Recipes: Thanksgiving sides from your farmers market

WASHINGTON — Thanksgiving came a few weeks early for employees and friends at
FRESHFARM Markets. On an October
afternoon, the nonprofit transformed its downtown office
into a dining room, and some of the best produce and products from its markets were
into Thanksgiving classics.

If you’re looking to add some local flare to your Thanksgiving spread, consider one of these recipes using ingredients that you can pick up from the farmers market.


Creamed Baby

Emily Hagel, director of kitchen operations at Miriam’s Kitchen, brought a creamed kale
dish to the early Thanksgiving dinner.

“Most people think of kale as either cooked and sautéed and boring, or an [ingredient]
your smoothie, but it can even replace your more high-calorie, creamy, delicious
Thanksgiving dishes,” Hagle says.

For the casserole, which is made with a béchamel-style sauce, Hagle uses local kale,
rainbow chard
and Swiss chard, along with some garlic, onion, nutmeg and a little poblano pepper.
Butter and toasted panko breadcrumbs give the rich and creamy dish a bit of crunch.

“Think of it as your new gratin. It’s just kind of a way to get your greens in with
your creamy delicious dish,” Hagle says.


  • 1/2 pound baby or young kale
  • 1 each poblano peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, peeled and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Add 2 tablespoons of oil to a heavy bottom sauté pan and
heat for
roughly 30 seconds on medium heat. Then add onions, peppers and garlic, and stir
continuously. Once the vegetable mixture has turned translucent and is soft, add the
cream and
1 cup of milk and allow to simmer for about 10 minutes. Put the corn starch into a
mixing bowl with 2 tablespoons of milk and mix with a fork until it’s thick and
difficult to stir, then whisk corn starch into the milk and cream mixture while it’s
simmering. Once the mixture has been allowed to thicken, about one minute, start to add
the kale directly to the mixture. The kale will wilt and soften.

Depending on how the cream has thickened, you may need to add a little milk to make the
mixture a little creamier. Mix shredded cheese and bread crumbs together separately.
Pour the kale mixture into a baking dish and then sprinkle the cheese mixture on top
and cover with foil. Bake in the oven at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.


Squash in Jalapeno Cream

FRESHFARM Markets’ Juliet Glass brought quite a few things to the Thanksgiving dinner,
including a creamy and spicy spaghetti squash.

“Everything but the flour is local,” says Glass, who made the dish with squash from
Full Cellar Farm, cream from Clear Spring Creamery, milk from Coulter Farms and local
jalapenos and cheese.


  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • Oil, as needed, for baking sheet
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, or other hot chilies
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • About 1 cup cheese — jack, cheddar or queso fresco are all good choices

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise. Use a
spoon or melon baller to scoop out the seeds and fibrous flesh around the seeds. Spray
or otherwise thinly coat a baking sheet or pan with oil. Put the squash halves on the
sheet, cut-side down. Roast them until tender when pierced with a fork, about 30
minutes. Set them aside until cool. Meanwhile, mince the chiles and put them in a small
sauce pan with the cream. Bring to a simmer, add the milk and cook just until bubbles
form around the edge of the pan. Remove the pot from the heat and let sit at
least 15 minutes. Taste the liquid. If you like the spice level, strain out the minced
chiles; if you’d like it a bit spicier, leave them in.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. When the butter stops foaming,
whisk in the flour. Cook, whisking constantly, about three minutes, until the flour smells cooked (like pie
crust). Slowly pour in the chile-milk mixture, whisking constantly,
cook over medium-low heat until the mixtures thickens, about three minutes. Stir in the
salt, take off heat and set aside. When the squash is cool, use a large spoon or fork
to scrape out the flesh/strands from the peel. Put the scraped squash in a large bowl.

Pour the sauce over the squash and stir to combine thoroughly. Taste and add
additional salt, if you’d like. Dump the mixture into a 2-quart casserole or
baking dish. Sprinkle the cheese on top and bake until it is brown on top
and bubbling throughout, about 30 minutes.


Fall Salad
with Bitter Greens

Anne Yonkers, co-executive director of FRESHFARM Markets, put some bite into a
traditional green salad with bitter greens from Tree and Leaf Farm. The bitterness of
the greens complements the other rich and creamy dishes traditionally served on


  • 8 cups mixture of mesclun, arugula and bitter greens such as radicchio and
    puntarelle, cut or torn into pieces a bit larger than bite-size

  • 1 plump garlic clove
  • Sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 flat anchovy filets
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fresh cracked pepper

Put the greens into a wide, spacious bowl. To make the vinaigrette, pound the garlic
with ½ teaspoon salt on a cutting board or in a mortar until smooth. Add the anchovy
filets and mash until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the lemon juice, then whisk in the
olive oil. Taste the dressing on a leaf and adjust the seasoning if needed. Drizzle the
vinaigrette over the green and toss to coat evenly. Then pile the greens on individual
plates and serve.



Bacon Brussels Sprouts

FRESHFARM Markets’ Lindsay Wallace makes crunchy and savory maple Brussels
sprouts using all local ingredients — from the shallots to the bacon.


  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 2-3 strips of bacon, chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss Brussels sprouts with bacon, olive oil, salt and
Spread on two roasting pans in a single layer. Roast for 10-15 minutes, until sprouts
start to turn crispy and brown. Remove from oven, add maple syrup and toss to coat.
Continue roasting for about five more minutes, until sprouts are crispy and bacon is
cooked through. Serve immediately.


Leek and
Wild Mushroom Stuffing

Juliet Glass, who made this veggie-packed stuffing, recommends this recipe for anyone
entertaining vegetarian friends and family. It uses three different types of mushrooms,
a baguette, leeks and plenty of butter for a melt-in-your-mouth finish.


  • 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1/2 ounce dried porcini mushrooms
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed and caps sliced
  • 1 pound button mushrooms, sliced, can use oyster mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped leek(s), white and pale green parts only
  • 6 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 12 ounces baguette, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 large egg, beaten

Combine 1 1/2 cups hot water and dried porcini in small bowl. Let stand until mushrooms
soften, about 30 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer mushrooms to work surface; chop
finely. Pour mushroom-soaking liquid into small bowl, leaving any sediment behind, and
reserve. Melt butter in heavy large pot over medium-high heat. Add shiitake and button
mushrooms; sauté 10 minutes. Add leeks and garlic; sauté five minutes. Add wine, thyme
and porcini mushrooms. Cook until almost all wine evaporates, stirring
occasionally, about five minutes. (Can be made one day ahead. Cover mushroom mixture
porcini-soaking liquid separately and chill. Reheat mushroom mixture to lukewarm before
continuing.) Transfer mixture to very large bowl. Mix bread into mushroom mixture.
Season with salt and pepper; mix in egg.

To bake stuffing in turkey: Loosely fill main cavity and neck cavity of turkey with
stuffing. Add enough mushroom-soaking liquid to remaining stuffing to moisten slightly
(1/4 cup to 3/4 cup, depending on amount of remaining stuffing). Generously butter
baking dish. Spoon remaining stuffing into prepared dish. Cover dish with buttered
foil, buttered side down. Bake stuffing in dish alongside turkey or while turkey is
resting until heated through, about 25 minutes. Uncover stuffing in dish. Bake until
top of stuffing is slightly crisp and golden, about 15 minutes longer.

To bake stuffing in dish: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter 13x9x2-inch
baking dish. Add enough reserved mushroom soaking liquid to stuffing to moisten (3/4
cup to 1 1/4 cups). Transfer stuffing to prepared dish. Bake uncovered until heated
through, about 40 minutes.

*Dried porcini mushrooms are available at Italian markets, specialty foods stores and
many supermarkets.


Kale and
Pear Salad

This recipe for kale and pear salad from DC
Central Kitchen’s
Amy Bachman is an effortless and nutritious side to add to your
Thanksgiving spread.

“It’s nothing fancy; it’s something you could easily whip up at home that’s healthy and
delicious,” Bachman says.


  • 1 bunch kale, approximately 6 cups chopped
  • 2 pears
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, roasted and salted
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt, pepper, to taste

Wash and remove stems from kale and slice into thin ribbons. Wash and cut pear into
small cubes. In a medium bowl, combine kale, pear and pumpkin seeds. In a separate
whisk together vinegar, honey, mustard powder, salt and pepper. Slowly pour in
vegetable oil, whisking until well incorporated. Add 3/4 cup of dressing to kale
and toss to combine.


Mashed Potatoes

What’s a Thanksgiving table without buttery mashed potatoes? FRESHFARM Markets’ Nikki
Warner makes her mashed potatoes with potatoes from Spring Valley Farm, milk from
Coulter Farms and butter from Blue Ridge Dairy.


  • 5 pounds potatoes
  • 4 oz unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Peel potatoes and cut into 2-inch cubes. Add potatoes to a pot of salted water and
bring to a boil. Boil potatoes for about 15 minutes, until they are fork-tender, then
drain. Move the potatoes to a shallow bowl, add half the butter and milk. Then, using a
hand mixer, whip the potatoes, milk and butter until there are no lumps. Add salt,
pepper, more butter and milk as you go until you’ve reached a nice light consistency.
Add one more pat of butter on top of whipped potatoes and keep warm until ready to

Custard Pumpkin Pie

Looking for a way to improve upon the classic pumpkin pie recipe? Instead of using
sweetened condensed milk, FRESHFARM Markets’ Juliet Glass makes a custard to add to
canned pumpkin puree. Glass says the custard creates a richer taste. Plus, you can use
more local ingredients.

Glass’ recipe is adapted from “Tartine” by Elizabeth M. Pruitt and Chad


  • 10-inch, single-crust pie shell, partially baked and cooled
  • 2 cups pure canned pumpkin puree
  • 3 large whole eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (or 1/4 teaspoon regular ground)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground white or black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Position an oven rack in the center position and preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a
large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin puree, eggs, egg yolk, cream and brandy until
well-blended. In a small bowl, combine the brown sugar and spices. Whisk the spiced
sugar into the pumpkin mixture.

Pour the filling into the pie shell and bake until the filling is set, but wobbles ever
so slightly in the very center when jiggled, about 60-75 minutes (the filling will set
further as it cools). Let the pie cool on a wire rack. Serve slightly warm or at room


If you’re looking for a way to give back this Thanksgiving, FRESHFARM Markets is
hosting its annual Fresh Food
Nov. 19-25 at several farmers markets in D.C., Maryland and Virginia.

Those wishing to participate can make donations online or at any Market
Information tent at the markets listed below. Money donated will be used to purchase
food directly
from the farmers and given to those in need. You can also buy fresh food at the farmers
markets to donate to the designated local organizations.

FRESHFARM Markets Fresh Food Drive Schedule:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 19 at Foggy Bottom, benefiting Miriam’s Kitchen
  • Thursday, Nov. 20 at Penn Quarter, benefiting Thrive DC
  • Saturday, Nov. 22 at H Street NE, benefiting First Church of Christ Holiness
  • Saturday, Nov. 22 at Downtown Silver Spring, benefiting Growing Soul
  • Sunday, Nov. 23 at Annapolis, benefiting Annapolis Light House
  • Sunday, Nov. 23 at Dupont Circle, benefiting DC Central Kitchen
  • Tuesday, Nov. 25 at Crystal City, benefiting Arlington Food Assistance Center

WTOP’s Rachel Nania contributed to this article. Follow @WTOP and @WTOPliving on Twitter and on the WTOP Facebook page.