Monday, April 13, 2015

Harvest Monday - April 13, 2015

The garden has been super productive this winter and spring, this week it has already passed the total production through the end of April last year. Of course it helps that we took a 10 day vacation in March this year rather than most of the month of March last year, so it has been easier to keep on top of the sowing and harvesting.

There's a few new items in the harvest basket this week, including the first of the favas.

Extra Precoce Violetto fava beans
I shucked this batch and Dave peeled them last night while I prepared dinner. This is one of the few garden/kitchen chores that Dave willingly (mostly) participates in. A couple of years ago I threatened to cut way back on the fava production because I was weary of doing all the work to prepare them. Well, Dave loves favas and got a bit panicked about a possible fava shortage so he promised to help with the hard work - and I haven't let him forget that promise. So part of the haul went into a topping for bruschetta last night. I grilled some of my home baked bread, spread it with a mixture of sheep's milk ricotta that was seasoned with mint and Cilician parsley, and topped that with a mixture of chopped favas warmed in some olive oil with thin sliced spring onion greens and drizzled with some olio nuovo and of course some coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper. Big Yum!

Spadona chicory
Spadona chicory (Chichorium intybus) is a bitter sweet cutting green somewhat like dandelions. It can be used fresh in salads or cooked. This first harvest got blanched and then sauteed with a sliced spring onion and bacon with a couple of eggs folded in. The plants should continue to produce leaves for at least a few more cuttings. This is my first time growing it so I don't know how quickly it will bolt.

Round Red turnips
I loved the Mikado baby white turnips that I grew for the first time last year so I decided to branch out and add these red turnips to the lineup. They matured pretty quickly, just 2 months from sowing the seeds directly into the garden to the first harvest. The tops are tender and tasty. I had them for lunch yesterday, sauteed with a few thin strips of pork and minced garlic with some leftover Purgatory beans mixed in. I haven't used the roots yet.

Round Red Turnips
Here's the third harvest of Atlantis Brokali.  It's still producing nice big shoots with long stalks, but it looks like the next harvest will feature smaller and shorter stalks.

Atlantis Brokali
Ruby Gem romaine and Ruby Streaks mizuna - so difficult to photograph. I made a salad with the lettuce that also featured some Golden beets, bacon, blue cheese, and a spring onion. The dressing was a simple one with Viognier Honey vinegar, hazelnut oil, and olive oil.

Ruby Gem romaine and Ruby Streaks mustard
Dave really liked that salad and requested it again, but I didn't have any more beets and I really needed to harvest a head of the Sweetie Baby romaine, so I made a similar salad with the Sweetie Baby romaine and used a pear instead of beets. That salad was a hit also.

Spring onion (Candy) and Sweetie Baby romaine
The cress patch was ready for another haircut so now there's a bag of that in the fridge waiting to be used in a salad. One of my favorite lunch salads of late has been a mix of cress, arugula, and Ruby Streaks mustard with radishes, avocado, spring onion, and sunflower seeds tossed with Merlot agrodolce vinegar and olive oil. It's colorful and has a nice mix of assertive flavors. I'll probably start tossing in some favas now as well.

Dutch Broadleaf cress
The only harvest not photographed last week was the final harvest of Selzer Purple radishes.

Here's the details of the harvests last week:

Atlantis brokali - 1 lb., 6.6 oz.
Spadona chicory - 12.7 oz.
Dutch Broadleaf cress - 4.6 oz.
Extra Precoce Violetto fava beans - 8 lb., 3.5 oz.
Ruby Gem romaine lettuce - 6 oz.
Sweetie Baby romaine lettuce - 11.8 oz.
Mixed varieties spring onions - 1 lb., 3.6 oz.
Selzer Purple radishes - 12.3 oz. (trimmed)
Round Red turnips - 45.6 oz. (including leaves)

Total for the past week - 16 lb., 15 oz.
2015 YTD - 152 lb., 12.5 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.


  1. It sure looks like the garden has been productive! That's an impressive mix of goodies you have there. I love the fava story too. I tried red turnips last fall, and I enjoyed them fermented and pickled. Turnips do well in spring here but I usually never get around to sowing any until fall.

  2. Boy 152 pounds already. I won't hit that until July sometimes. At least usually that is the case. Your salads always sound so good.

  3. The red turnips are so pretty and your salads sound delicious, how's Atlantis vs sprouting broccoli, do you like the taste and texture?

  4. I really like the Atlantis brokali. I don't think that there's a huge difference in flavor between it and Di Ciccio sprouting broccoli, maybe slightly more mild. What I really like is that it's still great when the heads loosen up, the stalks get long but remain tender and I do love to eat the stalks. Funny how some people just don't like the stalks, I served some to a guest recently who ate the tops and left the stalks.

  5. I am growing that same fava variety this year (inspired by your posts) and simply can't wait for that first harvest! I don't think I've ever had fresh favas (and definitely never homegrown), only frozen. And your bruschetta? Oh boy...yummy yum yum! Your Dave is definitely spoiled!


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