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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Round things abound at area farmers tailgate markets. So many fruits and vegetables are rolling into season and onto vendors’ stands.

Ah, peppers! We can now finally round out the flavors of our fabulous fresh summer dishes. With so many varieties of spicy, sweet, and everything in between, the pepper flavor possibilities are nearly endless. And the colors! They have the most magnificent array of colors! One pepper alone can almost have a whole rainbow on its surface. Find peppers now from most produce farmers at markets, including Gaining Ground Farm (Asheville City Market, River Arts District Farmers Market, and North Asheville Tailgate Market) and Full Sun Farm (River Arts District Farmers Market and North Asheville Tailgate Market).

Some of the first apples of the season are popping up at vendors’ tables! The main season for apples is late summer and fall, but some varieties produce a small amount of the fruit early in the season. Find apples from vendors such as Shady Lane Farm at the Yancey County Farmers Market.

Tomatillos! Tomatillos are the main ingredient in salsa verde. To make it at home, cook and puree the tomatillos with lime, cilantro, as well as any other vegetables you’d want to include — onions, garlic, peppers, corn, tomatoes, etc. Then chill and serve. They’re also wonderful for cooking with chicken or fish! Purchase tomatillos from Aardvark Farm (River Arts District Market, Asheville City Market, and Yancey County Farmers Market) and Long Valley Eco-Biotic Farm (West Asheville Tailgate Market and Madison County Farmers Market).

Though not round, leafy greens make a great accompaniment to all other foods. Tired of the same leafy greens all the time and want to switch it up? Try sweet potato greens or purslane. The beautiful, heart-shaped leaves of the sweet potato greens can be used in place of any other cooked leafy green recipe. Unlike other varieties though, sweet potato greens are tender and mild-flavored. They’re not at all bitter and are lovely any way they’re prepared — do note though, they cook down quite a bit. Right now, Her Heartbeat Farm  (Transylvania Farmers Market and Historic Marion Tailgate Market) has sweet potato greens available.

Purslane is another uncommon green, though with a very distinct flavor. It is slightly sour and salty making it perfect for soups, stews, and sauces. Stop by Long Valley Eco-Biotic Farm to purchase some.

For a complete list of Appalachian Grown™ certified tailgate markets browse ASAP’sonlineLocal Food Guide or the online farmers market calendar.

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