by Tia Butts

Napa Valley Register

Microgreens are trending. According to the latest Pinterest Home Report, highlighting the home-related content that users are pinning most, indoor microgreens were up over 220 percent. Napa Farmers Market is a trendsetter then because we’ve been featuring microgreens at the market, ready for your consumption, off and on for several years.

I’m happy to say they are back again in force with one of our newest vendors, Napa Valley Microgreens. Owners Kory and Christin Patterson started experimenting with microgreens when an aunt introduced them to her microgreen farm in McCloud, near Mount Shasta. Kory can make anything grow, and Christin is a registered dietitian with a passion for nutrition, so no wonder they fell for microgreens. Soon, a local business was born.

According to the Napa Valley Microgreens website (, these petite greens provide texture, flavor and more nutrients per volume than the same plants in their full-grown form. For vegans, sufficient nutrients can be difficult to obtain so microgreens can be a good choice. The tiny greens also deliver these nutrients in a low-carb, low-fiber form that’s easy on our gut.

Add microgreens to sandwiches, ramen, pizza and salads. Use a tuft of them for a fresh, colorful garnish on a soup or stew. Leftover ham from a holiday feast? Make a grilled ham and Brie sandwich, add Napa Farmers Market apples and fill out the plate with mustard microgreens.

On another note, as a Napa Farmers Market board member, I’d like to thank you for the outpouring of support the community has shown the Napa Farmers Market this year. On behalf of the market, we wish you health, happiness and many blessings and we look forward to welcoming you in early 2020 to our new location at the Napa Valley Expo.

Roasted Acorn Squash, Microgreens and Quinoa Salad

Are you still trying to figure out a side dish to bring to your next party? Here’s a recipe that’s vegan, gluten free and delicious, adapted from

Makes 2 substantial servings or 3 to 4 side-dish servings

1 pound acorn squash, in bite-size pieces (no need to peel)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon smoked paprika


Vegan Sesame Garlic Dressing:

3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon tahini

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Leaves from 1 or 2 sprigs fresh oregano, chopped, or 1-1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

½ jalapeño chile, seeds removed, optional

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup red or rainbow quinoa

½ cup Napa Valley Microgreens such as mustard or kale

Preheat the oven at 425 degrees. Put the squash on a baking sheet, drizzle with oil and toss well. Add the paprika and salt to taste and toss again. Spread the squash in a single layer. Roast squash, tossing halfway through, until golden and tender, about 25 minutes.

Make the dressing: Combine all dressing ingredients in a food processor and pulse to blend. You can blend the dressing until smooth or leave it a little chunky, which I prefer.

Rinse the quinoa, then put it in a medium saucepan with 1/2 cup water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed and the quinoa is tender and sprouted, about 15 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and fluff with a fork. Taste for salt.

Transfer the warm roasted squash to a salad bowl. Add the quinoa and half of the dressing and toss gently. Mix in microgreens just before serving. Drizzle the rest of the dressing on top. Serve immediately or at room temperature

Variation: Substitute Delicata squash or sweet potatoes for the acorn squash, if desired. You can also increase the amount of quinoa to 1/2 cup to make heartier servings.

Kids activities at the Napa Farmers Market: Bring your younsters to the market Education Station on Saturdays for Story Time at 10:30 a.m. There might be coloring, matching games or other fun activities too.

On the KVYN Music Stage: On Saturday, Dec. 28, James Patrick Regan will be performing.

Harvest of the Month: Through December, enjoy comparative tastings of mandarin oranges and cauliflower at the market’s Education Station at 11 a.m.

Please donate: Donate to the Napa Farmers Market before Dec. 31 on and 100 percent of your donation will go to the Market Match program. Market Match helps low-income families purchase nutritious produce at the Napa Farmers Market by doubling their CalFresh (food stamp) dollars.

Tia Butts is the founder and owner of Tia Butts|pr and is on the board of the Napa Farmers Market. The Napa Farmers Market takes place in the parking lot of the South Napa Century Center, 195 Gasser Drive. The market is open Saturdays year-round and on Tuesdays, April through September, from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. For more information, to sign up for its newsletter or donate to the market, visit