Montford Farmers Market opens on a sunny Wednesday afternoon

Tucked behind the Asheville Area Chamber of Commerce, local vendors were selling everything from squash blossoms to scallops yesterday. The new Montford Farmers Market opened Wednesday, June 22, featuring produce from a number of great farms, locally made products — and even fresh, coastal seafood. Vendors reported several local chefs shopping to supplement the evening’s menu, including Jacob Sessoms of Table and Adam Bannasch of Zambra.

Imladris Farms was there with jam, Farm and Sparrow displayed fabulous breads and Gabriella Oviedo of King of Pops was there vending her frozen treats. The seafood vendor had a great selection of NC coastal seafood that included an astonishingly fresh swordfish (for an equally great price) that I seared hard and topped with a dollop of olive-lemon-caper butter (method below). The tiny fresh-dug purple potatoes and baby squashes from Green Toe Ground made excellent sides.

Here’s a slideshow of the market. You’ll notice that they serve Asheville Brewing Company beer at this tailgate — beer! Read on below the slideshow for some recipes.

Photos by Mackensy Lunsford, background music by Asheville-based band Cakalachia performing ‘Red Rocking Chair,’ via Busk Break.

Roasted baby potatoes:
1-2 pounds baby potatoes
Fresh herbs: parsley, dill, basil and thyme will do
Olive oil
Pat of butter
Green garlic
sea salt and pepper

Pre-heat oven to 350.
Halve potatoes and place in baking dish. Chop green garlic into 2-inch pieces and toss with potatoes. Add olive oil, sea salt and heartier herbs like thyme and rosemary (leave more delicate herbs like basil and dill to toss with the potatoes after they come out of the oven). Add plentiful amounts of salt and pepper, toss, roast. Add butter and cover pan with foil half-way through baking to keep the green garlic from drying out. Roast until soft but still firm.

Olive-caper butter:
About a 1/2 cup packed, pitted olives (I used castelvetrano, but any will do)
1 tablespoon capers
Few pinches lemon zest
Fresh oregano and thyme (just a pinch of each)
unsalted high-quality butter, about 4 T
sea salt to taste

Soften butter, then put it in a food processor with remaining ingredients. Season to taste. Chill, then spoon onto hot, fresh fish. Sprinkle with more chopped herbs and a squeeze of lemon if desired.

Xpress intends to visit the Montford market every Wednesday and share a different recipe with what we make until the end of the season. Have a seasonal vegetable cooking question? Comment below and we’ll try to answer the questions every week.

The Montford Farmers Market is open every Wednesday, rain or shine, from 2 until 6 p.m. Happy shopping!





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