Fall Fare

A Thanksgiving test run

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Every fall, I wait until the temperatures drop before heading to the Bellingham Farmers Market to purchase locally grown garlic for planting purposes.

After waking up to a light frost last Saturday morning, I knew the time had come, and made my way to the Depot Market Square to suss out the offerings. Once again, the wide variety of produce at Rabbit Fields Farm’s booth won my heart, and I soon secured two-plus pounds of Spanish Roja, a hardneck variety of heirloom garlic I’ve grown before with great success.

My mission was accomplished, but I didn’t want to leave the merry market just yet. Buskers were making music on their accordions and violins, the smells of roasting coffee and food vendor fare filled the air, artists’ and crafters’ wares beckoned, and bright color was everywhere I looked—in the orange and yellow squash, purple onions and cabbage, the bright green of chard and bags of freshly plucked Brussels sprouts.

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I decided I’d pick up some of the miniature cabbages and do a pre-feast test run. Typically, I wait until the last minute to incorporate Brussels sprouts into holiday dinners, and never get them quite right when I cook them on the stovetop.

When I told the woman from Everson’s Hopewell Farm what was on my mind, she shared that she’d just cooked up a batch a couple of days before and had added fig jam she’d sourced from another market vendor at the last minute—when the sprouts were already cooked through and crunchy. Her eyes lit up at the memory. I handed over $5 for two small bags of the leafy green vegetable, and thanked her for the tip.

On my own, I probably never would’ve thought of adding anything sweet to the sprouts, but after perusing a number of recipes incorporating a small amount of honey, I realized it was a genius way to achieve a unique balance of tastes. The following night, I added the simple concoction of roasted Brussels sprouts with balsamic vinegar and honey to a meal of roasted pork and potatoes, and it was an undeniable success.

In advance of Thanksgiving dinner, I plan on picking up more Brussels sprouts at the market. Hopefully, I’ll also be able to track down some of the fig jam I’ve heard so much about.


Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic Vinegar & Honey


1-1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved, stems and ragged outer leaves removed. (Larger Brussels sprouts can be cut into quarters to ensure even cooking.)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon honey


Preheat oven to 425 degrees

In a large bowl, toss Brussels sprouts with 2 tablespoons olive oil, kosher salt and pepper. Transfer the Brussels sprouts to a baking sheet or glass dish and roast, stirring occasionally to ensure even browning, until tender and caramelized, about 20 minutes.

Place Brussels sprouts back in bowl. Add remaining tablespoon olive oil, balsamic vinegar and honey and toss to coat evenly. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary, then serve. Serves six.

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