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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

bread from hominy farm, photo by Camilla Calnan Photography

Many of us are trying to limit our trips to the grocery store these days as we continue or ramp up COVID-19 precautions. Winter farmers markets are a great opportunity to shop for fresh food in an open-air environment. But picking up long-lasting staples each time you visit can also help you stretch your meal planning a bit longer—especially with a few leftover-friendly recipe ideas.

Fresh rice from Lee’s One Fortune Farm should be kept in the freezer regardless of how soon you plan to cook it. Buy an extra pound or two, and you’ll have the basis for a meal whenever you need it. A dish like fried rice can be made with a wide variety of in-season veggies available at markets right now—including snow peas, carrots, radishes, turnips, mushrooms, and spinach. Pull it all together with some ginger, garlic, scallions, a couple of fresh farm eggs, and a splash of soy sauce. Find Lee’s One Fortune Farm’s rice, as well as eggs and a host of other vegetables, at both the ASAP Farmers Market and River Arts District Farmers Market.

Bread is another great staple to have stashed in the freezer. Veggie melts can polish off the random assortment at the bottom of the produce drawer along with any odds and ends of cheese. Your possibilities are fairly endless here, but we particularly like roasted cruciferous vegetables (such as gai lan from Lee’s One Fortune or radishes and brussels sprouts from Highgate Farm at River Arts District Farmers Market) and mushrooms (from Asheville Fungi at ASAP Farmers Market or Black Trumpet Farm at both markets). If you want to keep it vegan—or even if you don’t—the Game Changer Gouda from Darë Vegan Cheese would be an excellent addition. Get your bread from Hominy Farm at both the ASAP Farmers Market and the River Arts District Farmers Market as well as Crust Never Sleeps and Simple Bread at the ASAP Farmers Market.

Eggs, kept refrigerated, will last for a month or more. Eggs are also the quintessential ingredient to stretch or perk-up tired leftovers. Pull together a random assortment of greens and grains with the addition of a poached egg. Fill those remaining tortillas in the bag with a soft scramble, grated cheese, and a squirt of hot sauce. Sauté leftover sweet potatoes, onions, and anything else you want, then top it off with a fried egg for hash. Eggs are available from Dry Ridge Farm and Myseanica Family Farm at the ASAP Farmers Market, and from Lee’s One Fortune and Black Trumpet farms at both the ASAP and River Arts District markets.

At farmers markets right now you’ll also find lettuce and mixed salad greens, apples, winter squash, meat, fish, prepared foods, fermented products, baked treats, and much more. Farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region, even in the winter. You can find information about farms, tailgate markets, and farm stands, including locations and hours, by visiting ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.