Monday, May 27, 2013

Harvest Monday - May 27, 2013

There was a fair amount of variety in the harvests this past week. A few new items hit the harvest basket along with some of the "regulars" that we've been enjoying for the past few weeks.

Zucchini season has started, that's the first Romanesco zucchini up there on the left. The beet harvest continued with one Baby Ball, a couple of Chioggia, and a few Golden Beets.

Zucchini blossoms are always a treat! The Ortolano di Faenza plant put out a bunch of male blossoms which I promptly harvested and incorporated into a frittata. The lettuce harvest is in high gear. The butterhead lettuces are looking a bit ragged around the edges and that one above had some tipburn on the inner leaves but most of it was lovely. The napa cabbages are coming in fast also, and some of them have some sort of problem with browning on the inner leaves which I can't figure out, but most of the head is still quite good in spite of the problem. That's the last significant harvest of fava beans. I just cut the plants down to the ground yesterday so the season is officially over.

There were a number of miscellaneous vegetables ready to harvest that day in addition to the lettuce, cabbage, favas, and flowers.

Purple Peacock broccoli, it got away from me in a snap and started to bloom. It was still sweet and delicious. This went into the frittata with the zucchini blossoms.

A couple of very fresh heads of Lorz Italian garlic which was also destined for the frittata. Yes, both heads, they were very small and garlic is oh so mild when it is freshly pulled. That's the first Ortolano di Faenza zucchini, a petite and tender sweet that I sliced thin and put into, no, not the frittata, my lunch salad.

Baby fennel, thinnings from the fennel patch. I've been slicing the "bulbs" very finely on a mandoline and adding them to my lunch salads. Most of the tops were still quite tender so I chopped them and used them in a soup with one of the heads of napa cabbage.

These are the first significant sized Deep Purple hybrid carrots that I've harvested.

They were also thinly sliced on my trusty (slightly rusty) Benriner Japanese mandoline (I also have a big heavy fancy French mandoline that I bring out for big jobs).

There's a bit of variation in how purple each root is. These are quite pretty and pretty tasty as well, not quite as sweet as orange carrots but still good and so pretty in a mixed salad.

Another harvest of butterhead and iceberg lettuce (another yummy wedge salad!). And more carrot thinnings - Circus circus mix on the left, Deep Purple center, and Sugarsnax on the right. All destined for the salad bowl.

I harvested all the baby pak choi that I planted on the edge of the zucchini bed, they sized up just in time, the zucchini leaves were just starting to edge into their space. I used half of these last night in a stir fry with spicy bean sauce and (oh gasp!) shredded duck confit. Purists may be shocked at my addition of duck confit to a stir fry, but it was there in the fridge needing to be consumed and the outcome was really quite delicious. And that's another head of napa cabbage that had to be harvested but hasn't been consumed yet.

That's the first head of Di Ciccio broccoli and the final gleaning of fava pods. Another Romanesco zucchini, a better than expected haul of sugar snap peas and the final harvest from the first planting of snow peas (that harvest lasted only 12 days!).

More spinach! The plants are starting to bolt but there's still a couple of harvests left on them.

Whew! That's all the harvests for the past week and the fridge is stuffed. (It doesn't help that I went on a fruit binge at the farmer's market).

The weather went through a bit of a dramatic change this week. Last Monday the high hit 86ºF and then for the rest of the week the highs hung down around 60ºF with cool breezes that made it feel downright chilly. Yesterday was a bit of an improvement, it almost got to 70ºF! And there's supposed to be a slight chance of showers tonight. OK, I guess we're back to spring again.

Here's the harvests for the past week:

Baby Ball beets - 3.2 oz.
Chioggia beets - 7.2 oz.
Renee's Golden beets - 16.9 oz.
Di Ciccio broccoli - 2.1 oz.
Purple Peacock broccoli - 3.8 oz.
Little Jade napa cabbage - 3 lb.. 14.2 oz.
Circus Circus carrot mix - 2.3 oz.
Deep Purple carrots - 8.3 oz.
Sugarsnax carrots - 4.3 oz.
Extra Precoce Violetto fava beans - 3 lb., 8 oz.
Romanesco fennel - 11.7 oz.
Lorz Italian garlic - 4.7 oz.
Iceberg Superior lettuce - 1 lb., .2 oz.
Rhapsody butterhead lettuce - 1 lb., 5.8 oz.
Green Fortune baby pak choi - 2 lb., 15.1 oz.
Oregon Sugar Pod II snow pea - 12.4 oz.
Summer Perfection spinach - 15.9 oz.
Ortolano di Faenza zucchini - 1oz.
Romanesco zucchini - 13.2 oz.
Zucchini blossoms - .8 oz.

The total harvests for the week came to - 19 lb., 7.1 oz.
Which brings the total harvests for the year up to - 125 lb., 14.7 oz.

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne on her blog Daphne's Dandelions, head on over there to see what other garden bloggers from around the world have been harvesting lately.


  1. Your harvests this week look like a photo shoot for a gardening magazine - so abundant, diversified, and beautiful! I thought the purple carrots I grew last season were really pretty sliced thinly like that and used in salads - but I have to say I prefer the sweeter orange carrots to them and chose not to even grow them this year as a result. We never got the heat you enjoyed but we have definitely been in a rainy/overcast/coolish pattern for a week or more now and I am hungry (as is my garden) for some sunshine and warming.

  2. OOOH LA LA! Your garden photos are so delicious.

    Do you cut, rather than pull your favas? Are they perennial, that way? I'm still trying to decide if I'm going to keep growing them, because they take up so much room.

    1. I cut most of them because I often break the stems when I try to pull them. Maybe I just haven't perfected the art of pulling them. :)

      They do take up a lot of room for the ultimate yield, but fortunately I have the room.

  3. Gorgeous bounty, well done! Funny about those purple carrots, a recent NYTimes article indicated that the color may reflect higher nutrient density, but, from my limited experience, not necessarily better flavor...

    1. The flavor is different, not as sweet, more "carroty" if that makes sense. But I think I've learned to like them for their own unique traits and tend to not force them into the role of a sweet orange carrot. I do love that color!

  4. Wow, impressive! Now with the zucchini blossoms, do you wash them first prior to cooking? They seem to tear so easily.

    1. I don't wash them first, they're too delicate. Just check them for insects and shoo any out before using them.

  5. Gorgeous harvests. I love the different colors on your purple carrots. I've tried growing them in my garden, but they never seem to do all that well.

  6. I love seeing your harvests and hear how you use them. I was also trying to figure out exactly when to harvest zucchini blossoms, I love them, but never know when to pick. So is it right after they open?

    1. That's when I harvest them, but sometimes they're still good the next day, although they will have closed.

  7. Those carrots remind me of ones I saw (in massive post-soviet markets) and ate in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Orange carrots nowhere to be seen!

  8. A lovely harvest indeed. Does the Purple Peacock broccoli remain purple after cooking?

  9. I fruit binged at our Farmers Market too - Apples, Pears, Oranges, a melon, plums, mandarins and a Pomegranate. What sort of soup do you use your Napa cabbage in? I have one in the fridge that I'm look for inspiration for.

    1. It was just one of those spur of the moment soups using what I had on hand. It started with a few sweet Italian sausage browned in the pot, then onions and garlic followed, then chopped stalks and leaves from the baby fennel, chopped napa cabbage, chicken stock and tomato puree and a hit of fish sauce, simmered until the cabbage was tender. Just the thing on an unexpectedly cold day.

    2. Thanks for that - sounds delicious. I shall attempt something similar tomorrow.

    3. I forgot, I also threw in a handful of my salted and dried zucchini (still a few left from last year!).

  10. Beautiful harvest. The Purple Peacock is really purple! I'm trying that first time this year. Right now without a head it just looks a lot like red Russian kale, one of the plants it was crossed from.

  11. That is a gorgeous harvest, Michelle. Your zucchini are ahead of mine! The carrot coins look like buttons I'd love to have on a fun, colorful sweater.


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