Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

A variety of vegetables and peppers on a table at a farmers market.

Markets are heating up this week with plenty of new pepper varieties to spice up your cooking! This pepper cornucopia includes shishito, jalapeño, Anaheim, poblano, bell, and sweet peppers.

Look for peppers from Sleight Family Farm (West, North, and Asheville City markets), Thatchmore Farm (West and North Asheville markets), Ten Mile Farm (Asheville City Market), Velvet Morning Farms(Asheville City Market), and Full Sun Farm (North Asheville and River Arts District markets).

When it comes to serving sweet or bell peppers, the simpler the better! Sweet peppers taste the best either raw or roasted, and can be enjoyed by themselves, or dipped in your favorite hummus. If you plan to roast your peppers, start by cutting each sweet pepper in half. Then, toss in a large bowl with some olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and any other seasonings of choice. Roasting peppers with parmesan cheese is a great way to add a little more flavor to this snack. Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or foil. Roast for 20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and enjoy!

Got some Anaheim peppers and not sure what to do with them? No worries! Anaheim peppers are versatile and can easily be incorporated into salsas and soups. They’re also perfect for making any chili relleno or stuffed pepper recipe. The mild spice and smoky-sweet flavor make it a necessity for any Southwest-style cooking! Poblano peppers are a close substitute for Anaheims in both spice and flavor, and can easily be exchanged in recipes.

Shishito peppers are smaller, typically mild peppers, and can be addictive when cooked right! Our favorite way to enjoy shishito peppers is by simply grilling them, and serving with a main dish of steak or chicken. To grill these peppers to perfection, start by preheating your grill to medium-high heat. In a large bowl, toss together about one pound of shishito peppers, one tablespoon vegetable oil, four teaspoons of soy sauce, and two teaspoons of sesame oil into a large bowl. Transfer peppers to a grill pan and cook for about seven minutes, flipping occasionally with tongs. Once blistered and slightly charred, remove from the grill pan and onto a serving dish, then enjoy!

At farmers markets now you’ll also find peaches, plums, nectarines, blueberries, blackberries, tomatoes, eggplant, corn, summer squash, cucumbers, onions, garlic, 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.