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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

new potatoes and summer squash

Freshly dug new potatoes in red, yellow, and purple are here! You really don’t need to do much to enjoy these. They are delicious on their own, salt-boiled or roasted with olive oil. But new potatoes also work well in simple salads that celebrate some of the best summer produce at markets now, including green beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, and more. Look for new potatoes from Full Sun Farm and Gaining Ground Farm at North Asheville and River Arts District markets; Sleight Family Farm at West and North Asheville markets; Root Bottom Farm at West Asheville Tailgate Market; Smallholding Farm at Weaverville and East Asheville markets; and Ten Mile Farm at ASAP Farmers Market.

This is the time to make Niçoise salad one of your go-to weeknight meals. This versatile dish can use up a lot of market leftovers. In addition to boiled new potatoes, blanch a handful of green beans (available now from Smallholding Farm, Ivy Creek Family Farm at Weaverville and North Asheville markets, and Lee’s One Fortune Farm at ASAP, Black Mountain, West Asheville, River Arts District, and East Asheville markets). Slice tomatoes (get early ones from Full Sun Farm as well as Thatchmore Farm at North and West Asheville markets) and season generously with salt and pepper. Radishes, cucumbers, and sweet onions, widely available now, are also great. Boil a farm egg to your preference (we like a six-minute egg, with the yolk still a bit runny). Add few briny items from your refrigerator, such as olives, capers, or anchovies. Lay all of your components over butter lettuce or your favorite farmer salad mix. Dress with a Dijon vinaigrette. 

For a more substantial meal, add grilled tuna (the classic) or salmon from Mother Ocean Fish (ASAP, West Asheville, and River Arts District Markets) or Fairview Seafood Company (East Asheville Tailgate Market). Or use local Sunburst Trout (North Asheville Tailgate Market). You can even load the contents of your Niçoise onto some crusty bread for a pan bagnat sandwich. 

Potato salad is another of this season’s go-tos, whether it’s your tried-and-true cookout side dish or a new recipe. Purslane, usually cursed as an invasive garden weed, makes a surprisingly good potato salad ingredient and is available from Lee’s One Fortune Farm right now. This succulent has a slight citrus taste and a good crunch. Toss the leaves with boiled, quartered new potatoes, sliced cucumbers, and Dijon vinaigrette. For a creamier version, stir in yogurt. 

At farmers markets now you’ll also find blueberries, raspberries, summer squash, snap peas, carrots beets, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale, collards, cabbage, and much more. Markets are also stocked with farm-fresh eggs, bread, cheese, pastries, fermented products, drinks, and prepared foods. There are more than 100 farmers tailgate markets throughout the Appalachian Grown region. Find them, as well as farms and other local food businesses, in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.online Local Food Guide.

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