Comment. Share. Connect. Join ASAP in an ongoing conversation about local food FROM HERE in the Southern Appalachians.


Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

Remember as kids playing that it was opposite day? This week we’re bringing an ‘opposite day’ approach to farmers market fare with suggestions for desserts made from vegetables, and savory dishes made with fruit.

 Vegetables are more versatile than you may have thought. Try searching for any vegetable + dessert, and you can find recipes for sweet dishes beyond the usual — even garlic! And of course there are those familiar foods, such as carrot cake and sweet zucchini bread, but the possibilities are so much more endless than just those good ol’ recipes.

Here are just a few suggestions to start expanding your dessert portfolio: corn pot de creme (or creme brulee), candied jalapenos with ice cream, and sweet pepper upside down cake and eggplant chocolate cake. (Though if we’re getting scientifically specific, peppers and eggplant are technically fruits.) When considering beets, there’s a great deal of delicious recipes to choose from: vegan beet pudding, beet milkshakes, and beet cashew cake. And these are only suggestions for the vegetables that are in season now — just wait until fall crops come in!

Often, we forget how functional some fruit can be in our savory dishes — we relegate fruits to snacks, jams, and pies. But adding fruit to savory dishes can give your meal more complex flavors and can complement other ingredients. Perfect for this time of year are pork chops with peaches and jalapeno blackberry chicken. Both will make delicious savory dishes with a sweet kick. And for a veggie option? Green bean and corn salad with diced early apples is a great dish to try.

Taking a chance on trying a new vegetable or a new dish to cook can be a wonderful way to connect with farmers markets and to be an explorer without having to leave town — have an incredible culinary expedition right in your home kitchen!

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.