Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Not sure what to do with unfamiliar products you spot at farmers markets? Talking to farmers or other food vendors is a great way to pick up new recipes or cooking tips. For instance, lion’s mane mushrooms, which look a little like a furry head of cauliflower, might confound mushroom shoppers. But Jay and Gwen at Black Trumpet Farm (at River Arts District at ASAP markets) will happily share a recipe for faux crab cakes made from lion’s mane. This vegetarian meal option makes a surprisingly convincing substitute for the real thing.

Eight ounces of lion’s mane should give you six three-inch cakes. Start by shredding the mushrooms into small pieces that resemble flakey crab meat. In a large bowl, mix together one egg, one-fourth cup of finely diced red onion, one tablespoon of mayonnaise, one teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce, one teaspoon of Old Bay seasoning, one teaspoon of Dijon mustard, one tablespoon of chopped parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Fold the shredded mushrooms and half a cup of breadcrumbs or panko into the mixture. Form into three-inch cakes. (If they don’t hold together, you can add a bit more mayonnaise.) Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, fry for three or four minutes on each side, until golden and heated through. In addition to Black Trumpet Farm, look for mushrooms from Asheville Fungi at ASAP Farmers Market.
You can serve these any way you like to eat crab cakes, but we went for crab cake benedict with two poached eggs, spinach, and hollandaise on top. Dry Ridge Farm (ASAP Farmers Market) has pullet eggs available right now, which are the smaller eggs produced by hens at the start of their laying season. These eggs are about three-fourths the size of standard large eggs with a greater yolk-to-white ratio. Get spinach from several farmers right now, including Highgate Farm at River Arts District Farmers Market, Olivette Farm at ASAP Farmers Market, or Lee’s One Fortune Farm at both markets.
For a quick hollandaise that doesn’t require a double boiler, microwave or melt three tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over low heat. In a blender, add one egg yolk, a tablespoon of lemon juice, half a teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Blend for about 10 seconds. With the motor running, slowly pour in the melted better. Blend until smooth. Drizzle over your eggs, “crab” cakes, and spinach. Garnish with microgreens or additional parsley and serve with hot sauce.
At winter markets now you’ll also find carrots, beets, radishes, turnips, cabbage, kale, salad greens, winter squash, potatoes, and sweet potatoes. Markets are also stocked with a variety of meats, cheese, rice, pasta, pastries, drinks, and prepared foods. Find more details about farms and markets throughout the region, including winter hours, in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide.

Sign Up for Our Newsletters