Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

With temperatures dipping into the thirties this week, it’s time to fully embrace the bounty of hardy, fall produce at farmers markets! While beloved summer crops like tomatoes and peppers will be seeing their last week at markets, you can find a plethora of winter greens, beets, head lettuce, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage. 

There’s an abundance of hardy winter greens at markets this week, including some of our favorites like kale, spinach, and collards. While there are endless possibilities to use winter greens in your recipes, this creamy kale and butternut squash pasta is a great way to incorporate all kinds of market produce into a warm, autumnal meal. Start by bringing a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil, and cook one pound of penne pasta (or your preferred variety) according to package instructions. Reserve two cups of the cooking liquid, and drain the pasta. Then, bring a medium pot of water to a boil, and add one sliced sweet yellow onion and two cups of peeled and cubed butternut squash. Cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until the squash is very soft. Add two cups of chopped kale, and cook for two more minutes, until the kale turns bright green, then drain. Combine the cooked penne pasta and vegetables in a large pot over medium-low heat. Then add half a cup of creamy goat cheese and two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. Slowly stir in the two cups of reserved cooking liquid, breaking down the goat cheese and cooked butternut squash. Mix until the sauce is thick and smooth. Combine the sauce with your reserved pasta. Winter squash and greens are widely available at markets.

Broccoli is another versatile vegetable that can add some flavor to any meal! Whether you roast it, sauté it, or enjoy it raw, broccoli will always be a staple in the kitchen when it’s in season. If you’d rather enjoy broccoli as your main dish, rather than just an ingredient in a recipe, try making these easy roasted broccoli steaks. Start by trimming two heads of broccoli, then slice from the stem into thick steaks. Toss the broccoli steaks with olive oil and salt, then roast on a preheated baking sheet at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes. While your broccoli cooks, whisk together one fourth of a cup of olive oil, two tablespoons of blood orange juice, one tablespoon of lemon juice, and one teaspoon each of salt and roasted red red pepper flakes. Drizzle your dressing over the roasted broccoli steaks, and top with chopped parsley, thinly sliced red onion, and crumbled feta cheese. You can find broccoli from Gaining Ground Farm and Full Sun Farm both River Arts District and North Asheville markets, as well as Maypop Farm at Asheville City Market

This roasted beet pesto is a great alternative to a classic basil pesto, and an easy way to add some color to your cooking! Start by washing and scrubbing one medium beet, then peel and cut roughly into cubes. Wrap the chopped beet into foil, making a packet, then place the foil packet on a baking tray and roast in a 375-degree oven for 40-50 minutes. While your beets are baking, roast half a cup of walnuts in a frying pan with one tablespoon of olive oil. Add the roasted beets and walnuts to a food processor or blender, along with three cloves of chopped garlic, half a cup of Parmesan cheese, two tablespoons of lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste. Pulse several times, then slowly add half a cup of olive oil and blend well. Your roasted beet pesto can be enjoyed with pasta or on sandwiches! Look for beets from Olivette Farm at Asheville City Market.

At farmers markets now you’ll also find apples, pears, ginger, turmeric, persimmons, carrots, turnips, radishes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and much more. 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

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