Monday Recap: Peppers and Parsley

It would seem that September is prime pepper season here at HA. So many of them are ripening about now, and it has kept me busy with harvesting and processing. Many of them get photographed too, which is partly for my own benefit so I can reference them later on, but then I also like to share them with you all.

I planted three cayenne pepper plants this year. One is called Joe’s Long Cayenne, and those peppers certainly live up to their name, getting around 8″ long. Another is Cayenne Long Red Slim, and it is a productive cayenne, though it is nowhere near as long as Joe’s. The third cayenne is Cayennetta, and I have it growing in a container. In the below photo, from left to right we have Joe’s Long, Long Slim and Cayennetta.

trio of cayenne peppers: Joe's Long(L), Long Slim(M), Cayennetta (R)

trio of cayenne peppers: Joe’s Long(L), Long Slim(M), Cayennetta (R)

I’ve been growing Cayennetta for several years now. It does great in a container, and I can usually count on more than a hundred peppers each year. I haven’t really counted them, but they are truly prolific. The peppers themselves are a tad milder than most cayenne peppers, but still plenty hot. I dehydrated those in the below photo.

Cayennetta peppers

Cayennetta peppers

Another pepper that is called a cayenne type in the catalogs is Maule’s Red Hot. This was a free seed packet given to me this year along with my Seed Savers Exchange order. This pepper was introduced in 1912 by the William Maule Seed Company, and is supposed to be a good pepper for those with short growing seasons. I have to say it was quick to fruit here, and the red hot peppers have a nice crunchy flesh that is thicker than the usual cayenne type, and also not quite as hot. This one is a keeper, and I will probably save seeds from some of the later peppers. Right now I have another use for the ones in the photo below.

Maule's Red Hot pepper

Maule’s Red Hot pepper

I started a batch of fermented hot sauce with the Maule’s Red Hot, trying a little different trick that comes from The Hot Sauce Cookbook by Robb Walsh. He cuts the peppers in half lengthwise, puts them in a stainless steel bowl, then crushes them with a potato masher until they are bruised but still in large pieces. Then you mix with salt, and crush some more. You leave the peppers sit out overnight until liquid forms in the bottom of the bowl, then it’s on to a glass jar for fermenting. After fermenting, you can easily scrape the seeds away from the flesh. With this recipe, you wind up with a fermented pepper mash that can then be used for several hot sauces, or used to make a fermented chili garlic sauce. I’m not sure what my end product will be like just yet, but I will let you know how it turns out.

mashing the pepper and salt mixture

mashing the pepper and salt mixture

I’m growing two NuMex chili peppers this year, Anaheim and Biggie Chili. In the below photo, that’s Anaheim in the top row and Biggie Chili in the bottom row. I plan on drying the ripe ones for chile powder, and roasting the green ones. I’ll be back later this week and show how I go about roasting them. These plants are really loaded this year. There’s almost six pounds of them here in this batch, and there are plenty more peppers coming on the three plants.

Anaheim(top) and Biggie Chili (bottom) peppers

Anaheim(top) and Biggie Chili (bottom) peppers

Another pepper worth noting is the one I am calling Sweet Happy Yummy. This is a ‘rogue’ pepper that first appeared in 2011. It has medium thick sweet orange flesh, and gets to be about 1.5″ wide by 6″ long. I am still trying to stabilize this new strain, and I was pleased to find that one of the plants I set out this year made peppers that were true to type. I’ll save seed from this one, which should be the F5 generation. I am told it can take eight generations or more to stabilize a strain of pepper, so I have a ways to go yet!

Sweet Happy Yummy peppers

Sweet Happy Yummy peppers

In non-pepper news, the tomato seeds that were fermenting last week have now been rinsed, strained, and are drying on a paper coffee filter. The paper helps wick away the moisture, and they are easy to scrape off the filter when they are dry.

drying tomato seeds after fermenting

drying tomato seeds after fermenting

Parsley is growing lush right about now, thanks to ample rains we have had throughout August and early September. I decided I needed to use some of it, and tabbouleh came to mind.

flat leaf Italian parsley

flat leaf Italian parsley

I sometimes use bulgur or quinoa for tabbouleh, but this time I made it with freekeh. We bought a bag of this ancient grain on a recent pilgrimage to Costco (we don’t have a local one). If you don’t know, and I didn’t until fairly recently, freekeh is made from wheat that is picked before it is fully ripened, then dried, roasted and cracked into smaller pieces. It can be used like regular cracked wheat, and has a nice flavor that is hard for me to describe. I used the rice cooker to cook it before making the tabbouleh. I had to buy a cucumber since ours are not producing at the moment but I used our own tomatoes, garlic, parsley and a bit of mint.

Freekeh Tabbouleh

Freekeh Tabbouleh

As it turns out, I wasn’t the only one enjoying the parsley. I found a swallowtail caterpillar munching away on one leaf. It actually hatched a few feet away in the carrot bed, but I had moved it to the parsley a few days earlier. I planted some parsley over in the Wild Garden just for the swallowtails, but of course the female swallowtail laid her eggs on the carrot tops instead! This one seemed to be ok with the parsley substitution though.

swallowtail caterpillar on parsley

swallowtail caterpillar on parsley

I used some of our recent zucchini harvests and homemade marinara sauce to make a batch of Three Cheese Zucchini Stuffed Lasagna Rolls. This recipe from Skinnytaste was relatively easy to put together, and tasted delicious. I froze the leftovers, which will make for an easy future meal. I am thinking the filling would also work well for shells or manicotti. I can’t remember the last time I made lasagna, or ate it for that matter, and this lightened up recipe was a real treat. The photo below makes it look like there’s more cheese involved than there really is, and most of the sauce is hidden in the bottom of the baking dish.

Three Cheese Zucchini Lasagna Rolls

Three Cheese Zucchini Lasagna Rolls

Our blueberry season is over for the year, but I used some of our frozen ones to make a batch of Blueberry Syrup with Honey. Rachel at Grow a Good Life shared the recipe last week, and I have to say it is quite yummy. I would also like to try it with blackberries or maybe cherries in the future. It was my wife’s turn to cook starting yesterday, and she made a batch of Whole Wheat Sourdough Pancakes for lunch. The blueberry syrup made a great topping!

Whole Wheat Sourdough Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup

Whole Wheat Sourdough Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup

In the bread department, I baked a batch of Moomie’s Famous Burger Buns last week. This continues to be my go-to recipe for buns, and like pita bread we almost always have some of these buns in the freezer.

Moomie's Famous Burger Buns

Moomie’s Famous Burger Buns

That’s a look at what’s going on here at HA. To see what other gardeners are celebrating, harvesting, and cooking up, visit Daphne’s Dandelions where Daphne hosts Harvest Mondays every week.

 

This entry was posted in Gardening and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to Monday Recap: Peppers and Parsley

  1. Will - Eight Gate Farm - NH says:

    Excellent harvests and use thereof. I’m very interested in your Sweet Happy Yummy pepper (sounds like food brands at the Asian market). How do you “stabilize” the strain? It sounds like it might be somewhat subjective.

    • Dave says:

      Well, each year I grow the peppers, and save seeds only from ones that are true to type. That is very subjective, since it’s up to me to decide what the peppers should look like. This year I grew 4 plants of the Sweet Happy Yummy. One turned out red, one turned out yellow, and one was orange but too small. The one in the photo was the only plant that came true to type, so I saved seeds from that one and will plant it out next year. There is still a lot of variability in the peppers, so I am trying to get it to be ‘stable’ and produce only true to type peppers each year. Plus they need to be productive and tasty.

  2. Norma Chang says:

    Love your easy lasagna and even better that it freezes well. I too would like to know how you stabilize a strain of pepper.
    Norma Chang recently posted…Harvest Monday. September 15, 2014 – Smooth-skin Luffa + Purple Sweet Potato + Windowbox Bok Choy + Okinawan Sweet PotatoMy Profile

  3. Daphne says:

    Lovely peppers. I really need to deal with my parsley. I think I want to freeze a bunch for winter. Usually I just dry it, but the flavor is never the same.
    Daphne recently posted…Harvest Monday 15 September 2014My Profile

    • Dave says:

      I am not a big fan of the dried parsley, though I do use some of it. With the greenhouse, I can have some fresh growing all winter for soups and the like. I can’t imagine chicken soup without some parsley in it!

  4. Echo Wu says:

    Hi, Dave,

    I just want to let you know that I have really enjoyed your blog. I have been reading your entries from the beginning and it is a wonderful resource for a novice gardener like I am. If you haven’t tried chimichurri sauce yet, you may want to use some of your parsley to make some. The sauce is wonderful on grilled meat and it is also great as a salad dressing.

    • Dave says:

      Thanks for your kind words Echo! I am a fan of all things parsley. I love it for pesto, and in chimichurri sauice. You are right, I need to make some chimichurri while the parsley is abundant!

  5. Michelle says:

    I have no parsley this year, my poor little seedlings keep getting mowed down by bugs. It’s hard to believe that I couldn’t get such a basic thing going. You’ve got a really interesting selection of peppers going this year, the cayennes are beautiful. That’s another gap in my garden this year, no hot peppers other than the Aji Angelo and not even enough of that.
    Michelle recently posted…Harvest Monday – September 15, 2014My Profile

    • Dave says:

      Well, you have lots of eggplant, and it is a scarce commodity in our garden! I have 3 Aji Angelo plants this year. The one I overwintered and then set out in the ground is going crazy. It really had a jump on the seed grown plants. I plan on overwintering another one this year.

  6. Jenny says:

    Beautiful selection of peppers! It’s been very cool summer so ours are not as productive as they should have been, but hot varieties still flower and forming peppers. I think I’ll take few into the pots and try to overwinter till next year.
    Jenny recently posted…Harvest September 15My Profile

    • Dave says:

      Thanks Jenny. As I just mentioned to Michelle, I overwintered one very large Aji Angelo last year. And I have done the same for other peppers in years past. It works well for me.

  7. Margaret says:

    Well, I’m glad the stabilizing question was asked and answered – I wanted to know too! Love, love, love the peppers of course. I just love lasagna for that very reason – it’s quite a bit of work up front but creates many easy meals from the freezer after that. My parsley is going crazy too – thanks for the tabbouleh reminder!
    Margaret recently posted…Harvest Monday – September 14, 2014My Profile

  8. I am always excited to read about the progress of your Happy Yummy peppers. I am so glad your liked the Blueberry Syrup with Honey. Our fall raspberries are just beginning to ripen and I can’t wait to try the same recipe with raspberries. The Three Cheese Zucchini Stuffed Lasagna Rolls look amazing. I am getting hungry reading this.

  9. Linda says:

    What a pretty caterpillar. Beautiful food presentations.

  10. peggi says:

    I make chili powder out of roasted green chilis that are dehyrated. It makes amazing chili powder. You should try a batch. Yum!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge