As a new flock of hens starts to lay, their first eggs are smaller, with firmer whites and more deeply colored yolks, than regular eggs. Not to be dismissed, these pullet eggs boast a richer flavor and creamier texture.
For the next few weeks, these will be the only eggs available from Dry Ridge Farm at the ASAP Farmers Market. It’s a great chance to try something truly unique to farmers markets, as grocery stores stick to uniform, regulation sizes.
So what should you make to get the best out of these delicacies? Pullet eggs hold together really well, so they are great for poaching. Lee’s One Fortune Farm has rice grits—or middlins—available right now. This would be an excellent canvas for poached eggs, especially alongside some sautéed winter greens and cheese. (Cook rice grits similarly to corn grits, with a four-to-one ration of water to rice. Bring the water to a boil, add grits and a pinch of salt, then simmer for 15 to 20 minutes until creamy.)
Pullet eggs have a higher proportion of yolk to white and are also more likely to have double or triple yolks. All that yolk goodness makes them ideal for recipes like aioli, mayonnaise, or Caesar dressing. Make spicy aioli using pullet yolks, olive oil, garlic, fermented hot sauce from Sweet Brine’d or Serotonin Ferments (both markets), and a squeeze of lime juice. Serve it alongside sweet potato fries from Sleight Family Farm(ASAP Farmers Market). Or find baby greens for a Caesar salad from Mighty Gnome Market Garden, Olivette Farm, or Ten Mile Farm (ASAP Farmers Market).
Pullet eggs also tend to produce fluffier cakes, cookies, and other pastries. You can substitute them in any recipe using a one-and-a-half ratio (i.e., for a recipe calling for two regular eggs, use three pullet eggs). Try pullet egg and apple pancakes with apples from Creasman Farms (both markets).
Still prefer a full-size egg? Check with other winter market egg vendors, including Lee’s One Fortune Farm and Black Trumpet Farm at both the ASAP and River Arts District farmers markets, as well as Hickory Nut Gap and Myseanica Family Farm at ASAP Farmers Market.
At farmers markets right now you’ll also find root veggies like turnips, carrots, radishes, and beets. In addition to produce, markets feature meat, fish, bread, rice, pasta, 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.
Prepared by Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project.