Cooking, Education, Recipes

Passport to the Farmers Market from Miss Kim

Purple Daikon Radish

Purple Daikon Radish

Fairy tale eggplants, hen of the woods mushrooms, candy cane beets and delicata squash. What sound like characters in a wild childhood fable are actually staples in Michigan farmers markets during a few magical, yet fleeting, weeks in early fall.

Miss Kim’s head chef Ji Hye Kim says she looks forward to this time of year, every year, when Michigan farmers markets explode with technicolor bounty.

“Eating seasonally is fun. Anticipation builds for each season. The glorious bounty of September and October is why people across many cultures have had harvest festivals for generations” – Chef Ji Hye

Chicken of the Woods Mushroom

Chicken of the Woods Mushrooms 

During this time, summer vegetables like tomatoes and corn are still available, eggplants and peppers are plentiful, and the fall vegetables like squash and heartier greens are making their grand entrances into the farmers market. This is also prime time for plentiful foraged mushrooms and beautiful varieties of radishes, gold and candy cane beets and a whole range of eggplants.

Fall moves fast and so should you. Chef Ji Hye Kim encourages all vegetable lovers to explore the farmers market to discover produce you never knew existed.

Use the techniques and methods below as a passport to enjoying your farmers market haul!

Miso Butter Vegetables

One of the best ways to enjoy fall vegetables is with miso butter. This recipe is perfect for everything from fairy tale eggplant to beautiful yellow rings of delicata squash. In a pan, add a handful of your favorite in-season cooked vegetables and about two tablespoons of miso butter. Add a pinch of ground black pepper, and toss until the butternut squash is well coated. Serve with chopped herbs and nuts.

Miso Butter

    • 1/3 cup shiro miso
    • 2/3 cup unsalted butter
  1. Leave the butter at room temperature until very soft.
  2. Place the butter and the miso in a mixing bowl, and fold miso into butter until it becomes smooth and uniform.
  3. Store in the fridge.

Save the Season!

Chef Ji Hye has translated Miss Kim’s pickling recipes for the home kitchen and added some excellent Chef’s notes for your edification.

Master Vinegar Pickle Recipe

This is a master brine that you can play into numerous variations. Add chili peppers or spices to the brine! Chef Ji Hye has at least 4 different kinds of vegetables pickled this way, and they all taste distinctive and show off the natural flavors of the vegetables very well.

Her favorite combinations are adding cloves + cinnamon + orange peel, jalapeño peppers + red onions, or adding a ½ cup of soy sauce to the master brine for a less sweet and more complex flavor. There is no wrong way to go about it–go wild and have fun!


For the brine:

  • 2 qt Hot water
  • 1 qt Rice wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 3 cups Granulated cane sugar
  • ½ cup Kosher salt

+ 6qt Your favorite vegetable (not leafy)

  1. Cut your favorite vegetable or vegetables into bite size pieces (about an inch all around is good, too).
  2. Place the vegetables in a container or a jar.
  3. Mix all the ingredients for the brine. Whisk until all the sugar and salt is dissolved.
  4. Pour the brine over the vegetables. Store in the fridge.

Chef’s Note: For most vegetables, the hottest water you can get from the faucet should be hot enough. But for harder vegetables like beets, go closer to boiling hot water. The harder the vegetable, the hotter the water should be.