Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

A row of corn on the cob.
Couleur/ Pixabay

Farmers markets are becoming more and more colorful each week! This week, plums made their way to market, as well as the very first harvests of corn and peppers.

Find plums from Smallholding Farm at East Asheville Tailgate Market, as well as Creasman Farms, which is selling at West Asheville Tailgate Market and Asheville City Market. Lee’s One Fortune Farm brought both sweet corn and baby corn to Asheville City, Black Mountain, West Asheville, River Arts District, East Asheville markets. While they are sold out of baby corn after its success among shoppers, they should have more in another few weeks. But there will be plenty of sweet corn for the rest of the summer! Velvet Morning Farms had purple bell peppers as well as shishito peppers (which can be mild or spicy) at Asheville City Market. Full Sun Farm, at River Arts District and North Asheville markets, has jalapeño peppers. Southside Community Farmers Market has its monthly market date this Sunday, and you can find Tierra Fértil Coop and The AppaLatin Farmstead there with peppers as well.

New produce at markets this week means more opportunities to try new recipes! With summer now at its peak, try making these delicious salsa recipes to snack on while the kids are home from school. Or enjoy an appetizer during some time off!

While most of us prefer to eat our plums as they are, this plum salsa is the perfect opportunity to add some new flavor to your snacking this week! Combine one cup of chopped plums (about two plums), one small chopped cucumber, two diced hot or mild peppers, one-fourth cup  diced red onion, the juice of one lime, two tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley, then add sea salt to taste.  Toss ingredients together and cool in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy! The plums in this salsa add a touch of sweetness that balances out the heat of the peppers, making it the perfect sweet way to incorporate some summer fruit into classic savory recipes.

The corn for Lee’s One Fortune Farm is so sweet you may just want to eat it right off the cob! If you’re looking to get creative with your sweet corn, try making “Cowboy Caviar,” a fool-proof dish that will be a guaranteed favorite among family and friends. This versatile recipe can be enjoyed as a dip for tortilla chips, a taco topping, stuffing for burritos, and so many other ways! In a large bowl, combine one and a half cups sweet corn, three diced roma tomatoes, one 12-ounce can pinto beans and one 12-ounce can black beans (rinsed and dried), one-third cup diced red onions, one diced bell pepper (your color of choice), one diced jalapeno pepper, and a one-third cup of cilantro. To make the dressing, in a separate bowl, whisk together a one-third cup of olive oil, the juice of one lime, and two tablespoons of red wine vinegar. Add sugar, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste. Pour dressing over the other ingredients, and stir together thoroughly. This recipe will keep for about a week, so no need to finish it all at once (even though you may want to). If you have any avocados on hand, dice one up and add it to your Cowboy Caviar!

Olivette Farm sells red onions needed for these recipes at Asheville City and East Asheville markets.

At farmers markets now you’ll also find peaches, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, summer squash, cucumbers, onions, beans, new potatoes, cabbage, carrots, beets, leafy greens, and much more. Markets are stocked with a variety of meats, cheese, rice, pasta, bread, drinks, and prepared foods. Find more details about farms and markets throughout the region in ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org.

Prepared by Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project.