Look for these gems at The Watauga County Farmers’ Market and make a perfect spring meal

Grab your summer hat, tote bag, and sunglasses! It’s time for the Watauga County Farmers’ Market! The Saturday morning event that you don’t want to miss in Boone, NC. Our Director of Food and Beverage, Hunter, routinely visits the Watauga County Farmers’ Market. Below, he’ll tell you what to look for. (And how to make a tasty spring meal with fresh ingredients.)

Our Watauga County Farmers’ Market is booming! At this outdoor market, you will find our area’s best selection of quality produce from local growers, as well as seasonal fresh fruits and berries, honey, crafts, soaps and more. Indulge on freshly baked bread, smell fresh herbs, and sample local cheeses. Grab a freshly brewed coffee and a try a handmade pastry or biscuit (there are PLENTY of great gluten-free options too) for a perfect breakfast in the morning air. Coming a little later? Grab a popsicle or try a sample from a featured local chef. There is also a kids corner and live music, so make it a family event!

Watauga County Farmers' Market

boone farmers' market

Hunter’s picks from The Watauga County Farmers’ Market:

  • Fresh, bright green lettuce and greens

“We’ve had the perfect climate for lettuce and greens this season to grow and thrive. Cool evenings, sunny days, and plenty of water. You’ll notice that at the Boone farmers’ market, the lettuce is so beautiful it almost looks fake. And it doesn’t just look good, the flavor and nutrition are also great. Look for red leaf lettuce, butter lettuce, spinach, and kale. Don’t do too much when you prepare them. Just grate a little hard cheese over the greens, like Parmigiano or grana padano, and a sprinkle a little olive oil and lemon on top.”

Ridiculously good ramps

“Wild ramps grow all over Appalachia and thrive in the same climate as lettuce. They have a unique garlic, onion flavor and are very good in many ways. You can make a pesto with grilled ramps and use this pesto in all kinds of recipes. For the pesto: mix grilled ramps, parsley, mint, a little fresh chili, lemon juice and olive oil in a food processor. Stir some of the pesto into fresh butter and you have a great ramp butter to use on toast, a bagel, a grilled steak… pretty much on everything!”

Tender spring chicken

“For a perfect spring meal go to the New Life Farm vendor at the Boone farmers’ market and get a young, spring chicken. These younger birds are more tender than chicken that comes later in the season. Grab your ramp pesto and use this as your marinade for the chicken, put a bit under the skin, and serve with a salad of fresh lettuce and greens. This goes really well with a cool glass of sauvignon blanc from New Zealand, with its grassy, asparagus-like flavors. ”

What are some of your favorite things from the Watauga County Farmers’ Market?

The market runs every Saturday between May and October, starting at 8 AM and ending at noon. (Be sure to come early if you don’t want to miss out on certain items!) Look on their website for more information.

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Author: Sanny Visser

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