Monday, August 26, 2013

Harvest Monday - August 26, 2013

Where has August gone? The best thing about the fast disappearing "dog days" (hardly, not here) is that my season of tomatoes is coming up. As usual, I have watched other northern hemisphere gardeners start harvesting tomatoes as my tomato plants just start growing. Now that some of those gardeners are doing their tomato harvest recaps I'm just getting a taste of the season. No big slicers have ripened yet, but I found the first ripe Green Grape cherry tomatoes, and a few more Isis Candy and Galinas cherries. The Green Grapes develop a yellow tinge when ripe. The Isis Candy tomatoes aren't quite true to type this year, they are oval, almost pear shaped instead of round, but the coloring is correct and they taste great.

I'm also getting a trickle of Jaune Flamme and Nyagous tomatoes. And more of the usual suspects, cucumbers and broccoli, and

carrots and beans, plus a small harvest of Fiaschetto plum tomatoes and enough Padrons by the end of the week to fry up enough to share with my husband.

Eggplant season has surely started! Three beautiful Bonica and two Salangana hit the basket this week. I made Liz's Eggplant Masala with two of the Bonicas, yum, double yum, my husband and I both loved it. And I made one of my quick and simple favorite dishes with the Salangana, simply sliced and pan fried in a little olive oil and topped with seasoned chopped tomatoes. And the largest of the Bonicas was used in a recipe from Ottolenghi's new book "Jerusalem", Roasted Eggplant with Fried Onion and Chopped Lemon, which sounded better than it came out, not bad but just not quite as flavorful as I expected, but I think that was more in the execution than in the concept so I'm going to try it again.

Perhaps you saw one of my previous posts last week about Beetsteaks which featured a huge Chioggia beet from the garden. There was another not quite as huge Chioggia that I harvested yesterday and tried the recipe again. Still a yum.

When I walked by my husband with beet in hand he said, oh wait, I have to get a photo of you with THAT, so here I am, beet in hand.

This specimen had the classic neon pink and white stripes that were so beautiful that I just had to take a shot of it. Of course they disappeared as the beets cooked.

So what else did I cook up last week? Some of the abundance of Musica beans were cut up and grilled with some red onion using one of my favorite vegetable grilling methods, in a grill basket. I toss the vegetables with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper before putting them in the basket. I've found that the most efficient way to cook in the basket is to set the basket on the grill, cover the grill, then come back in a couple of minutes and give it a stir, keep doing that until the vegetables are cooked to your liking. If you stand and toss it takes forever and you end up sucking up a lot of smoke. When the veggies were done I transferred them to a warmed serving bowl and added some minced garlic, chopped basil and parsley, and halved cherry tomatoes. This method also works great with zucchini, sugar snap peas, and asparagus.

The first huge Chioggia beet that I harvested last week had a lot of leaves that I didn't want to let go to waste. So I wilted them, and chopped them, then incorporated them into a simple tomato sauce (from last year's canned tomatoes), and then nestled a whole (headless) rockfish in the sauce and baked it in my wood burning beehive oven. Oh my, were they good, they came out like silk, not mushy and falling apart, just silky textured and mild flavored, a perfect foil to the delicious rockfish.

Not photographed last week was the bounty of kale that I harvested. The aphids were starting to set up shop in the kale so I trimmed the plants drastically (I hadn't harvested in quite a while) and salvaged everything that wasn't too tough or too infested. About half of the kale went into this kale salad from Food52 to which I made one alteration, substituting toasted slivered almonds for the walnuts (one of the few foods that my husband isn't fond of). That was a winner.

Here's the harvests for the past week:

Emerite filet beans - 3.1 oz.
French Gold filet beans - 5.5 oz.
Runner beans - 8 oz.
Spanish Musica beans - 1 lb., 2.4 oz.
Chioggia beets (inc. greens) - 4 lb., 10 oz.
Purple Peacock broccoli - 6 oz.
Di Ciccio broccoli - 11.7 oz.
Garden Oasis cucumbers - 1 lb., 3.3 oz.
Green Fingers Persian cucumbers - 6.6 oz.
Tasty Green Japanese cucumbers - 10.2 oz.
Tortarello Abruzzese cucumbers - 1 lb., 8.6 oz.
Bonica eggplant - 2 lb., 10.6 oz.
Salangana eggplant - 11.8 oz.
Red Janice garlic - 1.1 oz.
Lacinato kale - 2 lb., 9 oz.
Casados Native pepper - .8 oz.
Pimento de Padron peppers - 7 oz.
Fiaschetto tomatoes - 6.1 oz.
Galinas cherry tomatoes - 2 oz.
Green Grape cherry tomatoes - 3.5 oz.
Isis Candy cherry tomatoes - 1.7 oz.
Jaune Flamme tomatoes - 2.7 oz.
Nyagous tomatoes - 7.4 oz.
Ortolano di Faenza zucchini - 1 lb., 8 oz.
Romanesco zucchini - 8 lb., 6.1 oz. (over 62 pounds so far this year!!!)

The total harvests for the week came up to - 30 lb., 3 oz.
Which pushes the total harvests for the year up to - 348 lb., 1.2 oz.

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


  1. Beautiful harvests! Sadly my tomatoes are coming to an end. Enjoy your tomato season, it always seems like it goes too fast.

  2. Nice harvest! I am growing chioggia beets too. Mine are not too large. I have put them in salad so far, I have never been a beet fan but that seems to have been good.

  3. Wonderful harvests, I am going to grow chioggia beet theis year, as well as the golden ones.

  4. I've read that each ring in the Chioggia beets corresponds to one lunar month. Does that go with your planting dates for them

    1. That doesn't seem to be the case with this lot of beets, I sowed the seeds back on May 26, only three months.

  5. You meals sound delicious, I like Ottolenghi's books, the recipes are simple, fresh, and delicious.
    That beetsteak looks awesome, I'll have to try it when I get a beet that's large enough. It's strange, I left a comment on your beetsteak post but it disappeared, sometimes I use iPad to comment, the messages seem to vanish somewhere, it happens on other blogs as well, haven't figured out what I did wrong, or which iPad is acting up (I have 2), and I don't remember which one I used each time (of course).

    1. I've had the same problem with disappearing comments from my ipad when I try to leave them with the name/url option. It's a mystery to me, I think it's a blogger problem though. I checked to see if your comment went to the spam comments but it wasn't there.

  6. That is how I did zucchini and onions yesterday. Though mine isn't really a basket. It is a large platter more like. Very big and takes up most of the grill space. It lets a love the veggies get brown marks on them. But it takes up way too much space. I keep thinking of getting a smaller basket. It would be easier. And I wouldn't lose the veggies off the sides.

  7. A beautiful harvest this week. I might have to try those beets. We can't seem to get the standard type beet to grow much around here and then when we do get a few no one wants to eat them. Maybe something new???

  8. Wish I could grow eggplant like that (of course, my wife hates it so she's quite happy with my gardening prowess). I'm also going to try your grilling technique with some of the larger purple pole beans tonight.

  9. I need to check out that eggplant recipe. Ours are going nuts about now. I'm grilling some tonight, as it turns out. Aji Angelo is setting fruits for me now, and I'm just waiting on them to ripen. Our unusually cool summer (for us) has slowed down ripening of most of the peppers, but this week temps have heated up and I expect the peppers will love it! The pole beans...not so much.

  10. Hurrah for grill baskets! And beets! And cute gardeners with beets!


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