After the taste of spring temperatures this past week, you might feel a little disheartened by the cold snap on its way. But you can embrace the last week of winter by leaning into some warm, hearty meals made with ingredients from winter farmers markets. Markets are a bit smaller right now, with winter storage crops thinning and full spring production not yet underway. But you can still find what you need for a delicious shepherd’s pie—a quintessential dish for eating by a cozy fire.
There were a limited number of local turkeys available from Appalachian Grown farms this year, and those sold out by the end of October. So what if you didn’t reserve your bird early, but still want a local meat centerpiece for your Thanksgiving dinner? If you’re willing to get a little creative, you can find alternatives at farmers tailgate markets. (Planning a vegan or vegetarian feast? Stay tuned for next week’s column for ideas.)
Hominy Farm is a new vendor at River Arts District Winter Market, selling naturally leavened, wood-fired breads produced in the Candler bakery formerly used by Farm and Sparrow. Their collection includes ciabatta-like gan au levain, whole grain rustic boule, sesame rye, and apple toast tatin (from Creasman Farms apples). But it’s the man’oushe—a flatbread slathered with za’atar spice and olive oil—that might inspire you to pick up ingredients for a Middle Eastern–style platter while shopping at farmers markets this week.
As we move into November thoughts turn to holiday feasting, and for many that means a turkey centerpiece. Local turkey is available from several local farms in the region, including Hickory Nut Gap Farm and Dillingham Family Farm, though you will need to order in advance—and act fast! These birds tend to sell out every year. Find a list of farms in the area with local turkeys, and information on how to order them here.
Celebration is in the air this week at area farmers tailgate markets! Fourth of July is around the corner and we’re getting ready to fire up those grills, make some potato salad and coleslaw, and eat succulent summer fruit.
More and more produce is popping up at your local farmers tailgate markets!
Romaine calm, there’s plenty of lettuce to go around at farmers tailgate markets this week! Bagged mixes and full heads of all types can be found now, including varieties with interesting names and looks: Try New Red Fire lettuce—with dark red ruffled leaves—from vendors including Gladheart Farm (Asheville City Market South, East Asheville Tailgate Market, Oakley Farmers Market). Or, opt for Freckles—an heirloom bright green lettuce with crimson red splashes—from vendors including Adelbert Farm (Oakley Farmers Market).