On June 18, 2019, Kitchen Table Advisors shared an evening in conversation and community with a room of food advocates, exploring the food beyond our forks. A panel of local food leaders shared about their experiences as farmers, buyers and chefs working in various areas of the food chain, and inspired attendees to consider what it means to be passionate about food. These leaders included: Will Holloway (Blue Leg Farms), Javier Zamora (JSM Organics), Taryn Wolf (Produce Coordinator, Whole Foods Market), Chef Trent Page (Culinary Coordinator, Whole Foods Market).

During our conversation, panelists shared some of the ways we are "radically connected" in our food system, from the farmers who nourish us to the eaters who hold the power to influence the industry.

The evening featured a meal crafted by Chef Trent and the Whole Foods culinary team, featuring seasonal produce from JSM Organics and Blue Leg Farms.


Blue Leg Farms Mixed Greens with JSM Organics Albion Strawberries

Charred and Marinated Blue Leg Farm Zucchini 

Chicken “Laab” with Blue Leg Farms Little Gems  

JSM Organics Berries & Cream

We are filled with so much gratitude for the farmers, panelists and guests for their generosity, thoughtful questions, warm company and interest in exploring food beyond our forks. 

And we are excited to share a taste of that evening with some tips from Chef Trent so you can recreate the meal at home!



Mixed Green Salad with Spring Onion Vinaigrette


  • Mixed greens

  • Strawberries

  • Shaved fennel

  • State Bird Crunch

  • Walla Walla Spring Onion Vinaigrette (guidelines follow)


Walla Walla Spring Onion Vinaigrette

The sweetness of the onions and strawberries really complement each other and add a lot of depth to a simple vinaigrette.


Spring onions, approx 1 lb.
Olive oil
Strawberries, about a handful
Fresh tarragon
Champagne vinegar
Salt and pepper

  1. Thinly slice spring onions and sweat slowly in olive oil until melted and very tender (about 20 minutes).

  2. Blend onions with strawberries, fresh tarragon, champagne vinegar and olive oil.

  3. Thin with water if necessary and season to taste.



Charred & Marinated Zucchini with Ricotta


Zucchini, or other summer squash
Green tomatoes
Olive oil
White wine vinegar
Ground black pepper
Whole milk
Lemon zest

  1. Slice zucchini in half lengthwise, lightly salt and let sit for a few hours or overnight to extract excess water.

  2. Thinly slice green tomatoes on a mandolin 1/8 inch thick.  Marinate with good olive oil, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper.  Let sit for a couple hours to soften. Strain and reserve tomatoes and liquid separately.

  3. Sear or grill salted zucchini over high heat on one side until charred (if you do both sides, it will likely overcook). Let cool.

  4. Marinate the cooled zucchini in reserved green tomato pickling liquid.

  5. Combine ricotta, whole milk, lemon zest, olive oil, salt and pepper in a blender.  Blend to desired consistency until smooth and creamy, like the texture of greek yogurt.

  6. Assemble pickled tomatoes, grilled zucchini and ricotta on a platter. 

  7. Serve with some good crusty bread, or top with toasted hazelnuts or almonds.



Berries & Cream with Jam


  • Fresh berries, such as red raspberries, golden raspberries, blackberries and strawberries

  • Kaffir lime coconut cream (guidelines follow)

  • Ugly strawberry sauce (guidelines follow)

Layer coconut cream and strawberry jam, alternating. Top with berries.

Kaffir Lime Coconut Cream


Coconut milk, canned and refrigerated overnight
Powdered sugar
Kaffir lime leaves

  1. Open the can of coconut milk, taking care not to jostle it. Reserve the cream and liquid separately.

  2. Warm half the coconut water with Kaffir lime leaves over medium heat and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat and let sit for 15 minutes.

  3. Strain water and cool completely.  

  4. Whip reserved coconut cream, adding infused coconut water slowly until mixture resembles whipped cream. 


Ugly Strawberry Sauce


Strawberries, extra ripe*

  1. Cook berries down in a pan, smashing if necessary, with a little water.  

  2. Add sugar to taste – you won’t need much since the berries will likely be sweet enough on their own.

  3. Let cool.


*  Use extra ripe berries before they get moldy.  They may not look pretty but they are super sweet.

This event was hosted in partnership with Whole Foods Market, sponsor of this year’s Grazing at the Kitchen Table. Whole Food Market’s support showcases their commitment to supporting our local communities and the importance of supporting local farming. Kitchen Table Advisors was a 2019 Nickels for Non-Profit recipient. Together, Whole Foods customers in Northern California raised over $60,000 to support our work of fueling the economic viability of local farmers and ranchers.

AuthorKitchen Table Advisors

Olivia Maki and Mikie Reis opened Redfield Cider Bar & Bottle Shop with the goal of connecting people to not only great-tasting cider, but to the history and sense of place behind each bottle. Redfield itself is named for a stunning apple variety that was born on US soil and was very nearly forgotten. It makes a boldly-flavored but elegantly balanced cider unlike the mass-produced products you’ll find at the supermarket or liquor store, that exemplifies the products sold at Redfield Cider Bar & Bottle Shop.

Prior to opening Redfield, Olivia was a superstar champion and volunteer here at Kitchen Table Advisors. In addition to managing our PR and social media strategies, she often contributed recipes from her blog, the Coast Kitchen. We’re excited for her to lend her knack for delicious food and cider expertise with this recipe.

Let’s raise a glass to Olivia and Mike, and all the entrepreneurs committed to building community around food and agriculture!


Perfect with on a cheese plate and delicious as a condiment in a salami sandwich, this olive tapenade is really easy to make. I use my favorite type of olives for this, Castelvetrano, which are buttery in flavor and have a firmer texture than the typical Kalamata black olive. I leave this tapenade on the chunkier side, but if you're going for a smoother texture, feel free to blend longer or add more olive oil to the mixture.

Garlicky Green Olive Tapenade


  • 1.5 cups pitted olives

  • 2 cloves garlic (medium in size or three small)

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (if you have a nicer finishing olive oil, this would be a good time to use it)

  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili flake

  • Small handful of fresh mint (about 1/4 cup)

  • Small handful of fresh parsley (about 1/4 cup)

This is really as simple as combining the ingredients in a food processor and blending until you reach the desired consistency. I would recommend roughly chopping the garlic and herbs before hand. Enjoy right away or if you make ahead of time, be sure to bring it to room temp before serving so the oil can melt back to a liquid state if it hardens in the fridge.

Cider Pairing

Olivia and Mike suggest a Spanish cider from Basque or Asturias. Ciders from these regions are typically funky, have low carbonation and are very food-friendly. Right now they're really into the Trabanco Cosecha Propia. This sidra is made with only estate grown, native Asturian apple varieties. It is classic example of a sidra natura that the have at Redfield and would be a delicious pairing!

Redfield is a cider-focused bar, bottle shop, and eatery located at 5815 College Avenue in beautiful Oakland, California. Their mission is to provide a welcoming, lively, and fun environment for our customers to experience all that cider has to offer. Learn more at www.redfieldcider.com

AuthorLiv Maki

A recipe inspired by our ramen-focused Taste of Spring, using product from Ground Stew Organics, these ramen jars are great for lunch on the go, or a quick week night dinner. 


Ramen in a Jar

Makes 6 jars


  • Shoyu concentrate

  • Ramen noodles

  • Blanched chard & kale

  • Shaved carrots

  • English peas

  • Spicy braised radishes

  • Green sriracha


Ramen Components

Shoyu Concentrate: 

½ lb. kombu
100 grams bonito flakes
1 bunch scallions
6 quarts cold water
¾ cup tamari
¼ cup mirin

  1. Bring the kombu, bonito flakes, scallions and water to a boil for 2 hours.

  2. Strain and return to heat. Reduce to 1/2 quart.

  3. Cool, then add mirin and tamari.

Ramen Noodles:

2 lbs. ramen noodles, dried
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
¼ cup oil

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil, add salt until it tastes like ocean water.

  2. As water comes to a boil, prepare an ice bath in a bowl or large plastic container.

  3. Place separated noodles in a blanching basket.

  4. Once the water starts to boil, place basket in the pot.

  5. Cook for 1.5 minutes, stir constantly, use timer.

  6. When the timer goes off, take the basket out and place in ice water.

  7. Stir noodles until completely cooled.

  8. Remove basket from water and drain noodles well. Reserve liquid for greens.

  9. In a separate bowl add the noodles, oil and sugar/salt mixture and toss well.

  10. Store in fridge until ready to build jars.


2 bunches kale
2 bunches chard
Olive oil, salt & pepper

  1. Wash kale and chard leaves by submerging them in water. Drain well.

  2. Prepare ice bath.

  3. Remove stems from kale and chard.

  4. Fold leaves in half, and cut into ⅛” chiffonade

  5. In the same pot used for noodles, blanch greens for 30 seconds and immediately shock in ice bath. Pat dry.

  6. Season lightly with olive oil, salt and pepper.

  7. Store in fridge until ready to build jars.

Baby Carrots:

1 bunch baby carrots

  1. Wash baby carrots well, scrubbing to remove dirt.

  2. Shave with a peeler to create long ribbons.

  3. Sh ock in ice water and hold until ready to build jars.

English Peas:

1 lbs. English peas

  1. Remove peas from pods.

  2. Blanch in salted boiling water 1-2 minutes or until slightly soft.

  3. Shock in ice bath immediately.

  4. Season lightly with salt.

  5. Store in fridge until ready to build jars.

Spicy Braised Radishes:

5 red radishes
1 lb butter
4 chiles de arból, dried
4 fl. ounces water
2 teaspoons salt

  1. Wash radishes very thoroughly, scrubbing to remove all dirt.

  2. Cut radishes in quarters lengthwise.

  3. Melt butter in a nonstick sautee pan over high heat.

  4. Once butter is melted, add in dried chile de arból and continue cooking until butter starts to brown.

  5. Once butter is light golden brown add in radishes and water. Cook until the radishes are soft and the water is reduced enough that it glazes the radishes. Remove chiles.

Green Sriracha:

5 jalapeños, fresh
3 fresno chili peppers, fresh
4 chile serranos, fresh
4 fl. ounces lime juice
6 cloves garlic
3 shallots
2 bunches cilantro
1 tablespoon salt

  1. Rough chop all ingredients and place in food processor.

  2. Process until a smooth paste is formed.


Putting it all together

Concentrate – 3 ounces
Noodles – 4 to 5 ounces
Chard/kale – 2 ounces
Shaved carrots – 8 to 12 pieces
English peas – 5 to 8 pieces
Spicy braised radishes – 2 pieces
Sriracha – 1 tablespoon


Seal tightly with lid and keep stored in the refrigerator until ready to use. Good for up to 5 days.
To serve, boil 8 ounces of water and add to jar. Stir & enjoy!

This recipe was created by a local food service partner that is working with us to connect their eaters to local small farms and ranches, in tandem with Kitchen Table Advisors' annual Taste of Spring series. 

AuthorKitchen Table Advisors

A recipe highlighting winter citrus, created by our client Doniga Markegard of Markegard Family Grass Fed.


Citrus-Brined Roast Chicken on Mixed Greens

For the Brine: 
1 cup sea salt flakes
¼ cup maple syrup
3 Tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 bunch each rosemary & thyme
2 oranges
2 lemons
1½ garlic heads, halved horizontally
4-5# whole chicken (bonus if it's a Markegard chicken)

For the Salad:
Large bag of mixed greens
2 avocados
1 orange

  • Stir salt, sugar, vinegar, half the rosemary and thyme and 1 quart water in a saucepan over medium heat to dissolve salt and maple syrup. Halve oranges and 1 lemon and squeeze juice into pan, then add the squeezed fruit with the garlic and bring to a simmer. Transfer to a container large enough to fit chicken, add cold water and refrigerate until chilled.
  • Add chicken to brine, weight with a plate to submerge completely, then cover and refrigerate for 8-12 hours.
  • Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees
  • Pat chicken dry with paper towels and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes
  • Rub entire bird and the cavity with remaining herbs and insert half a lemon into cavity. Squeeze the other half on top of the chicken
  • Place bird breast side up in shallow roasting pan and add 2 tablespoons water to pan.
  • Roast for 1-2 hours or until the juices run clear and chickens internal temperature is 160-165 degrees.
  • Let chicken cool and shred
  • Place shredded cooled chicken on a big bed of mixed greens and slice up some avocado and oranges to sprinkle on top. Serve with a simple olive oil dressing.
  • Save the chicken carcasses for stock and pick up a pack of Markegard chicken feet to add to the simmering stock


Recipe by: Doniga Markegard, Markegard Family Grass Fed

Photo by: Jonathan Fong

AuthorKitchen Table Advisors

A recipe inspired by the abundance of spring, created by our volunteer Megan Leaf


You know it’s spring when there’s an abundance of leeks at the farmers’ market! Until last year, I had no idea how to cook a leek or what they even tasted like. They seemed a little intimidating – like giant overgrown scallions. Was I supposed to use them as garnish?  

 But then I picked some up at the farmers market – 3 GIANT leeks for $2! – and decided to try them out in a potato leek soup. And guess what – they were amazing! Like extra buttery onions. But smoother.

Anyways, since last year I’ve mostly used them in pastas. But they can also go into a quiche for Mother’s Day, into stir fry, into a lovely baked chicken dinner, into puff pastry shells for fancy appetizers. 

This recipe is an example of what I crave when spring rolls around – pasta with very little sauce, but lots of veggies, little bits of salty meat, and a lemony zing. You can easily substitute or add to this dish. I could eat it with a big handful of spinach, cooked down into the pasta at the last minute. Add artichoke hearts, or peas, or asparagus. Substitute fresh baked salmon for the pancetta. Go crazy and get creative with all the green produce in season right now!

Rigatoni with Leeks, Mushrooms & Pancetta

1 16 oz. package rigatoni
¾ cup leftover pasta water
½ cup white wine
1/3 cup parmesan reggiano + extra for topping
3 tbsp butter, divided
4 oz. pancetta or bacon
2 large leeks, chopped
2 large portabella mushrooms
Fresh parsley, chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 tbsp milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Cook the rigatoni according to the instructions on the box, but take out 1-2 minutes early, before they reach the al dente stage. They should still be a little chewy with a snap. Drain the pasta, reserving ¾ cup of the water and set aside in a bowl.

While pasta is cooking, slice the leeks in half, and then into strips (see photo).

Dice the pancetta into tiny cubes. Cut the portabella mushrooms into ½ inch cubes.

Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat, with 1 tbsp of the butter. Add the pancetta to the pan and cook in the butter, about 5 minutes, to become just lightly brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to a plate, leaving the melted fat and oil in the pan.

Add the chopped leeks and mushrooms to the pan (still over medium heat). Cook until the mushrooms are soft and small.  The leeks and mushrooms should cook down to about half. Transfer cooked leeks and mushrooms to a bowl.

In the saucepan, still over medium heat, melt the additional 2 tablespoons of butter. Add lemon zest and juice, pasta water, and white wine. Turn up the heat to medium/high and allow to come to a boil. Stir in the 1/3 cup of parmesan cheese until no longer lumpy. Add the not-quite-al dente pasta to the sauce and stir well until noodles are totally coated and sauce begins to cook down. When there is only about 3-4 tbsp of sauce left in the pan, take the pan off the heat. Stir in the milk until completely incorporated. Add the leeks, mushrooms, and pancetta to the pasta and mix well. Add salt and pepper as desired.

Enjoy topped with fresh parsley and more parmesan!


Photos & Recipe by: Megan Leaf, The Bay Leaf Kitchen

AuthorKitchen Table Advisors
Winter Citrus Biónico

Breakfast, snack or dessert, this beautiful and simple dish is sure to delight your tastebuds. Our friends at Nourish | Resist, a newly-formed group of people of color working in the food industry who are using food as a tool for resistance, are the masterminds behind this creation, which we know will be gracing your kitchen table all year long! 

Winter Citrus Biónico

 Makes 4 servings
4 cups segmented citrus, such as Cara Cara and blood oranges
5 ounces Crema Mexicana
5 ounces plain yogurt
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp condensed milk or honey (or a mixture of both)
1/2 cup granola
Optional Toppings:
Toasted shredded Coconut
Chopped nuts
Dried fruit
Mix Crema and yogurt together, and flavor with vanilla and condense milk or honey. Portion out cut fruit and top with cream-yogurt mixture, granola and other toppings.
This dish is all about your taste and texture preferences. Feel free to use more or less of the sweeteners, and to mix it up when it comes to toppings and fruit. Use whatever you have, or whatever wonderful fruits are in season.

AuthorKitchen Table Advisors

It's around the holidays that I feel particularly blessed to live in California, and so close to the amazing year-round farmers market in Palo Alto. There is so much inspiration for what to make, so many beautiful produce options from Early Girl tomatoes in the summer, to acorn and kabocha squashes in the fall, to root vegetables in the heart of winter.

If you're like me, you're pretty tired of the Thanksgiving side of green beans in fatty cream sauce -- only slightly redeemed by crunchy chip-like onions on top. Do something different this season with the abundance of beautiful rainbow carrots. I wanted an alternative vegetable side dish that uses one of my favorite flavor combinations: sweet/salty/spicy. This is definitely a unique dish to bring with you to Friendsgiving celebrations, but can also serve to expand your family's horizons when eaten along with a traditional Thanksgiving spread.

  • 2 tbsp white miso paste
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 bunches of rainbow carrots (about 10-15 total)
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • Pepper to taste
  • Dry-roasted pepitas to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and peel the carrots. Chop them into 1 inch thick chunks (optional). Toss in 1/2 tbsp of the olive oil and sprinkle with pepper and chili powder as desired.

In a cast iron skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil over medium heat until rippling. Add the carrots to the oil and allow to cook until darkened on the outside, and just soft enough to pierce through with a fork. They should still be rather firm.

In a small, separate bowl, stir miso paste, sesame oil and maple syrup until mostly smooth. When the carrots have softened slightly and browned, turn off the heat, pour the syrup mixture over them and toss. 

Add the carrots to the preheated oven and cook for about 20 more minutes, turning them over halfway and checking their texture. The syrup will become darker and sticky, and the carrots should be browned on the outside, but softer and easier to pierce through all the way.

Take them out of the oven and sprinkle pepitas over them. Serve warm.

If you're wondering where to collect your ingredients for this week's holiday meal, consider shopping at the Ferry Building's special Thanksgiving Farmers Market this Wednesday, where you can source produce, meats, and other delectable bites directly from your farmers, ranchers, and producers, including our client, Ground Stew Farms. 

The original recipe can be found on Megan's blog, The Bay Leaf Kitchen. Photos courtesy of Megan Leaf. 

Photo credit: Megan Leaf

Photo credit: Megan Leaf

As you create your Thanksgiving grocery list and flip through cookbooks over the next couple weeks, we invite you to discover the beautiful ingredients and delicious recipes from our KTA community. We are excited to make it a local Thanksgiving by connecting you with the growers and makers of your food.

For the main course, KTA client Root Down Farm is offering Certified Organic, Heritage Breed Thanksgiving turkeys that have been raised on pasture in their Pescadero home. They still have birds available for pick-up on November 20th and 21st. Reserve yours now! To complete your Thanksgiving table, Root Down Farm is also partnering with Blue House Farm on organic, fall vegetables and LeftCoast GrassFed on beef--all of which are available at Root Down's farm stand on turkey pick-up days. 

If Pescadero isn't in your neighborhood, check out our list of KTA clients to find a farm closer to your corner of the Bay Area. 

And finally, we leave you with some recipe inspiration, courtesy of Megan Leaf, for a Brussel Sprout appetizer or side (it could go either way really). This recipe will surely make your Sprouts shine on the table. Happy Thanksgiving meal planning!


Photo credit: Megan Leaf

Photo credit: Megan Leaf

Brussel Sprout Chips

By Megan Leaf of The Bay Leaf Kitchen

These brussels are lemony, crunchy, tangy, and somehow, a tiny bit creamy. They cook down, though, so make sure you buy a TON of brussel sprouts if you’re cooking for a crowd. This recipe can (and should) be doubled, tripled, quadrupled, etc. etc. 


  • 1/2 pound of brussel sprouts, leaves peeled apart
  • 2 Tbsp good quality olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp whole milk or whipping cream
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • zest of 1/2 lemon
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • In a bowl, combine olive oil, milk, garlic, lemon juice & zest.
  • Pour over the peeled brussel sprout leaves, mix well.
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper over the leaves, to taste.
  • Spread brussel sprout leaves evenly over a wax paper-lined baking sheet with ridges.
  • Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the leaves are very browned and crunchy.
  • Allow to cool and crisp up before serving.


As our summer days are now numbered, we can't let the season come to a close without preserving some of the beautiful flavors and colors for the colder months ahead. We love this simple recipe for using up our current bounty of tomatoes. They're perfect for freezing and busting out in the winter when you're craving a sweet remembrance of the warmer months. If you just can't wait to use them, try layering them with thin slices of roasted zucchini and eggplant for a summer vegetable strata, or eat them as is with a drizzle of balsamic. The possibilities are endless, just like the tomatoes. 

Amazingly Sweet Slow-Roasted Tomatoes

adapted from the nytimes.com

2 pounds medium tomatoes, halved lengthwise

Coarse salt to taste

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Place foil on a baking sheet and oil the foil. Place the tomatoes, cut side up, on the sheet. Sprinkle with coarse salt and drizzle with olive oil. Place the pan in the oven and roast the tomatoes for 2 hours. Remove from heat and allow to cool for about 30 minutes. From there, you can either place the tomatoes into Ziploc bags and freeze or use them immediately!