6/14/2011 - Asheville's tailgate markets offer fresh, gourmet ingredients
by Special to the Citizen-Times
THEY'RE EVERYWHERE! Tailgate Markets across the region are in full swing! Stop by and get something home-grown for yourself or your family and see why the mountains of Western North Carolina are the place for local, fresh produce - and more! You can even find crafts, breads, pastas, and yummy desserts at some locations!!
ASHEVILLE -- Heads up! Fresh, crisp heads of broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage can be found at area tailgate markets now. Members of the crucifer family, they're packed with health-promoting phytochemicals, fiber, vitamins and minerals. And they're tasty to boot.
At last week's Historic Marion Tailgate Market, a grower who identified himself as simply Mr. Smith proudly brought in some of his first green cabbages of the season, which each weighed a whopping 9 pounds.
Other types are available, too, including Napa (spotted at North Asheville Tailgate Market) and Savoy (spotted at West Asheville Tailgate Market); their mild flavors work well in a multitude of cooking preparations -- from salads to slaws to sautéed sides.
Broccoli and cauliflower work in a wide variety of recipes as well. Chop the heads into florets for steaming or stir-frying. Or try pureeing them for soups and sauces.
Veg-heads may also fall head over heels for a related vegetable at markets now: kohlrabi. It's been said the veggie tastes like its cruciferous family members: a little like a broccoli stem, a little like cabbage and a little like a turnip (also abundant now).
Try it peeled and raw for its mildest and sweetest flavor. Or prepare it as you would its cousins: stir fries, soups and beyond.
There are still lots of greens up for grabs. Pick up escarole for soups and salads, mustard greens to add to your stir fries or more cabbage relatives: kale, bok choy and collards. And don't forget summer squash, peas and carrots.
More and more veggies are debuting every week alongside local meats, cheeses, flowers and handmade crafts.
The second Kids Corner Market takes place 9 a.m.-noon today at Asheville City Market. At the free kids' station, Girls on the Run will present their Fueling Our Healthy Bodies game. Kids' activities take place every Saturday morning through August. To learn more, visit the Kids Corner Market page of asapconnections.org.
BUNCOMBE MARKETS Asheville City Market
When: Saturdays, 8 a.m.-1 p.m.
Where: Parking lot of the Public Works Building at 161 S. Charlotte St.
Asheville City Market South
When: Wednesdays, 2-6 p.m.
Where: Town Square Boulevard in the center of Biltmore Park Town Square, Interstate 26-Long Shoals Road exit in South Asheville.
Big Ivy Tailgate Market
When: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon
Where: Parking lot of the old Barnardsville fire station, across from the post office on N.C. 197.
Black Mountain Tailgate Market
When: Saturdays, 9 a.m.-noon
Where: Behind the First Baptist Church in Black Mountain at 130 Montreat Road.
Mission Hospital Tailgate Market
When: Thursdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Where: At the back entrance to the Mission Hospital Heart Center on the Memorial Campus.
North Asheville Tailgate Market
When: Saturdays, 8 a.m.-noon
Where: UNC Asheville Campus Commuter Lot C.
Take Weaver Boulevard and follow signs.
Riceville Tailgate Market
When: Fridays, 4-7 p.m.
Where: Groce United Methodist Church's parking lot at the corner of Beverly and Tunnel roads.
Weaverville Tailgate Market
When: Wednesdays, 2:30-6:30 p.m.
Where: On the hill overlooking Lake Louise behind the yellow Community Center on Weaverville Highway.
Wednesday Co-op Market
When: Wednesdays, 2-6:30 p.m.
Where: 76 Biltmore Ave., in the parking lot by the French Broad Food Co-op.
West Asheville Tailgate Market
When: Tuesdays, 3:30-6:30 p.m.
Where: 718 Haywood Road, in the parking area between the Grace Baptist Church and Sun Trust Bank.
Paul Littman of Ivy Creek Family Farm weighs out summer squash for a customer at the Weaverville Tailgate Market. Right now his booth has all the signs of the season.