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.