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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

garlic scapes

June has arrived and with it an exciting spread of new produce on farmers market tables—summer squash, snap peas, cherries, kohlrabi, broccoli, garlic scapes, baby beets, and even a few greenhouse-grown tomatoes and peppers. There are more vendors, too, as some farms are returning to market after the slower spring season. Several markets have been able to adjust their layout to accommodate additional spaces while still maintaining social distancing precautions. And starting today, you have another market to visit in Asheville. East Asheville Tailgate Market reopens this afternoon from 3 to 6 p.m. at Groce Methodist Church, 954 Tunnel Rd.

We suggest starting your June veggie celebration with summer squash, snap peas, and garlic scapes. Full Sun Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market, River Arts District Farmers Market) has mixed squash, sold as pints of baby pattypans as well as full-size zucchini and zephyr, a straight-neck yellow squash with a pale green tip. Look for snap peas from Lee’s One Fortune Farm (ASAP Farmers Market, Black Mountain Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market, River Arts District Farmers Market, and East Asheville Tailgate Market) and Five Pine Farm (Weaverville Tailgate Market). We’ve spotted garlic scapes—the curly shoots that extend out of the garlic plant in the early summer—from Gaining Ground Farm and Flying Cloud Farm (both at North Asheville Tailgate Market and River Arts District Farmers Market) as well as Highgate Farm (Black Mountain Farmers Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market, and River Arts District Farmers Market) and Root Bottom Farm (West Asheville Tailgate Market).

You could really stop here—maybe chopping up those garlic scapes and stirring them into a yogurt dip for snaps and squash crudité. The softer, sweeter flavor of scapes, as opposed to mature garlic, means they’re easier to enjoy raw. You could also go for a simple vegetable medley with these three ingredients sautéed with a bit of butter or olive oil. Or thinly slice everything, including the snap peas, and marinate with lemon juice, olive oil, and your market herbs of choice (chives, tarragon, mint, dill, or basil are all great options).

Garlic scapes also make great pesto, whether you opt for a traditional pine nuts-basil-Parmesan recipe or something with a twist—maybe that makes use of your remaining pandemic pantry items. Try scape pesto with sunflower seeds, flaxseed, or cashews, or use other market greens like kale or arugula in place of basil. Enjoy your pesto with a summer squash and snap pea pasta dish or use a spiralizer to turn zucchini into zoodles.

At farmers markets right now you’ll also find beef, pork, lamb, chicken, eggs, cheese, bread, baked goods, ferments, beverages, and much more. For a full list of markets open throughout the region, visit asapconnections.org. Find contact information and more details about the region’s farms and farmers markets in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide.

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