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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Just about time for outdoor tailgate markets!

This Saturday, March 31, marks the final indoor winter market for Asheville City Market. Next week, April 7, North Asheville Tailgate Market and Asheville City Market open outside for the spring, and other markets follow throughout the week, including West Asheville Tailgate Market on Tuesday and Asheville City Market – South, Wednesday. Check out the full list of market opening dates across the region.

Broccoli raab (also called broccoli rabe and rapini) takes center stage for produce at Asheville City Market. Broccoli raab is actually more closely related to turnips than broccoli, and though it can have a more bitter flavor closer to mustard greens, the spring varieties so far this year are mild, earthy, and even a little sweet. And the stalks are particularly lovely in flavor and texture.

How does broccoli raab differ from broccolini and Chinese broccoli — it’s easy to get these three varieties confused. Chinese broccoli looks similar to broccoli rabe, but with much thicker stems and wider, flatter, leaves. Broccolini is a hybrid created in the 1990s between chinese broccoli and broccoli.

Spring garlic was another exciting find this past week. Spring garlic is baby garlic, not yet matured into bulbs. It has a subtle and mild flavor that tastes fresh and spring-like! It’s great paired with leeks and added to dishes of greens, carrots, or any other veggie or meat.

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.