Harvest Monday May 23, 2016

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The rainy and cool spring weather we have been having have certainly made the early veggies grow, but they have put me way behind schedule in getting things planted. Hopefully we are entering a dry spell for a few days and I can play catch-up in the garden. Meanwhile, I began cutting the lushly growing spring planted lettuce last week. I started with Radichetta, a tall growing oak leaf type that I’ve grown for years.

Radichetta lettuce

Radichetta lettuce

Radichetta looks a bit like a chicory, but the taste is mild and the leaves have a crunchy midrib much like a romaine lettuce. To me it looks and tastes like other oak leaf lettuces, but it is much more upright in growth, more like a romaine. That lets me plant it closely together. The plants also get quite large, though I cut this one before it was full-sized. I did a Spotlight on Radichetta a couple of years ago and it’s on my growing list every year.

leaves of Radichetta lettuce

leaves of Radichetta lettuce

I also cut newcomers Tall Oaks and Big Flame. Neither of these lettuce were quite full sized either, though the Tall Oaks weighed in a bit over 10 ounces. I planted all the lettuce fairly close together, and taking out some of them should give the remaining plants a bit more room to size up.

Tall Oaks lettuce

Tall Oaks lettuce

I harvested more garlic scapes from the early varieties. This batch came from Shilla and Uzbek. Some of these went into a mixed stir-fry, and some are destined for Daphne’s Garlic Scape Dressing. I still have the rocambole varieties like German Red and Russian Red that haven’t made scapes yet, though it shouldn’t be much longer.

harvest of garlic scapes

harvest of garlic scapes

Oregon Sugar Pod 2 snow peas joined the Sugar Ann snap peas in the harvest basket this week. Well, there weren’t enough to need a basket, since they easily fit in my hand! These wound up with the garlic scapes and some asparagus in a stir fry I made last week. We also enjoyed another batch on a salad, where they (and some raw asparagus) added crunch.

snow and snap peas

snow and snap peas

Speaking of asparagus, the cold and wet weather slowed it down a bit last week. We’ll probably cut it for one more week, then that will be it for the season. I used some of it in a pasta dish I whipped up last week, using garlic scape pesto as a sauce and baked tofu for protein. I’ve made this before with chicken or shrimp, and the tofu made for a lovely meatless version. I don’t really follow a recipe for this, and I make it with whole wheat pasta and whatever pesto is in season, be it made with garlic scapes, parsley or basil. The asparagus and garlic scapes are usually ready about the same time every year, so that combo is a common one here. There’s a bit of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in there as well. We don’t eat a lot of pasta anymore so this was a real treat.

Tofu Pesto Pasta

Tofu Pesto Pasta

Another real treat last week were some baked sweet potato ‘fries’ I made using one of the 2015 Purple sweet potatoes. In a week or so it will be time to set out this year’s slips, but in the meantime we are still enjoying last year’s bounty. I cut up the sweet potatoes, toss with olive oil and a bit of salt, then bake in a hot oven until crispy.

purple sweet potato fries

purple sweet potato fries

I got a lot of prep work done in the garden yesterday, and today I hope to get the squashes planted. After that, it’s on to more prep work, then planting the paste tomatoes, eggplant, pole beans, peppers, and cucumbers. I’ll finish up planting the summer garden when the sweet potato slips I ordered from Sand Hill Preservation Center arrive. The slips I started myself (Purple and Bonita) should be ready to plant any time, once I get the bed ready for them. I normally wait until the first week of June to plant them, which will give them plenty of time to grow before the first frost of fall arrives.

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. And be sure and check out what everyone is harvesting!



Posted in Harvest Monday | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Harvest Monday May 16, 2016

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. It’s been mostly the same players in the harvest basket lately, but there’s a couple of new players this week. More on that later. I still have lots of lettuce sizing up now, and we are enjoying it as often as we can. The cutting in the below photo came from the greenhouse salad boxes, and wound up in a taco salad my wife made last week.

mixed lettuce for taco salad

mixed lettuce for taco salad

I cut both True Siberian and White Russian kale last week. We had it at different meals, but my wife and I both agreed the White Russian is still the tastiest of the ones I have grown recently. It’s a little less tender now since it has been subject to wind and weather, but still flavorful. The White Russian paired up with potatoes (from the grocery) for some Kale And Potato Hash.

harvest of White Russian kale

harvest of White Russian kale

I still have lots of green garlic growing from my December planting. Much of it is one variety called Maiskij, which is an early maturing turban type that has a reddish skin. That red coloration is present even in the young garlic, which you can see in the below photo. I used the green garlic to whip up a batch of Michelle’s yummy Crema di Green Garlic. The whole house smelled heavenly the whole time it was cooking! Well, it smelled great if you like garlic. I think it’s safe to say if you are allergic to garlic you probably shouldn’t visit Happy Acres!

green garlic for garlic cream

green garlic for garlic cream

So far I have been enjoying the garlic cream on crackers, eaten as a snack. It’s my turn to cook, and this week I plan on using it in a white runner bean salad I’m going to serve with some crispy crostini made from a sourdough baguette. And speaking of bread, I baked up a loaf of Rye & Whole Wheat Bread to use for Reuben sandwiches. We had those for lunch yesterday, but I didn’t get a photo because they looked pretty much like the ones we had last week.

Rye & Whole Wheat Bread

Rye & Whole Wheat Bread

There was a bit of excitement in the garden patch, though I don’t know which harvest was the most exciting. I cut the first garlic scapes on Saturday from the early garlic cultivars. I got all of those from Xian and Red Janice, plus a few from Uzbek and Shilla. It was enough to make a batch of Garlic Scape Pesto that is destined for a pasta dish I plan to make tomorrow night.

garlic scapes from early garlic

garlic scapes from early garlicgarlic

The other excitement came in the same bed in the main garden, just a few feet from the garlic. Last fall I prepped a spot for some edible podded peas so it would be ready for an early spring sowing. I had a little trouble getting them to germinate outside, so I filled in the blank spots with some I started indoors. They are now blooming and setting on pods, so I guess my persistence paid off. The first to harvest is the 1984 AAS winner Sugar Ann. It’s only a handful of pods so far, and my wife and I shared those for a snack. The Oregon Sugar Pod 2 peas are blooming now, so it won’t be long before we have both snap peas and snow peas.

Sugar Ann snap peas

Sugar Ann snap peas

The asparagus continues to roll in. We’ve gotten 23 pounds of it so far, with about two more weeks of harvest to go. I stir-fried that in the below photo, seasoned simply with some ginger, turmeric and a fresh green scallion from the garden.

asparagus harvest

asparagus harvest

stir-fried asparagus

stir-fried asparagus

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. And be sure and check out what everyone is harvesting!

 



Posted in Harvest Monday | Tagged , , , , , , | 15 Comments