Monday, January 24, 2011
Harvest Monday - January 24, 2011
The garden yielded just a couple of harvests last week, a bunch of cilantro and Golden Chard. I'm only counting the cilantro because there's enough to actually look like an impressive amount. I don't usually tally the herbs that I harvest since it's usually in small quantities and used as it is picked. In the winter I can always count on having fresh thyme, rosemary, bay, and parsley. My oregano plants also do just fine in the winter but that is one herb that I prefer dried, it tastes too "hot" to me when used fresh. Now it seems that I can add cilantro to that list. I've been letting cilantro bloom and set seed around the garden and as the seeds dry I pluck them off the plant and scatter them around. The plants grow when and where they choose and it seems that they've chosen to grow with abandon this winter. The bunch I harvested last week is destined for a batch of pesto.
The chard was used in a recipe from the A16 cookbook (my husband seems to be particularly attached to that book at the moment). The leaves and stems were cut up separately and blanched until tender and then braised with a sofrito of garlic (two heads!) and salt packed anchovies. The sofrito was made by peeling the garlic cloves and simmering them whole with the anchovies in a generous amount of olive oil and a bit of water for an hour and then mashed to a paste. It was quite delicious, the long slow simmering mellowed the garlic and anchovies a lot, but the dish still wasn't for the faint of palate.
I've also been making good use of previous harvests. Frozen fava beans were used with pasta (another A16 recipe that my husband chose). Canned tomatoes were used to braise yet one more dish from A16, the Monday Meatballs - oh so good. Dried Petaluma Gold Rush beans, frozen green beans, frozen beet greens, and frozen tomato puree joined up in a pot of soup. Part of the head of Romanesco broccoli that I harvested the week before was used with some purchased brussels sprouts in a gratin topped with bread crumbs and pine nuts (the recipe is from epicurious). And the last chunks of Marina di Chioggia squash and Diamante celery root that I had been using over the last couple weeks were braised with more frozen favas to accompany some gnocchi. So there's been some good eating around here thanks to my efforts in the garden over the past year. A lot of my readers wonder if I manage to eat all that produce that I grow, so I hope this answers that question! Oh, I forgot, we also munched on preserved eggplant last night and I used some frozen grilled eggplant in a panini last week. And I should also mention that I used ground dried chile peppers in a number of dishes including the meatballs, the soup, the panini, baked into Taralli Pugliese (so addictive), on ricotta bruschetta.... you get the idea.
Here's the harvest totals so far:
Cilantro - 5.5 ounces
Golden Chard - 2 lb.
The total for the week was - 2 lb., 5.5 oz.
The total for the year is - 8 lb., 11.75 oz.
Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne on her blog Daphne's Dandelions, head on over there to see what other garden bloggers have been harvesting lately.