Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Many farms in the region experienced their first frost this week, which signals the end of tomatoes, peppers, and other summer veggies for the season. We may see the final harvest of these crops at farmers tailgate markets for another week or so, but it’s time to fully embrace fall. Right now we’re seeing lots of head lettuce coming back to market as well as cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage.

Broccoli may be one of the most versatile vegetables for weeknight cooking, so add some to your market bag, regardless of your meal plans. It’s great both raw or cooked, added to salads, pastas, stir-frys, and more. For a healthy snack, try roasting it until it’s crispy at the edges and eating with preserved lemon yogurt dip. Serotonin Ferments has jarred preserved lemons at West Asheville, North Asheville, and ASAP markets. Find broccoli from Flying Cloud Farm and Full Sun Farm (both at North Asheville and River Arts District markets), Tucker’s Garden (at North and West Asheville markets), and Olivette Farm (at ASAP Farmers Market).
For another variation, try cabbage chips. Tear cabbage leaves into large pieces and toss with olive oil. Arrange them in a single layer on wire racks set on baking sheets. Bake in a 300-degree oven for 25 to 35 minutes, until they are slightly browned. Let them cool, then serve. These would also go well with a yogurt dip! Get cabbage from Full Sun Farm and Flying Cloud Farm, among others.
Looking for more healthy(ish) snack ideas? Make cauliflower Buffalo bites, a surprisingly satisfying substitution for chicken wings. Get cauliflower from Full Sun Farm as well as Velvet Morning Farms, now at ASAP Farmers Market. Break cauliflower into florets and toss in a batter of equal parts milk and flour, seasoned with garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper. Lay coated pieces in a single layer on a sheet tray and roast at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Meanwhile, make your Buffalo sauce by mixing one or two tablespoons of melted butter into half a cup of hot sauce. Traditionally Buffalo wings are made with Frank’s Red Hot, but you can look for local hot sauce vendors, such as Better Thymes at ASAP, West Asheville, and River Arts District markets. Toss your baked cauliflower bites with the sauce and bake for another 15 minutes, until crispy. Bonus local? Use blue cheese from Blue Ridge Mountain Creamery (ASAP Farmers Market) to make your own dressing and look for celery from Highgate Farm (West Asheville and River Arts District markets). 
At markets now you can also get potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, apples, and hardy greens like kale, collards, arugula, chard, and mustard. Markets are also stocked with farm-fresh eggs, cheese, rice, pasta, bread, pastries, drinks, and prepared foods. There are more than 100 farmers tailgate markets throughout the Appalachian Grown region. Find them, as well as farms and other local food businesses, in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide.

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