Monday, November 16, 2009
Harvest Monday - 11/16/2009
Today is Harvest Monday, the time to show off what's coming out of your garden.
Last week I continued to harvest various peppers. I'm drying quite a few of the peppers so I strung some of them into ristras. To the left are Guindilla chile peppers, a medium hot pepper from Spain.
In Diana Kennedy's book The Art of Mexican Cooking, published 20 years ago, she says that all the chihuacles (negro, rojo, and amarillo) are (were) gradually disappearing and expensive in Oaxaca, their place of origin. I've had a few email enquiries about where to find these chiles, so if you are looking for them try Peppermania for seeds or Cross Country Nurseries for mail order plants (see my side bar for links).
Shown below are some Chilhuacle Amarillo chile peppers, true to type this time, harvested from my second plant. And sharing space in the basket are the first Aji de la Tierra chile peppers to be harvested. These peppers are a medium hot baccatuum type pepper. I'm going to dry the bunch that you see below, but they're too small to string into a ristra.
The platter below shows the first mild chinense peppers to be harvested. These peppers are in the same family as Habanero and Scotch Bonnet chile peppers and have the same aromatic fruity flavor, but a lot less heat.
There is still eggplant to be harvested, as you can see below. We ate most if it this week in Eggplant Parmigiana and just simply pan fried with balsamico. The rest of the eggplant was sliced, brushed with olive oil, broiled and then frozen. The Pimento de Padrons are still trickling in as well. And the Piracicaba broccoli is also pushing out new side shoots, although they are getting smaller. I have to cut the plants back some to force new shoots from the base of the plants. Oh, and there is the very first Aji de la Tierra that I picked to taste.
A bowl of Kefe Beinwil snow peas. I've been amazed at how tender and tasty these peas stay even when the peas start to plump up the pods. I didn't get around to picking this bowlful until quite a few of the pods started looking more like snap peas, but even the fat pods were tender and tasty. I prepared these last night by melting some butter in a saute pan and allowing it to brown some, then sauteed the peas briefly, added a few tablespoons of water and cooked, tossing until the water was gone and the peas were tender, seasoned with salt and pepper and tossed them with some pomegranate arils. The green peas and red pomegrate were so pretty together. It was delicious. I picked another small handful of peas in addition to the bowlful shown below. The plants are nearly done producing for now. It will be interesting to see if they over winter and start producing in the spring.
And here's one more bunch of fennel seeds. I've got enough now to last a while.
It's a pretty little tree and you can see below how lovely it is when it has olives on it.
But this year it set a remarkable number of olives and I couldn't resist picking the tree clean. I harvested 14 ounces of olives! So I'm experimenting with curing them to make them edible. Olives straight off the tree are incredibly bitter and tannic. It will be a couple of months before I know if the experiment is a success.
Please head on over to Daphne's Dandelions, the host of Harvest Monday, and admire what other gardeners are harvesting. Join in the fun yourself!