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mixed bell peppers

Melding summer’s produce into a single simmered dish gives you a satisfying vegetarian meal and celebrates the height of the farmers tailgate market season. We’re thinking about recipes like French ratatouille, Spanish piperade, and Middle Eastern shakshuka. These similar dishes all start with tomatoes, sweet peppers, onions, and garlic, with additions of eggplant, summer squash, potatoes, or eggs. All of these recipes adapt easily to accommodate market purchases or what you have leftover in your fridge.

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As eggplant joins the march of summer produce available at farmers tailgate markets, our thoughts are turning to Middle Eastern meze. You can easily fill several platters with a colorful combination of tomatoes, cucumbers, roasted squash and beets, babaganoush, hummus, tzatziki, eggs, olives, pickles, and pita for a feast. Or you could toss everything into a single pita for thoroughly satisfying sabich sandwich.
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fairy tale eggplant from Ten Mile Farm

Eggplant has joined the colorful parade of produce available at farmers tailgate markets. You’ll find many varieties of this summer stalwart from now until early fall. 

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corn from McConnell Farms

There are many methods for shopping at farmers tailgate markets. There’s the make-a-list-in-advance tactic (we offer a weekly rundown here for that kind of shopper). There’s the do-a-lap-first-then-form-a-plan strategy. And then there’s the grab-everything-that-looks-good-and-figure-it-out-later approach. It’s after shopping excursions like the latter that we fully appreciate a dish like succotash.

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Fixings for summer salads of all kinds, veggies fit for frying, and so much more can be found at area farmers tailgate markets now. July is high time for everything summer, light, delicious salads and scrumptious fried delights are some highlights this week! Not to mention all the fruits, snacking veggies, root veggies, meats, cheeses, breads, baked goods, and more that are just waiting for you to discover! Read the rest of this entry »

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Nightshades are in at area farmers tailgate markets! It’s time to start pulling out grandma’s tomato sauce, fried eggplant, and stuffed pepper recipes. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sweet and Hot Peppers

With recent unseasonable temperatures reminding us that fall is officially only one month away, now is the time to savor the flavors of summer still available at area farmers tailgate markets.

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Tomatoes and Blackberries

What’s fresh at markets this week? What isn’t! These days, summer favorites like beans, bell peppers, cabbages, eggplants, potatoes, and tomatoes are joining an already seasonal abundance of greens, summer squash, berries, and peaches.

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If a product is on your shopping list, area farmers tailgate markets are almost guaranteed to have it this week! Vendors’ tables are literally overflowing with fruits and veggies of all kinds, even the more exotic.

At Asheville City Market, Dancing Doe Farm offers eggplants “from around the world” (pictured above). For a taste of Turkey, try their Turkish Orange eggplants, which look almost identical to heirloom tomatoes. Travel to Malaysia with their Malaysian Red eggplants, which are actually a beautiful shade of violet. From Thailand, they offer the veggie in surprising green.

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It’s officially okra time at area farmers tailgate markets! The Southern summer staple has come out swinging in gorgeous greens and reds; it will stick around through the end of the season and likely into early fall.

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