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Exercising Your Vote for Delicious Locally-Grown Vegetables


Greetings Citizen Culinarians!

It's the final week of our wildly irregular season! Our two extra weeks of overtime at Coventry, Oberlin, and Lakewood stops are here to help supply your kitchens and keep you on your vegetable-loving toes. The wintry items for stews and roasts continue and your extra two weeks of patronage have helped keep our farmers happy. Soon it will be time to start planning next year's fields and thinking about how to make sure there's something tasty for you come spring. We hope you've enjoyed the season and would love to hear from you about your experience and how we might improve in the future.

For all your winter squash and brassicaceae (cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli), you probably are just going to want to roast everything. That is really the best advice I can give here. Just chop it up, season and lightly oil it, then stick it in the oven until it's soft enough to eat. One past shareholder used to put all his veggies on a baking sheet and a chunk of meat of some sort on a baking rack above it so the juices and drippings would fall right on top and flavor everything. It's a very "paleo diet" kind of recipe.

An urban farmer friend recommends this recipe (by Smitten Kitchen) for your cauliflower - check out the blog for additional variations:

Cauliflower Cheese

Serves 4 as a side

1 medium head (about 2 to 2 1/4 pounds) cauliflower
4 tablespoons (55 grams or 2 ounces) unsalted butter
4 tablespoons (30 grams or 1 ounce) all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons mustard powder
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper or ground cayenne
2 cups (475 ml) milk, whole is best but low-fat will probably work just fine
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons (about 155 grams or 5 1/2 ounces total) grated cheddar, the strongest you can get, preferably English or Irish
Chopped chives or flat-leaf parsley, for garnish (optional)

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Trim cauliflower and remove tough core. Cut into 1 to 2-inch florets. Steam (for about 10 minutes) or par-boil (6 to 7 minutes) florets until firm but tender. Drain, if needed, and spread florets on a towel so that it can wick out as much moisture as possible

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add flour and whisk to combine; cook for 1 minute to ensure you get rid of the floury taste. Add mustard powder and a pinch of cayenne or few grinds of black pepper, and stir to combine. Drizzle in milk in a thin, steady stream, whisking the whole time so that no lumps form. Season with salt and bring mixture to a simmer, stirring with a spoon; mixture should thicken. Stir in 1 1/4 cups cheddar, a handful at a time, letting each handful melt before adding the next. Taste sauce and adjust seasonings if needed.

Spread cauliflower florets in a 2-quart baking ovenproof baking dish. Spoon sauce over florets and sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons cheese. Bake until until bronzed and bubbly, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with herbs if desired.

My friend Allison also keeps going on and on about this winter squash risotto she makes, so I'm including it so you can figure out what all the fuss is about (and because, as you may recall, Dear Reader, risotto is the fanciest, most adulty meal you can eat, requiring both the good plates and the real crystal, or at the very least sitting at the table for once).

Winter Squash Risotto
(from Eating Well)

Yield: 4 servings, about 1 1/2 cups each
Active Time: 60
Total Time: 60

  • 5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, or vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 cups chopped peeled butternut, hubbard, red kuri or kabocha squash (1/2-inch pieces)
  • 2 cups shiitake mushroom caps, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crumbled saffron threads, (optional)
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, or dry vermouth
  • 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  1. Place broth in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat so the broth remains steaming, but is not simmering.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add shallots; cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in squash and mushrooms; cook, stirring often, until the mushrooms give off their liquid, about 5 minutes. Add thyme, salt, pepper and saffron (if using); cook for 30 seconds. Add rice; stir until translucent, about 1 minute. Add wine (or vermouth) and cook, stirring, until almost absorbed by the rice, about 1 minute.
  3. Stir in 1/2 cup of the hot broth; reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid has been absorbed. Continue adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition until all the liquid has been absorbed, until the rice is tender and creamy, 30 to 40 minutes total. (You may have some broth left.) Remove from the heat and stir in cheese.

Don't forget  - there's still time to sign up for our Holiday Shares! These come in Family Share size only to make sure you've got all the supplies you need for your traditional holiday side-dishes: things like potatoes, sweet potatoes, winter squash, Brussels sprouts, and value-added items like apple butter. They'll be available on limited days and locations, so be sure to find what works best for you!

Thanks for joining us in this extra week! Shloads of us are all sharing recipes on Instagram and Twitter, so be sure to check us out!

Peace and veggies,

Anna Kiss Mauser-Martinez
City Fresh
In the shares...

Single Share
butternut squash
heart of gold squash
acorn squash
sweet potatoes
Family Share
heart of gold squash
butternut squash

*Share contents subject to change day-to-day and stop-to-stop.
The Very Last Moments to Sweep in and Win our Refer-a-friend Contest

We have two post-season scrimmage pick-ups and two holiday shares for you to convince all of your friends to join City Fresh! As a non-profit organization, it is our shareholders, volunteers, and donors who keep us going. Have your friends mention your name when signing up as new shareholders. The top three shareholders with the most referrals at the end of the season will win one of three paintings, generously donated by local artist (and City Fresh champion!) Debbie Vail.


Be a Food Justice Champion!

Join us in the fight to eradicate food deserts, promote health and nutrition, support sustainable agriculture, and ensure food access and equality! Consider City Fresh and The New Agrarian Center when deciding your end-of-year charitable donations.
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