Harvest Monday September 5, 2016

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related, and happy Labor Day to those celebrating in the U.S. (and Happy Labour Day to those in Canada). We’re also celebrating pepper season here, and I accumulated enough last week to smoke a batch in my charcoal grill. In the below photo, it’s the mildly hot mini belle Not Celia Dulce in the top row. In the bottom row, left to right, we have Senorita Jalapeno, Aji Angelo, a green Minero that accidentally fell off the plant, three Dulce Rojo, a Friggitello, and two of the Leutschauer Paprika peppers. Other than Dulce Rojo and Aji Angelo, these are peppers I’ve never grown before or smoked, and this is a test run to see how they do.

peppers for smoking

peppers for smoking

After smoking, it was off to the dehydrator to dry them to the leathery stage. I move the dehydrator out to the front porch whenever I dry the smoked peppers, to keep them from making the  whole house smell smoky. Once smoked, they look a bit different than they do fresh, and when I have a mixed batch of them it’s nice to have a photo of them ‘before’ so I can tell what’s what. They need to be crisp dry before you grind them into powder, but I do that last step in the oven, set on the lowest heat setting. I will try and do that one day this week since I am anxious to get a taste of some of these peppers.

drying the smoked peppers

drying the smoked peppers

Other than the ones I smoked, we also used some of our sweet peppers in a Vegetable Pepper Quiche my wife cooked up last week. I see Big Bertha and Jimmy Nardello peppers in there, along with some of our onions. I love this pie and it was a treat to eat.

Vegetable Pepper Quiche

Vegetable Pepper Quiche

I also got a nice haul of Baby Aji Amaraillo peppers from my container grown plant. I put a pair of scissors in there for scale, since the peppers are smaller than the usual Aji Amarillo peppers.

Baby Aji Amarillo peppers

Baby Aji Amarillo peppers

I seeded and processed all these peppers into some Aji Amarillo Paste. The peppers are boiled in water to soften them and get some of the heat out before they are blended up into a paste. I froze the paste in an ice cube tray, then packaged the cubes for later use. I plan on drying some of these peppers later on, and perhaps making an Aji Amarillo hot sauce as well. I have two plants, one in a container and one in the ground, and they are loaded with peppers.

Aji Amarillo paste

Aji Amarillo paste

We’re also celebrating a good year for eggplants here. That’s Nadia in the below photo, which has been a steady producer this year along with another one called Galine.

Nadia eggplant

Nadia eggplant

Many of the eggplants wind up grilled. My wife and I both enjoy eating them that way as a side dish, though the ones in the below photo were headed for an eggplant sandwich. Before grilling we brush them with a little olive oil and give them a sprinkle of salt.

grilled eggplant slices

grilled eggplant slices

The slicing tomatoes are coming to an end, at least for now. That’s Chef’s Choice Orange and Better Boy in the below photo, two hybrids that have kept us supplied with many tomatoes this year. It’s just been an average year for tomatoes here, but I plant enough for us to have plenty even in a bad year like 2015.

sliced Chef's Choice Orange and Better Boy tomatoes

sliced Chef’s Choice Orange and Better Boy tomatoes

According to my records I’ve hauled in just over 130 pounds of tomatoes so far, which is more than last year’s 97 pounds but nowhere near the 2012 bumper crop of 217 pounds. And all of those totals are with the same number of plants, give or take a few. I got a nice harvest of the small fruited types yesterday, mostly Sunrise Bumblebee and Purple Bumblebee along with some of the always prolific Juliet. It was just enough tomatoes to fill a half-sheet baking pan, and I slow roasted them for about three hours. I used the roasted tomatoes to make a batch of Quinoa Tomato Salad.

small fruited tomatoes for roasting

small fruited tomatoes for roasting

The salad also featured a couple of our Flagpole scallions, and some Pepitas seeds I dry toasted in a skillet. I’ve toasted many pumpkin seeds before, and they always pop and crack in the skillet. But these were popping like popcorn, and I had to quickly find a cover to keep them all from flying out on the kitchen floor. I usually mix the toasted pepitas in with the quinoa salad, but this time we used them on top after we plated the salad, so they would stay crisp. I was already loving these pumpkin seeds, but toasting them really sent them over the top!

toasted Pepitas seeds

toasted Pepitas seeds

Quinoa Tomato Salad

Quinoa Tomato Salad

The biggest harvest of the week came from the Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck Squash, aka neck pumpkins. I’ve been growing these moschata squash for several years now, and I think this will be one of my best years ever. The ones in the below photo weigh almost 19 pounds, with the curved one being the largest at 7.5 pounds. The long neck is all flesh, so there’s a lot to eat on these winter squash, which are an ancestor of the modern butternuts. There’s two more on the vine, and it looks like they will keep us supplied with plenty of puree in the months to come. Like other moschata types, they keep well well in storage and need to be cured for a month or so to develop their best flavor.

harvest of neck pumpkins

harvest of neck pumpkins

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!

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save




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

17 Responses to Harvest Monday September 5, 2016

  1. Mark Willis says:

    I’m always looking for ways to preserve chillis for later use, so I might give your frozen blended paste method a try. Chillis frozen whole are always a bit unsatisfactory. I can’t match your 130lbs of tomatoes, but I’ve had a good year – probably something like 35lbs, and still a lot more to come. I’ve done some tomato-and-chilli sauce for the freezer, and that’s pretty nice I can tell you!

  2. Norma Chang says:

    Did not know Crookneck Squash needed to be cured to develop flavor, learned something new, thanks. Love the color of Chef’s Choice Orange, how is the flavor?
    Norma Chang recently posted…Harvest Monday, September 5, 2016 – Containers HarvestsMy Profile

    • Dave says:

      The flavor of the Chef’s Choice Orange is great, with a nice mix of acid and sweet. It has become my favorite orange tomato for sure!

  3. Will - Eight Gate Farm - NH says:

    Beautiful harvests, Dave. The crookneck squash really look great; I might try them next year. The Amarillo peppers are really cute, and the paste is a great idea. I’ll have a helping of your pepper quiche, please, with an appetizer of pepitos if you don’t mind.

  4. Those smoked peppers look fantastic. I might have to borrow a barbecue and give those a go sometime.
    Darren @nftallotment recently posted…Harvest Monday for September 5th 2016My Profile

  5. Susie says:

    Happy Labour Day to you and to us (with the “u” added for those of us in Canada) 🙂

    A wonderful harvest, as always. The colour on the Chef’s Choice tomato is beautiful and makes it look extra delicious. I’m hoping to get my dehydrator going this week as the paprika peppers look about ready.
    Susie recently posted…Harvest Monday: Sept 5, 2016My Profile

  6. Margaret says:

    Those crookneck squash look amazing as do the eggplant. That variety of eggplant doesn’t look very seedy for a large fruited type…am I right? And the smoked peppers – yet something else that’s on my to-do list, but for next year. Great idea taking a photo before dehydrating them. And the hot pepper paste is yet another great idea – that’s one I may just try this year.

  7. Michelle says:

    The Quinoa Tomato Salad looks delicious, especially with the toasted pepitas on top. Your frozen pepper paste is a great idea, I’ll have to remember that if I find myself with an excess of peppers this year (which actually does not seem likely).
    Michelle recently posted…Garden Update – August 31, 2016My Profile

  8. David Velten says:

    Gee, I had the smoker going yesterday for some ribs and didn’t think to throw some peppers in. That’s something I will have to try. The Aji Amarillos are a nice orange color, so I think they are different from the Lemon Drop I am growing, which is a pale lemon yellow. Good news is the Lemon Drops are setting fruit, but it getting late here.
    David Velten recently posted…Harvest Monday 5 September 2016My Profile

    • Dave says:

      My Lemon Drops aren’t ripe yet either. For that matter they didn’t set on nearly as early as some of the other baccatum peppers. Mine is plsnted in a container so I can bring it inside if needed to let the peppers ripen.

  9. You’ve got such lovely colours in your harvests Dave, beautiful.

    Neck pumpkins look like one to try. I only tend to get one squash per plant on whatever variety I grow, so this would be a good return.

    I’m going to look up your quinoa / tomato salad too 🙂
    Lou@rainbowchard recently posted…Harvest Monday – courgettes and applesMy Profile

  10. K says:

    The smoked pepper powder sounds delicious. A friend has more peppers than he knows what to do with and has gifted me some. I might try your frozen paste idea. I would never have thought of that on my own. Those crookneck squash are huge. How do you cure them?
    K recently posted…Harvest Monday 9.5.16My Profile

  11. Julie says:

    That pepper quiche looks delicious and so does that quinoa tomato salad. I do believe I am getting hungry! That’s a good idea to smoke and dry the peppers. Those Pennsylvania Dutch Crookneck Squash also look good. I might have to try that one next year. I’m having a good winter squash year too.
    Julie recently posted…Harvest Monday 9/5/16My Profile

  12. We “discovered” last year that dehydrating peppers inside the house made our eyes burn. Now we do it in a covered area outside. Nasty stuff.
    A.J. – Cheap Seat Eats recently posted…Container Garden Update — September 5, 2016My Profile

  13. Phuong says:

    Your tomatoes are doing well this year, and it looks like your peppers are really starting to come in. I haven’t made a quiche in ages, yours looks unbelievably good. It’s funny how those really good years linger on the mind, 2013 was such a banner year for us with the first tomatoes being picked July 2nd and 12 pounds of peppers by July 13th. I really think floating row covers gave us a head start that year.
    Phuong recently posted…Harvest Monday, 8/29/16My Profile

Leave a Reply

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

CommentLuv badge