Monday, September 16, 2013

Harvest Monday - September 16, 2013

The highlight last week was the eggplant harvests. This delightful basketful of eggplant weighed in at 10 pounds. It was all harvested on Saturday so I'll be working my way through it  in the coming days.

Lets check out the details.


Sicilian (both from the same plant)
Those two fat Sicilians were turned into a casserole last night, one of my husbands favorite eggplant dishes, it's something like lasagna made with eggplant instead of pasta. A layer of panfried eggplant (or grilled or broiled) placed on a bit of tomato sauce and topped with ricotta, Parmesan, basil, and more tomato sauce. Then a layer of thin sliced prosciutto to cover it all, then more tomato sauce, eggplant, sliced mozzarella, basil, and tomato sauce. Sprinkle on a bit more Parmesan and bake at 350ºF for about half an hour. Yum, yum, yum. The secret to success with that casserole (at least to my husband's taste) is to make sure the ricotta is well drained, the mozzarella sliced and laid out on towels to get rid excess moisture, and to bake it in a wide enough pan that it's not too thick. Too much moisture and too thick makes for a soupy casserole.

Lavender Sicilian
One of my Sicilian plants is producing completely lavender colored fruits. That plant was grown from seeds that I saved last year and I suspect that it may be a cross with one of the other eggplants that I grew last year. Not only are the fruits different from the other Sicilians, but the foliage has less purple to it also. It's still a great eggplant and very productive.

I harvested another smaller basket of Salangana eggplant earlier in the week. The first basket of Salanganas were used to make Caponata. I adapted two different recipes to make it and it came out great. Fortunately I took notes as I went along so I'll be writing up that recipe later this week.

One section of the beet patch was cleared out. I didn't save the greens because they were quite infested with leaf miners and I just didn't need to deal with that.

Golden, Baby Ball, Chioggia
That one big beet isn't exactly a "Baby"

It was more of a softball and in spite of its girth it turned out to be non-fibrous and sweet and made another great batch of Ottolenghi's Beet Puree with Za'atar (the recipe can be found on Food & Wine Magazine's website).

"Baby" Ball beet

The last of the French Gold filet beans and Spanish Musica beans are trickling in and the first of the Emerite filet beans and Australian Butter beans are also trickling in which turns out to be a nice steady supple of beans.

Australian Butter
Spanish Musica
French Gold
 The cucumber harvests have been abundant and the ripe peppers are starting to trickle in.

Liebesapfel and Alcalde peppers
Tortarello Abruzzese (fuzzy) and Garden Oasis cucumbers

Alcalde nose and ears
And the zucchini plants continue to be hyper-productive. And the cucumbers are trying to keep up with the zucchini.

The one that got away. There's always at least one every year. Don't ask me what it weighed, it's not in the tally and it never made it past the compost bin.

Yeah, the cucumbers are definitely trying to keep up with the zucchini. The Pimento de Padrons are being rather modest producers though, it took a week to gather enough for a good bowlful.

Sheesh, I did harvest a lot of cucumbers. And the Emerite and Australian Butter bean production is picking up also.

My one Fiaschetto plum tomato plant turned out to be a modest producer, this is the bulk of the tomatoes from the plant. It probably won't produce a lot more, the plant is definitely growing as a determinate type this year, in past years it tended to be more semi-determinate. It figures that the year that I decide to grow only one plant that it turns out a modest harvest.


Jaune Flamme, Martian Giant (hah!), Nyagous, Galinas, Isis Candy, Green Grape, Chianti Rose

The first Potiron Ecarlate tomato is the pleated one up on the right.
Casados Native peppers
The first ripe New Mexico type peppers are ripening and I've been drying them.

Casados Native (L) and Zia Pueblo (R) peppers

Alcalde peppers 
Di Ciccio broccoli is still trickling in also.

Can't complain too much about the weather, although the last couple of nights have been a bit chilly.

Here's the harvests for the past week:

Australian Butter beans - 4.2 oz.
Emerite filet beans - 1 lb., 2.3 oz.
French Gold filet beans - 4.1 oz.
Spanish Musica beans - 15.5 oz.
Baby Ball beets - 2 lb., 10.4 oz (no greens)
Chioggia beets - 10.2 oz. (no greens)
Golden beets - 2 lb., 9.1 oz. (no greens)
Di Ciccio broccoli - 15.4 oz.
Garden Oasis cucumbers - 3 lb., 9.9 oz.
Green Fingers Persian cucumbers - 12.9 oz.
Tasty Green Japanese cucumbers - 7.1 oz.
Tortarello Abruzzese cucumbers - 2 lb., 1.2 oz.
Bonica eggplant - 2 lb., .4 oz.
Salangana eggplant - 7 lb., 4.1 oz.
Sicilian eggplant - 2 lb., 13.8 oz.
Red Janice garlic - 1.7 oz.
Alcalde peppers - 6.4 oz.
Casados Native peppers - 10.3 oz.
Liebesapfel peppers - 10.9 oz.
Melrose peppers - 5 oz.
Pimento de Padron peppers - 12.6 oz.
Zia Pueblo peppers - 4.8 oz.
Chianti Rose tomatoes - 1 lb., 11 oz.
Fiaschetto tomatoes - 2 lb., 6.4 oz.
Galinas cherry tomatoes - 2.2 oz.
Green Grape cherry tomatoes - 14 oz.
Isis Candy cherry tomatoes - 13.7 oz.
Jaune Flamme tomatoes - 2 lb., 1.4 oz.
Martian Giant tomatoes - 3 lb., 1.6 oz.
Nyagous tomatoes - 1 lb., 14.6 oz.
Potiron Ecarlate tomato - 6.8 oz.
Orotlano di Faenza zucchini - 1 lb., 6.8 oz.
Romanesco zucchini - 4 lb., 9.2 oz.

The total harvests for the past week were - 51 lb., 4.8 oz.
Which brings the harvest totals for the year up to - 467 lb., 6 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.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Harvest Monday - September 9, 2013

Look, it's finally summer! There's tomatoes (argh, I forgot to photograph the first Chianti Rose)

Nyagous and Jaune Flamme

And more tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers ...

and more zucchini...

Romanesco and Ortolano di Faenza zucchini

and eggplants...

Sicilian eggplants

and eggplants...

Salangana eggplants

and beans...

Spanish Musica beans

and more peppers...

Pimento de Padron peppers

more peppers...

Casados Native peppers

more peppers (hot ones!)...

Yellow Manzano peppers

yet more peppers...

Zia Pueblo peppers

and yes, more peppers...

Cochiti peppers

The first amaranth harvest...

Tender Leaf amaranth

and more amaranth.

Thai Tender amaranth

One final pepper and zucchini harvest.

Piment doux long des Landes sweet peppers
Romanesco zucchini

A few weeks ago I found Yotam Ottolenghi's new book Jerusalem offered at a deep discount at the local warehouse store and I snatched it up. There's so many good things in there. The magenta colored beet dip that I showed on the last harvest post came from that book. The next dish I made had to be modified a bit for the season but was fabulous, it features burnt eggplant (a great way to turn a big pile of eggplant into a more modest amount), but the garnish is supposed to be pomegranate arils which are not in season yet so I substituted small halved red grapes tossed with pomegranate molasses and then the second time I made it (yes, twice in one week) I got lazy and just drizzled on the pomegranate molasses. I can't wait for my pomegranates to ripen so I can give this preparation a proper try!

Other than the eggplant dish I've not been doing a lot of cooking because we ended up eating out quite a bit in the last week. I've been using up freshly harvested peppers in my latest breakfast concoction of pan fried tofu, peppers, zucchini, and zucchini blossoms seasoned with sesame, soy, and bonito flakes and maybe a squeeze of lime. The best peppers in the mix so far have been the Padrons. I tried the Zia Pueblo peppers one morning, they have a good flavor but they have a tough skin which should be blackened and removed first.

The amaranth greens were simply prepared by stir frying them with some garlic and fish sauce.

Most of the Manzano peppers are trying to work themselves into a state of fermentation a la Dave's Basic Fermented Hot Sauce. The ripe Casados Native peppers were dried.

The tomatoes and cucumbers have been going into salads. I also harvested some ripe sweet pimento peppers that have also been used in salads. Some of the beans and zucchini hit the grill basket again. And a lot of the zucchini got sliced and dried.

It really is finally summer here, look at the great weather we've been enjoying.

Here's the harvests for the past week:

Tender Green amaranth - 6 oz.
Thai Tender amaranth - 13.9 oz.
Australian Butter beans - .6 oz.
Emerite filet beans - 4.7 oz.
French Gold filet beans - 1.7 oz.
Spanish Musica beans - 3 lb., 2.7 oz.
Di Ciccio broccoli - 2.1 oz.
Garden Oasis cucumbers - 2 lb., 8.5 oz.
Green Fingers Persian cucumbers - 16.7 oz.
Tasty Green Japanese cucumbers - 1 lb., 10.6 oz.
Tortarello Abruzzese cucumbers - 1 lb., 14 oz.
Salangana eggplants - 2 lb., 11.5 oz.
Sicilian eggplants - 2 lb., 9.2 oz.
Red Janice garlic - 1 oz.
Casados Native peppers - 3.6 oz.
Cochiti peppers - 2.1 oz.
Liebesapfel pepper - 3.3 oz.
Yellow Manzano peppers - 3 lb., 5.8 oz.
Pimento de Padron peppers - 1 lb., 3.2 oz.
Piment doux long des Landes peppers - 2.9 oz.
Shephard's Ramshorn peppers - 4.2 oz.
Sunnybrook Pimento peppers - 7.3 oz.
Zia Pueblo peppers - 3.6 oz.
Chianti Rose tomato - 9.9 oz.
Galinas cherry tomatoes - 1 oz.
Green Grape cherry tomatoes - 5.2 oz.
Isis Candy cherry tomatoes - 6.9 oz.
Jaune Flamme tomatoes - 10 oz.
Martian Giant tomatoes - 8 oz.
Nyagous tomatoes - 15.9 oz.
Ortolano di Faenza zucchini - 12.9 oz.
Romanesco zucchini - 4 lb., 5.5 oz.

The total harvests for the week came to - 32 lb., 6.5 oz.
Which pushes the total for the year over the 400 pound mark - 416 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.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

The Transition to Fall Continues

There's more changes in the garden to report on. I planted out a new set of Di Ciccio broccoli seedlings.

The St. George and Moonlight runner beans were thoroughly infested with aphids so I cut the vines down to the nubs and moved the trellis that they had been climbing upon over to the next bed. I'm starting a couple of varieties of spinach to go into this area. The cucumber trellis on the left will have to go also, but they get a reprieve until the spinach seedlings are ready to set out.

Here are new seedlings of Sugar Daddy snap peas that were started in paper pots and set out 2 days ago. This was where the Sugarsnax carrots had been growing. The birds are pecking at anything that looks young and tender so I took no chances and covered the seedlings with a combination of hardware cloth and row cover to keep them safe. By the time the plants are large enough to fill the cage they should be tough enough to be less tempting to the birds and I'll uncover them.

The Greek Gigante bean vines to the right of the peas are now loaded with drying pods.

And the Australian Butter and Emerite Filet beans on the trellis to the left of the peas have reached past the top of their support and are winding around each other in a futile attempt to find something to help them keep growing skyward. They are both blooming and setting beans, the first of the Emerite beans were ready to harvest yesterday - all 3 of them.

Across the way the Pico de Pajaro plants have finally started setting some peppers, they were the last of all the peppers to set. They are supposed to get to about 1 inch wide by 5 inches long - they have some growing to do. Some web sources say this is the same as Chile de Arbol, aka Tree Chile, aka Cola de Rata. Native Seeds, the source of my seeds, says this is a mild chile, other sources say that this pepper is supposed to be quite hot. So, I really don't know what to expect, but I hope that the Native Seeds strain is mild.

Did you see the amaranth patch in my garden tour post last week? Here it is a few days after I harvested a big bunch of leaves. I'll be showing off that harvest next Monday.

Yay, melons are setting! So, will they grow up and ripen? I don't know how long it takes for melons to mature, but we normally have warm weather through October, sometime our warmest weather is in October, so I'm hopeful.

The Black Futsu squash patch is growing and growing and growing...

And blooming like crazy.

There are loads of both male and female blossoms.

And the bees have found them.

The following photos aren't the best, but they will give you and idea of the fervent activity in the squash patch.