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Get inspired to shake things up

Whether you’re hosting the entire Thanksgiving meal this year, or have been tasked to bring a salad, side dish or a pie, we hope you will find inspiration at the market on Saturday. Using ingredients that are hyper-seasonal and hyper-local means every bite will be super fresh and inevitably delicious.

Hard not to get inspired by the beautiful produce filling the bins in the last couple of weeks, in varying shades of autumn. By now you know your way around the various varieties of squash from striated delicata, to plump and graying kabocha. But have you considered fennel as a key ingredient this year?

If you’ve never served a fennel dish at your holiday table, maybe this is the year to shake things up.

Fennel is a spice, herb and vegetable. It is an incredibly versatile flowering plant that belongs to the carrot family. The entire plant is edible, from the frilly frond to the crunchy bulb which can be eaten raw, in salads, steamed or roasted. It pickles beautifully, too. Fennel has a faint taste of licorice which can be a welcome flavor on your holiday table to cut through the all the well richness.

To see if you prefer your fennel raw or cooked try these recipes this week: Here is a side dish of braised fennel with capers and olives that won’t disappoint.

Or make these seared scallops (oh, hello Pura Vida) with red chile paste and fennel salad.

Sweet potatoes are expected at your holiday table. But that doesn't mean they have to be boring – or topped with marshmallows. For disarming depth of flavor, try this sweet potato tian, a Chinese riff on a Provencal classic made with an all-American ingredient. Oh yeah! Why not give it a try this week before you serve it to your guests. It will no doubt become a favorite in your recipe repertoire.

If your holiday plans have changed and you find yourself in need of a bird (or an extra bird for a growing guest list) don't despair! R & M Farms still has a few birds left in the 10 to 18 pound range.

AYA Hummus is here with her popular pumpkin chipotle and also black bean hummus spreads. Talk to Jenny about freezing her hummus for Thanksgiving. She will also be making some deliveries!

Yes, you can buy ready-made pie from our vendors (Nutmeg, Noble) but make sure you make at least one of the pies you serve at Thanksgiving yourself. There's nothing as satisfying as pulling a homemade pie out of the oven. Especially when the crust is made with the creamery butter from SOVA Farm.

What type of pie? Apple of course. It’s the most forgiving, and we have so many great varieties of local apples available at the market right now.

Ask the guys at Caradonna which one are best for baking, but generally speaking, Northern Spy, Crispin, Honeycrisp and Granny Smith varieties are all good options for pie. Here’s the perfect primer for a classicapple pie from Saveur.

Thanks for all the positive feedback on the new location of our market tent. We like being up front and center, too. Speaking of moves...this week we're trying something new for Fresh Meadow Farm and bringing them toward the middle of the market. Sometimes you just gotta shake things up! Let us know what you think.

A reminder to come to the market hungry because XOLO, the vegetarian Mexican food truck everyone's buzzing about is back!

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