As summer gets closer, we are starting to see more exciting arrivals at area farmers markets!
Cucumbers made their seasonal debut at farmers markets this week, with Thatchmore Farm (West and North Asheville markets), Velvet Morning Farms (Asheville City Market), and Ivy Creek Family Farm (Weaverville and North Asheville markets) offering an early harvest of this summer favorite!
Cucumbers are a great way to stay hydrated as the days get hotter. While they taste great by themselves, we are excited to start using this season’s cucumbers in some classic recipes, as well as some more creative concoctions! For some raw goodness, a crunchy pickled cucumber salad may be the perfect side dish for you this week! Wash and thinly slice about two pounds of cucumbers. You can peel beforehand if that’s your preference, though the peel is a great source of fiber. Combine with half a pound of sliced radishes. In a separate bowl, mix six tablespoons of white wine vinegar, half a cup of olive oil, a large handful of freshly minced dill, and some salt. Mix together the sliced cucumbers and radishes with the dressing for a delicious side salad that adds a little spice to any meal. Find radishes from many market vendors, including The AppaLatin Farmstead, which is selling some gorgeous varieties at all markets in Asheville. You can pick up dill from Lee’s One Fortune Farm at Asheville City, Black Mountain, East, West, and River Arts District markets.
Maypop, formerly known as Creekside Farm, brought some purple broccoli and cauliflower to Asheville City Market this week! Looking for ways to get creative with your cauliflower? This easy cauliflower hummus recipe is the perfect dip for all of your market cucumbers, radishes, broccoli, and more! Maybe even pick up a fresh baguette from High Top Bread Company, at East and North Asheville markets, to pair with this delicious hummus. Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Remove the florets from the head of the cauliflower, then place on a baking tray. Cover the cauliflower liberally with olive oil (or your oil of choice), then roast for 20 minutes. After the cauliflower is finished cooking, place in a blender or food processor. Add one-fourth cup tahini, one garlic clove, a few tablespoons of water, the juice from one lemon, and your spices of choice. We recommend a pinch of cumin and coriander, along with salt and pepper! After blending ingredients together, scrape into a bowl and enjoy!
Velvet Morning Farms also brought the first zucchinis we’ve seen this season to Asheville City Market this week! Make sure to get to market early on Saturday to get some of this delicious summer squash—another great option for dipping in hummus. At farmers markets now you’ll also find asparagus, carrots, turnips, sweet potatoes, potatoes, mushrooms, and greens like lettuce, arugula, chard, kale, spinach, bok choy, and mustard greens. Strawberry season is in full swing at all markets. Markets are also stocked with a variety of meats, cheese, rice, pasta, bread, drinks, and prepared foods. Find more details about farms and markets throughout the region in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.