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Fresh at Farmers Markets This week

You’ll want to make sure to turnip at area farmers tailgate markets this week because spring radishes and turnips are particularly flavorful this time of year. Other new and notable additions to the market vendors’ tables: pea shoots, a broader range of fresh herbs, and mushrooms.

Turnips and radishes, which are usually known for their bitter and earthy flavors, are more sweet and crunchy right now, and make satisfying spring snacks. The varieties of these roots that flourish in spring, such as Hakurei turnips and French Breakfast radishes, are some popular varieties. They’re wonderful eaten raw and added to salad. Sliced radishes with butter are a traditional French dish. Or, try marinating them a few hours before you plan to eat them, and cook lightly in a pan. Find radishes and turnips from Second Spring Market Garden (French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market and Asheville City Market) and New Moon Herbs Farm (Asheville City Market).

Pea shoots are a particularly exciting May treat. Pea shoots are crunchy, flavorful, and very sweet. They’re phenomenal additions to salads and sandwiches. Or, dip them in hummus for a delightful, light meal. Brittain Farms (West Asheville Tailgate Market and Mills River Farmers Market) and Meadow Cove Farm (Madison County Farmers Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market) both have pea shoots for sale.

More varieties of herbs are becoming available such as cilantro, parsley, mugwort, and many others. Stop by Thatchmore Farm’s table at North Asheville Tailgate Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market to see what herbs they have this week. Right now morels — a delicious variety of wild mushrooms — are growing, and Asheville Fungi sells them at West Asheville Tailgate Market and French Broad Food Co-op Wednesday Tailgate Market.

Watercress, like turnips and radishes, are sweeter and less bitter now. Long Valley Eco-Biotic Farm has plenty of watercress for you to try, and you can find them at Madison County Farmers Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market, or Weaverville Tailgate Market.

Mother’s Day is this Sunday — pick up a gift for the mothers in your life at area farmers tailgate markets. Need an idea? Perhaps gift certificates to a market, flowers, an edible treat such as delectable goat cheese chevre, or a handmade craft!

For more information about spring opening dates for farmers tailgate markets in our region, visit our full list of market opening dates. For a complete list of Appalachian Grown™ certified tailgate markets browse our online Local Food Guide or online farmers market calendar.

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