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Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

eating snap peas at the farmers market

Though we’re certainly getting cold temperatures now, a warmer than usual December accounts for lots of produce variety at winter farmers markets now. In addition to storage veggies like squash and sweet potatoes, hardy greens like kale and mustard, and winter stalwarts like radishes and salad turnips, we’ve also spotted early snow peas and broccoli.

Snow peas, available from Lee’s One Fortune Farm at ASAP Farmers Market and River Arts District Farmers Market, offer a sweet crunch for snacking or making meals. They pair well with radishes, which are plentiful at markets now. Look for pink and purple daikon in addition to the traditional red ball radishes from Highgate Farm at the River Arts District market. 

For a tangy winter salad, slice snow peas diagonally on the bias and toss with thinly sliced or julienned radishes. Dress with lemon juice, olive oil, and salt. Or stir-fry whole snow peas with radish wedges and season with soy sauce, sesame oil, rice wine vinegar, and chili flakes. Serve alongside rice from Lee’s One Fortune Farm for a full meal. This would also be a good opportunity to use some of J. Chong’s chili oil, available at ASAP Farmers Market. 

Broccoli is available in several forms at markets right now. Highgate Farm has traditional broccoli, while Lee’s One Fortune Farm has Chinese broccoli (or gai lan) and broccoli rabe. Any of these would be great for a Szechuan-style dish with ground pork or mushrooms. Pick up pork from Dry Ridge Farm, Hickory Nut Gap Farm, or Warren Wilson College Farm at ASAP Farmers Market. Get mushrooms from Black Trumpet Farm or Asheville Fungi (both are at ASAP Farmers Market; Black Trumpet is also at the River Arts District market). 

Cut whatever type of broccoli you have into two-inch pieces. Sauté in neutral oil over high heat for about two minutes, until bright green. Remove from pan. Add more oil to the pan, reduce heat to medium, and sauté minced ginger, garlic, and a dried birds eye chili. Add ground pork or sliced mushrooms. Cook until browned. Whisk together one tablespoon of mirin, one tablespoon of rice wine vinegar, two teaspoons of soy sauce, and a fourth cup of water or stock. Add to the pan and cook for another minute. Return broccoli to the pan and stir to combine everything, until liquid is almost evaporated. Remove from heat. Stir in half a teaspoon of sesame oil and top with sliced scallions. Serve over rice.

Area farmers tailgate markets take place throughout the region, even in the winter. 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 at appalachiangrown.org.

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