Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. Harvests here are slowing down for sure, with me harvesting cold weather crops on an as-needed basis. I needed some kale last week for a dish I was making, so I cut some of the prolific Wild Garden Kale Mix.
The kale joined up with some Thai Rai Kaw Tok Squash in a Butternut Squash and Kale Brunch Tart I made last week. I have been anxious to try this dish ever since Susie at Cold Hands Warm Earth posted it several weeks ago. The frozen Rai Kaw Tok squash came from last year’s bumper crop. Since I had frozen the squash raw, I decided to roast it in the oven along with a few cloves of garlic I planned to add to the tart.
Following Susie’s comments about her recipe, I kept the proportions similar but changed the ingredients a bit to use what I had on hand. I used a mix of Parmesan, Asiago and Mozzarella cheeses, and used kefir instead of the cream. The bacon, kale and squash made for a winning combo, but I can see other veggies working as well. My wife thought it would be good with just the kale and bacon without the squash, so more experimenting will surely be in order!
I served a fruit salad along with the tart, using our frozen raspberries and blueberries plus some local Fuji apples. I used a recipe we got from a Thai cooking class we took a few years back, and I made a dressing using Meyer lemon juice and mint which complimented the fruit nicely. I sometimes use Thai basil when it’s available, but fresh or dried mint from the garden does just as well. The recipe also calls for chopped hot pepper but I skipped that this time.
Another herb I’ve been enjoying fresh is parsley. I have four plants in the greenhouse bed, and they should keep us supplied all winter and on into spring, until the parsley starts bolting. I cut a big bunch of it last week to make a batch of chimichurri sauce. This is a strain of flat leaf parsley called Tall Italian I planted back in May.
Along with the parsley I added lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and a little bit of dried red pepper flakes (Aji Angelo) to the chimichurri. I used part of it in a chicken dish and the rest to serve on top of grilled salmon. I have to confess I love parsley so much, I could eat the sauce with a spoon!
For the chicken dish I marinated skinless chicken pieces in chimichurri for several hours. I browned the chicken in olive oil in an oven safe skillet, added a handful of peeled garlic cloves, then popped it in the oven to finish cooking. I served it up with a little added chimichurri on top, and alongside some smashed German Butterball potatoes, with the garlic and pan juices drizzled over everything. My wife and I called it comfort food Happy Acres style!
A most unlikely harvest came when I was out in the garden doing some cleanup and found two Seminole winter squash that were ripening on the leafless vines. These were still quite green when the first freeze hit, and I had left them thinking they were not mature enough. They had other ideas though! I decided to bring them in from the cold and let them finish ripening indoors. This is a moschata squash, and since most of them improve with age I will let them sit for at least a month before we eat them. They weighed four pounds. That brings our total up to 80 pounds for the year, less than the 166 lbs last year but I’m happy to have them in a year when all the cucurbits struggled here.
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!