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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

winter squash and potatoes

Thanksgiving dinner is often a meal centered around abundance—many dishes, crowded tables, perhaps some long-distance travel, and (hopefully) plenty to be grateful for. This year, of course, will be different for lots of folks. Maybe a turkey and all the fixins is overkill for your small family. Maybe you’re only cooking for yourself while Zooming into a larger gathering elsewhere. Maybe you simply need to say no to any added stress, particularly the kind that makes a mess of your kitchen. 

Shopping for whatever size meal you need at farmers tailgate markets can be a way to focus on food and community and find opportunity for gratitude. If you’re sticking with tradition, you’ll find many of the ingredients you need, including apples, potatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin and winter squash, eggs, greens, carrots, celery, sausage, cheese, and bread at markets. But if you want some inspiration for a single dish that gets at the essence of Thanksgiving without committing to the whole shebang, we have a few suggestions.

Want something that fulfills your pie and main course needs all in one? Try a savory galette—such as sweet potato and goat cheese or greens and mushrooms (or all of the above). A galette is a freeform version of a pie and usually simpler to pull together. (Hint: it’s supposed to look messy.) Get mushrooms from Black Trumpet Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market and River Arts District Farmers Market) or Asheville Fungi (ASAP Farmers Market and West Asheville Tailgate Market). Find goat cheese from Three Graces Dairy (North Asheville Tailgate Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market) or Spinning Spider Creamery (North Asheville Tailgate Market, River Arts District Farmers Market). 

Love the melded flavors of dressing? Make it the whole meal by stuffing an Italian sausage-apple-rice version into a winter squash. A medium acorn or small butternut squash sliced in half will feed two (or one with leftovers). Get rice from Lee’s One Fortune Farm (ASAP Farmers Market, Black Mountain Farmers Market, West Asheville Tailgate Market, and River Arts District Farmers Market). Want to add some crunch? Full Sun Farm (North Asheville Tailgate Market and River Arts District Farmers Market) has local hazelnuts. 

You can Google “sheet tray Thanksgiving” to find all sorts of ingenious tips for cooking the entire meal at once on a single tray—turkey breast on top of stuffing on one side, marshmallow-topped sweet potatoes and bacon-y green beans on the other, parker house rolls running down the middle. But we think you can make this even easier by simply roasting a small chicken or pork loin and an assortment of your favorite market veggies. Carrots, beets, and fennel would be a great combo, or kohlrabi, apples, and winter squash. 

Find more details about farms and markets throughout the region, including special holiday hours, in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide.

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