Fresh at Farmers Markets This Week

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Shelling beans are hard to come by at local farmers markets, but many options have been spotted in the past few weeks.

Ten Mile Farm has had crowder peas, a purple-hulled shelling bean, at Asheville City Market and Black Mountain Tailgate Market. Flying Cloud Farm has edamame, another favorite shelling bean, at North Asheville and River Arts District markets.

Despite their name, crowder peas are actually a bean! Similar in flavor to black-eyed peas, their rich and hearty flavor make them an excellent addition to any late summer barbeques or grill outs. Our favorite way to enjoy crowder peas is in this relish with heirloom tomatoes!

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In a large bowl, combine five cups of cooked crowder peas, two cups of diced cucumber, and one-fourth cup each sliced green onions, diced celery, and diced bell peppers. For the dressing, mix one-fourth cup each of olive oil, lemon juice, and white wine vinegar, with three tablespoons minced garlic, one tablespoon minced oregano, a half teaspoon salt, and crushed red pepper or black pepper to taste. Pour two thirds of the dressing over ingredients and stir well. Refrigerate for at least six hours, stirring occasionally. When you’re ready to serve, stir in two-and-a-half cups of diced heirloom tomatoes and the remaining dressing.

Edamame is a go-to appetizer or snack for many restaurant-goers, but this dish is extremely easy to prepare at home. All you need is water, salt, and 10 minutes! Remove your edamame pods from their stems, and boil in salted water for six minutes, and drain. Season with coarse salt, and enjoy! To add a little more flavor to your edamame, try it with soy and sesame sauce instead! Boil for three to four minutes instead, then drain in cold water and dry with paper towels. In a pan over high heat, add two tablespoons of toasted sesame oil, then throw in your cooked edamame pods and fry for about two to three minutes. Add one teaspoon of soy sauce and stir continuously in the pan until the sauce has evaporated.

You can find even more varieties of beans this week from Highgate Farm (West Asheville, River Arts District, and Black Mountain markets), who now have green beans and yellow romano beans. Lee’s One Fortune Farm has also brought bean varieties to markets recently, including long beans, noodle beans, and green beans (West, River Arts District, Black Mountain, and Asheville City markets).

At farmers markets now you’ll also find apples, peaches, berries, pears, melons, okra, tomatoes, eggplant, summer squash, cucumbers, garlic, potatoes, beets, leafy greens, mushrooms, 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.