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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

This week brought the first day of summer, and what style of cooking is more a symbol of summer than grilling? And sure, meats on the grill are the first thing most people think of, but the sides can be so scrumptious and exciting that they steal the show.

Potato salad? Yes, please! Ten Mile Farm (Asheville City Market, River Arts District Farmers Market) has a stunning variety of potatoes, called Masquerade, that are part purple and part white, and Wendy Town Farms (West Asheville Tailgate Market) has a bright red variety called Terra Rosa, and many other produce farmers have a range of potato varieties, too.

Using ingredients from area tailgate markets, you can make the entire potato salad from scratch! Hard boil eggs from Fiddler’s Green Farm (Asheville City Market), celery from Paper Crane Farm (West Asheville Tailgate Market and Asheville City Market), onions from Full Sun Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market and River Arts District Farmers Market). And if you want to make it fully from scratch — make homemade mayonnaise! Duck eggs make a great mayo and you can get some from Good Wheel Farm at the River Arts District Farmers Market. Add an extra touch with fresh herbs from Blue Meadow Farms (Black Mountain Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market and Asheville City Market). You can find almost all the ingredients you’ll need at once from any of the area markets.

Tender young green beans are in full swing! Dreamy Bean Farm (West Asheville Tailgate Market and Asheville City Market) has four different colored varieties: Haricot Vert, Beurre de Roc, Royal Burgundy, and Dragon Tongue. Green beans are another perfect summer side. Saute, roast, or cut up and marinade for a salad. The purple variety, Royal Burgundy, turns green when cooked. If you want to maintain the purple, use fresh in a salad, or cook with kiddos to have them magically change colors before their eyes!

As we get further into spring and summer there will be a wider and wider array of fruits and vegetables. In addition to produce, you can always find a range of meats, cheeses, eggs, breads, baked goods, value added items, plant starts, fresh flowers, and other treats!

Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region. As always, you can find information about farms, tailgate markets, and farm stands, including locations and hours, by visiting ASAP’s online Local Food Guide.