Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. After being away for a week, the garden was still in pretty good shape when I got back home. We even got a bit of rain in our absence, which I’m sure was appreciated by all the veggies. The fall planted kale is growing lush, and I cut a bit over a pound of the Red Ursa last week. It met up with a few of our potatoes for some Kale and Potato Hash my wife cooked up to go with grilled fish.
The peppers are still rolling in from the garden. I’m not even bothering to get pics of them all, but I do have a few to share. I got a nice haul of the red Aji Angelo and the yellow Baby Aji Amarillo peppers to turn into some Homemade Fermented Hot Sauce. I think the baccatum peppers make a great tasting hot sauce, and I bet the Aji Amarillo and Aji Angelo will make a tasty combination.
And speaking of the Baby Aji Amarillo peppers, one plant is producing ‘rogue’ peppers. They are bigger in size than normal, with a nice fruity taste and almost no heat at all. I posted pics on the Artisan Seeds FB group I belong to, and the pepper experts there decided it could be a chinense/baccatum accidental hybrid, probably between the Baby Aji’s and some land race Caribbean Seasoning peppers they grow. The taste sort of reminds me of a chinense type like Trinidad Perfume, so I can buy that theory. Regardless, the peppers are useful, and I will likely throw some in the mix for future hot sauce creations. And I will save seeds and send some back to them for future testing. As for me, I can dig up the plant and try and overwinter it here as well. In the below photo, the rogue peppers are on the left and the Baby Aji’s are on the right.
And in other pepper news, I got a nice harvest of three AAS Winners last week. In the below photo, from left to right, it’s Escamillo(2016), Carmen(2006) and Cornito Giallo(2016). Escamillo and Cornito Giallo are two great tasting yellow bull’s horn peppers, and Carmen is one of my all-time favorite red sweet peppers. Next year I want to try the red Cornito Rossa to complete my collection of Johnny’s great pepper introductions.
A newcomer to the harvest basket here is a Turkish cherry pepper called Sanliurfa Kiraz Biber. It has a mild amount of heat, but I think the peppers are a bit small even for cherry peppers. By the time you cut out the stem and core, there’s not much pepper left! Oh well, that’s the way it goes when you try new varieties, and this one isn’t likely to be back next year.
Returning to something green, I cut the first head of Napa cabbage last week. This is Soloist, and weighed a bit over 2.5 pounds before I cleaned it up. It was destined for another batch of kimchi. It’s just in time too, as I have eaten all the kimchi I made this spring. That’s a Big Bertha bell pepper along with it in the below photo, and my trusty harvest knife. As bell peppers go, Big Bertha is truly big, but it is dwarfed by the cabbage!
I have lots of different recipes in various books for making kimchi. Some recipes call for brining or salting either the whole head or whole leaves and then chopping it up later, but for this batch I cut the cabbage up first and soaked it in a 3.5% brine solution for about five hours. Speed is one advantage of cutting it up first, since the brine can do its thing in less time. Next I drained the cabbage, and mixed it with grated daikon radish and carrot (not from my garden) and some chopped onion. Then I massaged in a mix of garlic, ginger and ground Aji Angelo peppers before packing it into jars to ferment. I got enough to fill one quart and one pint jar. There’s more Napa cabbage in the garden, but the bugs are loving it and I don’t know how much more I will get. I found one snail hanging out in this head, and I decided it didn’t need to be in the kimchi!
It’s looking to be a great year for eggplant here. I’ve already harvested 26 pounds of it, which is more than the 21 pounds I got last year but nowhere near the 45 pounds harvested in 2013. We’ve had plenty to eat though, and our new favorite thing is eggplant sandwiches. We make a stack of grilled eggplant, layered with some combo of cheese, sliced tomato and/or lettuce, and serve it on either homemade bread or buns that we slather with a bit of homemade mustard. That’s Nadia, Galine and Dancer in the below photo.
Another pepper newcomer is the Aji Lemon Drop. This pepper goes by various other names, including Aji Limon and Hot Lemon. It is popular in Peru where it is called Kellu Uchu. Mine are from a container grown plant, and they will likely wind up added to a mix of other peppers for hot sauce. I plan to dry some for use as pepper flakes when a few more ripen.
I’ll close with a harvest that was somewhat of a surprise – another ripe Captain Lucky tomato that had been hiding from me! The vines took a break for a bit but are blooming and setting on new tomatoes again. I don’t know if they will ripen before our first frost, but even green ones would be welcome. This one starred on BLTs my wife and I enjoyed for lunch one day. I sliced it up thin so we could make it go on both our sandwiches!
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!