ASHEVILLE NC – Go ahead and think spring, says ASAP’s March Get Local initiative that focuses on greens. That’s because even though the new season won’t officially arrive for a couple weeks, bright spring greens already have! Thanks to farmers extending their season via hoop houses, winter farmers markets have been home to lettuce and kale since January. And thanks to our region’s diverse microclimates, farmers down the mountain and in South Carolina will begin harvesting leafy veggies from their fields soon.
To celebrate the current offerings and forthcoming bounty, area Appalachian Grown™ partner restaurants are greening their menus—using local greens in their regular dishes and Get Local specials. In Asheville, Neo Burrito’s two locations are featuring curried local lamb khorma with local greens, potatoes, carrots, jasmine rice, fresh-made paneer and another splash of emerald: cilantro and mint chutney. On the side? A Moroccan carrot salad and a cup of Thai coconut and local pumpkin soup.
In Flat Rock, Season’s at Highland Lake Inn is whipping up two Get Local chef’s specials, one highlighting local kale and the other collards. “We source our local greens from Mountain Food Products in Asheville, Robertson Farm in SC and Beneficial Foods Natural Market in Columbus, NC,” shares Sous Chef Matt Lineback. Kale fans can enjoy red wine-stewed oxtail in crispy phyllo with sautéed local kale and celery root, complimented by red onion marmalade. Collard enthusiasts can order pan-roasted chicken breast served with preserved Meyer lemon, olives and almonds, accompanied by Moroccan-braised local collards and a basmati rice pilaf.
For a full list of area Appalachian Grown partner restaurants and grocers, as well as certified farms and tailgates, visit ASAP’s online Local Food Guide at appalachiangrown.org. To sign up for a steady supply of greens and other local produce through a CSA this year, attend ASAP’s Asheville CSA Fair on March 21, 3-6 pm, in Haywood Park Hotel’s atrium. Find more CSA Fair details at ASAP’s websites asapconnections.org and fromhere.org; at From Here, also find winter market information.