Local vegetables for the Thanksgiving table

Indoor Winter Market
Indoor winter market

Looking for a way to bring some local love to your Thanksgiving feast this year? If so, you’re in luck. Hutchinson-based Loon Organics, along with 40 other farmers, food makers and artists, will be at Mill City Farmers Market’s indoor winter market on Saturday, Nov. 16, and Saturday, Nov. 23.

Loon Organics is 40-acre certified organic farm owned and operated by Adam Cullip and Laura Frerichs. With their team, they grow over 250 varieties of vegetables and herbs, many of which are rare, specialty and heirloom varieties with unparalleled taste and are typically unavailable at retail grocers.

“The mission of Loon Organics is to nourish mind, body and soil,” Frerichs explains. “We are committed to producing the highest quality vegetables possible with certified organic farming practices. Attention to detail and really clean, beautiful vegetables set our farm’s product apart, and if it doesn’t taste good, we will not grow it.”

Cullip and Frerichs’ farming journey began in their early 20s, wondering where their food was coming from. They were able to rent a few acres in Farmington in 2005 and, the following year, became some of the first vendors at the Mill City Farmers Market.  

You can still find them — along with Brussels sprouts, cabbage, leeks, sweet potatoes, kale, wild rice and honey for the recipe below —
at the indoor winter market. Learn more at millcityfarmersmarket.org.

— Jenny Heck


Brussels sprouts in bowl

Wild rice and Brussels sprouts salad

Recipe courtesy of the Mill City Farmers Market 

The salad adds a perfect splash of crunch and color for the Thanksgiving table! Serves 6–10.

For the salad:

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, quartered lengthwise
  • Half a medium purple cabbage chopped into 1-inch pieces (no need to separate each layer)
  • 3 medium leeks
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, unpeeled and diced small (about half-inch pieces)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Honey
  • 1 bunch kale, de-stemmed and sliced thinly
  • 1½ cups wild rice, cooked in 5 cups water (about 5 cups cooked)
  • 1 cup roasted almonds, crushed
  • Feta cheese, crumbled 

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup champagne or white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoons honey, more to taste if desired
  • Pinch of salt
  • Black pepper, to taste

Method

1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees with your pan inside. 

2. Slice the leeks in half lengthwise and rinse thoroughly under cold running water; then dry them. Slice each half leek into half-inch slices. 

3. Drizzle Brussels sprouts, cabbage and leeks with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss to coat. Separately, toss the sweet potatoes in oil to coat.

4. Roast (sprouts, cabbage and leeks together; sweet potatoes separately) on baking pan 25–35 minutes, stirring after 15. They are done when there are some nice brown caramelized pieces, some crispy pieces, and you can pierce the sprouts or sweet potatoes easily with a fork. 

Note: If you do not have an oven to roast (or it is currently occupied by a turkey), these vegetables can be prepared on a hot skillet by adding adequate oil and salt and then sauteing, stirring frequently, until tender and caramelized — about 12–15 minutes.

5. For the dressing, combine all ingredients in a container that closes securely. Shake vigorously until emulsified. Taste and adjust for salt, pepper and honey. Shake again before adding to the salad.

6. Immediately after you remove your veggies from the oven, drizzle with honey — just enough to add a little sweetness. Gently stir to coat. Combine cooked rice, roasted vegetables, kale and almonds in a large bowl; toss with dressing to taste. Sprinkle with feta and serve.