farm at ASAP Farmers Market. Sauté it with garlic, herbs, and butter alongside assorted mushrooms from Black Trumpet Farm or Asheville Fungi (both at ASAP Farmers Market; Black Trumpet is also at River Arts District Farmers Market). Or skip the steak, and make a mushroom and greens risotto with rice from Lee’s One Fortune Farm.
And, of course, sweets. Beeswax & Butter (ASAP Farmers Market and River Arts District Farmers Market) has a special line of Valentine’s Day macarons. Or grab a few chocolate bars from Conjure Chocolate at River Arts District Farmers Market.
At farmers markets right now you’ll also find dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, and bok choy; root veggies like turnips and beets; and winter squash. In addition to produce, markets feature meat, fish, bread, rice, pasta, prepared foods, fermented products, baked treats, and much more. Farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region, even in the winter. You can find information about farms, tailgate markets, and farm stands, including locations and hours, by visiting ASAP’s online Local Food Guide.

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