Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

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Still trying to figure out what to cook friends and family for Thanksgiving this year?

Try putting a spin on ordinary Thanksgiving sides with local produce from farmers tailgate markets! Despite some below freezing temperatures last week, there are still plenty of fresh vegetables at markets to use in your holiday cooking.

This grain-free veggie stuffing uses many of the wonderful winter root crops we’ve been seeing at markets recently. Peel four pounds of turnips and three large sweet potatoes, then cut into half-inch cubes. Grease two large baking sheets, and evenly spread the sweet potatoes and turnips on them. Season with a tablespoon each of garlic powder and dried sage, and a teaspoon each of dried rosemary, thyme, dried oregano, turmeric powder, salt, and pepper. Bake in a 375-degree oven for about an hour, tossing a few times to brown evenly. While the vegetables are baking, finely dice three large onions, five ribs of celery, eight ounces of shiitake or oyster mushrooms, and one Granny Smith apple. Heat a large pan with two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and celery to the pan and sauté until they have started to soften. Add the mushrooms and apple and cook for a few more minutes. Season with any of the same spices used with the turnips and potatoes, then remove from heat. Combine the sauteed ingredients with the baked turnips and sweet potatoes until well incorporated. Transfer the mixture to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, and keep warm in the oven until it’s time to serve.

You can find turnips and sweet potatoes for this recipe from a variety of vendors at markets this week, including Flying Cloud Farm(River Arts District and North Asheville markets), Ivy Creek Family Farm (North Asheville and Weaverville markets), Highgate Farm (River Arts District and West Asheville markets), and more!

This winter tabbouleh salad features butternut squash instead of tomatoes, and will be a delicious side to a Thanksgiving turkey! In a large skillet, warm two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat, then add one chopped and peeled butternut squash and a teaspoon of salt. Toss to coat the squash, then cover and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender and its edges start to caramelize. After squash is done cooking, transfer to a medium-sized bowl to cool. Combine half a cup of bulgar wheat and one cup of water in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, then reduce heat to low and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let the bulgar rest for give minutes covered, then fluff with a fork and season with salt to taste. You can also substitute the bulgur for cooked quinoa in this recipe. In a serving bowl combine the cooked bulgur and butternut squash, as well as one cup of chopped fresh parsley, one minced shallot, one-fourth cup of dried cranberries, the juice of one lemon, and two tablespoons of olive oil. Garnish with feta cheese, and serve! You can find butternut squash from Full Sun Farm at North Asheville and River Arts District markets.

At farmers markets now you’ll also find broccoli, carrots, beets, radishes, winter greens, apples, potatoes, garlic, 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.