Cherries have made their way to farmers markets this week! Better get there fast to have a taste of these deliciously tart treats, as they will be around for only a few more weeks! While cherries are just as enjoyable by themselves, if you have enough extras, there are plenty of ways to incorporate these into your cooking. Look for cherries from Bright Branch Farms at East Asheville Tailgate Market, Lyda Farms at Weaverville Tailgate Market, as well as McConnell Farms selling at North and West Asheville markets this week.
We’re also seeing a lot more new produce at market this week, including new potatoes, baby fennel, summer squash, kohlrabi, garlic scapes, spring onions, and more! Make use of some of these alongside cherries with this easy cherry relish.
Start your relish by finely chopping one heaping cup of cherries (make sure you remove the pits beforehand), half cup baby fennel, a third cup celery, and a fourth cup of scallions or spring onions. Combine the chopped ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. You can find baby fennel from Olivette Farms (Asheville City Market) and Seven Seeds Farm (Weaverville and East Asheville markets). If you’re low on time, add these ingredients to a food processor and pulse. If you have a little more time, chopping these yourself will create the best texture for the relish. Place the chopped ingredients in a large bowl and mix in one tablespoon of honey, two teaspoons of orange zest, one teaspoon of fresh orange juice, two teaspoons of red wine vinegar, one teaspoon of lemon juice, and some black pepper to taste. Lick Log Branch Apiaries has a delicious wildflower honey sold at the River Arts District Farmers Market. Stir gently to combine the ingredients.
Enjoy with your dish of choice! We recommend serving the relish with some grilled pork chops from Dry Ridge Farm, which can be found at North Asheville and Asheville City markets. If you want to use this relish as an appetizer or snack, pair with a slice of toasted bread and a smear of goat cheese. OWL Bakery has the perfect sourdough to pair with this relish, sold at North Asheville Tailgate Market.
At farmers markets now you’ll also find a variety of produce such as carrots, cucumbers, radishes, turnips, broccoli, cauliflower, and mushrooms. Also look out for greens like lettuce, arugula, chard, kale, spinach, bok choy, and mustard greens. Markets are 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.