Greens and cabbages are abundant at farmers markets right now, and winter can be a great time to try new ways of serving them. Stuffing with a mixture of rice, herbs, spices, and ground meat places these vegetables front and center as a hearty main course.
If you’re the type to serve your sweetheart a locally sourced Valentine’s Day meal, take note that you’ll need to stop at a farmers tailgate market tomorrow or Wednesday to collect ingredients in time for Feb. 14. Pretty much any meal you shop for and prepare yourself hits the mark for a romantic gesture, but we’ve included a few suggestions to really get into the spirit.
An abundance of leafy greens cover farmers tailgate markets these days, and even if you regularly fill your bag with kale and collards, there are more options than ever for trying new varieties. Here’s a rundown of what you might discover at markets this winter.
With the autumnal equinox behind us, it’s time to get serious about squash. Winter squash varieties have been coming in at farmers tailgate markets for about a month, including butternut, spaghetti, red kuri, jester, and kabocha. But while we adore squash in everything from soups to gratins to salads to desserts, we have to admit that removing the hard outer skin can be a bit tedious. Luckily, there are few options that allow you to leave your vegetable peeler in the drawer and simply eat the skin along with the rest of the fruit.
We never fail to get excited about the fact that we can get locally grown rice in the Western North Carolina mountains. Lee’s One Fortune Farm has had its fall harvest available in limited quantities for the past couple of weeks at many farmers tailgate markets, including purple and brown rice varieties. The flavor of rice this fresh elevates even the simplest preparations, but Korean bibimbap is a dish that can really highlight all the best of your market haul.
Tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, summer squash, peaches, plums, nectarines, blueberries, broccoli, cabbage—farmers market tables are overflowing with summer superstars. You’re likely to walk away with a full market bag no matter what you’re looking for, but there a few delicacies we’re seeking out right now.
Are there colors you associate with different seasons at farmers tailgate markets? The vivid reds, yellows, and purples of summer tomatoes, crookneck squash, and eggplant? The deep golds and dark greens of fall pumpkins and kale? Shades of spring—pink, yellow-orange, and emerald green—are starting perk up market tents.