Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The weather has been warmer than normal lately, but we had a sudden cold snap over the weekend that sent temperatures down below freezing. I decided to cut several heads of overwintered lettuce from one of the cold frame beds. They weren’t full sized, but they were certainly big enough to eat. I think young lettuce plants can take the cold better than larger plants, and I just wasn’t in the mood to gamble, especially when harvests are so hard to come by this time of year. We enjoyed some of the lettuce in a salad and a bit more in some fish tacos, and the rest is in the refrigerator to be used this week. Some of the lettuce is Winter Marvel, and I think there’s some Hungarian Winter Pink in there as well.
My other new harvest was another batch of sunflower shoots, grown under lights in the basement. I also cut a bit of parsley and Vivid Choi from the greenhouse for a frittata, and pulled a couple of I’itoi onions for use in a couscous dish.
Some of those sunflower shoots went into sprout sandwiches we had for lunch one day. I used homemade whole wheat bread, along with Swiss cheese and the sprouts. I spread a bit of ghee on the bread to help it brown in the skillet. I think hummus would have been nice on the inside but we didn’t have any on hand.
I’ve been running low on chile powder so I made two batches of it last week. I don’t like to grind too much at one time, so I do just enough to last me a couple of months. The peppers need to be brittle and crisp in order to grind, so I heat them in the oven for about an hour or so, with the oven set on 170°F (the lowest ours will go). I did one batch of the red Guajillo peppers, and another batch of smoked green peppers, which are mostly Anaheim and its hybrid cousin Biggie Chili. I use the Guajillo chile powder in cooking, and I keep a small jar of the smoked green chile powder for use at the table, where I sprinkle it on anything that needs a bit of smoky heat.
I have a good supply of the smoked green chiles left from last year but I have used up most of the Guajillos and its hybrid cousin Minero. I have made plans to plant more of these two this year, since they have wound up being my favorite for cooking. They are mild and slightly smoky tasting even though I didn’t smoke them. They also have a bright red color that makes a tasty and lovely sauce, and they have wound up on enchiladas and in chili con carne. I make my chile powders with one ingredient only – ground up dried peppers.
My homemade bread of the week was flat and crispy, in this case a batch of lavash crackers. Lavash is sometimes made into a soft flatbread much like a pita, but this recipe from The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen was rolled out thin and baked until crisp and browned. I made the dough from 50% semolina flour, 25% White Sonoran whole wheat flour, and 25% all-purpose flour. The dough is rolled out thin, brushed with an egg wash, and then sprinkled with sesame seeds and flaked sea salt. I am pleased with how they turned out, and they are probably the best cracker I have baked to date. I served them up with a lentil soup I made for dinner last night.
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!