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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Every month, ASAP has been featuring one seasonal, local item as part of its “Get Local” campaign. August is tomato month, and, boy, is that true at area farmers tailgate markets. There are so many fantastic and flavorful varieties! There are innumerable ways to eat tomatoes, but here’s a couple of pretty exciting ideas that you may not have considered:

Roasted garlic and tomato soup. On a baking sheet, roast garlic, tomatoes, onions, and hot peppers (if you’d like). Combine all cooked and cooled ingredients in a blender or food processor, adding herbs and spices to taste. Reheat in pot to eat. Right now, Root Bottom Farm (West Asheville Tailgate Market and Madison County Farmers Market) has garlic samplers of multiple varieties arranged in an egg carton, which is great to experiment with, or mix and match in your soup.

Caprese salad. Traditionally this is made with basil and mozzarella. Try substituting goat cheese instead, and you might be surprised. Bloomy rind cheeses are great for this dish, such as those from Spinning Spider Creamery (River Arts District Farmers Market, Asheville City Market, and North Asheville Tailgate Market). Try their Stackhouse, Midnight Sun, Silverbelle or Solstice varieties.

Almost every produce vendor has at least one variety of tomato. Visit your favorite market and ask some farms which are their favorites — they’ll likely be excited to tell you all about it!

Fruit that’s just popped up: Raspberries and grapes are now available at markets. Stop by McConnell Farms (Asheville City Market, North Asheville Tailgate Market, and West Asheville Tailgate Market) to find them, and keep your eyes out for other farmers with these sweet fares.

It’s been a hot and dry summer, and as a result, there are less greens available at markets. This particularly pertains to more to heat-sensitive greens such as lettuce and kale. They may be harder to find right now, though chard is still going strong; it can withstand a wider range of temperatures.

Coming soon: Be on the lookout for winter squash. Even though it’s summer, it should start appearing at market in the next few weeks. Edamame is right around the corner, too.

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

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