Monday, April 20, 2015

Harvest Monday - April 20, 2015

Harvests galore this week, most notably fava beans. I harvested two basketfuls, only one of which was photographed.

Extra Precoce Violetto favas
The Violetto in the name refers to the color of the mature dried beans, the immature beans are green all the way through. We've been feasting on the fresh beans. Some of them went into what I call one of my "veggie medleys", a mixture of stirfried or braised vegetables, whatever is coming from the garden and it's never the same twice. I turned some into one of Dave's favorite fava treats, Fresh Fava Bean Dip. And yesterday we had an Italian inspired treat. I was trying to figure out an easy way to serve Favas & Pecorino as a post hike snack and decided to do a rif on another dish that I've been playing with lately - filled lettuce cups. I used leaves from the hearts of the butterhead lettuces shown in the photo below, placed a thin slice of young pecorino cheese in a leaf, topped it with a spoonful of peeled favas, drizzled it with some good extra virgin olive oil, and finished it with a pinch of coarse sea salt. It was delicious.

Rhapsody butterhead lettuces

The night before we filled the lettuce leaves with sauteed ling cod that I had marinated in coconut milk and green curry, some grated fresh radishes and carrots, cilantro, chopped peanuts and Vietnamese dipping sauce (lime juice, fish sauce, chile paste, garlic, and sugar). Another tasty treat.

Express Red cabbage

One of the Express Red cabbages was threatening to split so I harvested it and it awaits in the fridge.

Round Red and Mikado turnips

Some of the red turnips were starting to bolt and the Mikado turnips were growing out of their "baby" phase so I cleared out the turnip patch. These will keep in the fridge awhile also.

Saisai radish leaves
The tops of the Saisai Leaf radishes had another growth spurt. Those leaves are huge, most of them more than 12-inches. I decided to thin the patch so there's 4 plants shown below that got pulled which still leaves 11 plants in the garden. Saisai is a daikon radish that is grown primarily for its leaves which are tender and mild. I blanched the whole bunch and squeezed out the extra water so now they take up a fraction of the original space in the fridge and I can use them at my leisure in veggie medleys or breakfast scrambles, or whatever...

Saisai radishes
Those are the last harvest of Atlantis Brokali. I've decided to pull out the plants to make room for some Spigariello broccoli plants that are ready to be planted out. I've got Purple Peacock broccoli in the garden that are close to their first harvests and a different Spigariello broccoli that is just starting to form flowering shoots, so I don't need to wait for round two from Atlantis. The Saisai radishes started to pop out new leaves in a hurry so I'm trying to stay ahead by harvesting the leaves before they get too big. These are tender and mild enough to use in salads.

Atlantis Brokali and Saisai radish leaves
I've been clearing out volunteer Romanesco fennel plants that popped up in the area where I laid out the mature fennel tops last fall. And I'm harvesting immature onions on an almost daily basis.

Spring onions and Romanesco fennel
The trimmed fennel bulbs also keep well in the fridge (which is near to bursting now). Most of these are going into salads.

Cilician parsley, spring onions, Ruby Gem romaine lettuce

More lettuce and onions and a handful of Cilician parsley. We have been enjoying salads on a regular basis. The young sweet onions are sweeter than typical scallions and are a very tasty addition to salads.

Here's the harvests for the past week:

Atlantis brokali - 8.5 oz.
Express Red cabbage - 4 lb., 2.7 oz.
Extra Precoce Violetto favas - 18 lb., 10.8 oz.
Romanesco fennel - 5 lb., 6.4 oz. (trimmed)
Rhapsody butterhead lettuce - 1 lb., 14.3 oz.
Ruby Gem romaine lettuce - 7 oz.
Mixed spring onions - 2 lb., 4.1 oz.
Saisai radish leaves - 3 lb., 4.6 oz.
Mikado turnips - 2 lb., 13.7 oz. (trimmed)
Round Red turnips - 1 lb., 6.5 oz. (trimmed)

Total for the week - 40 lb., 14.6 oz.
2015 YTD - 193 lb., 11.1 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. Wow up to 40 pounds a week already. I can see why your fridge is bursting at the seams.

  2. Sounds like you're gonna need a bigger frig! ;-) They really ought to make one for gardeners that has extra space for veggies. Our crisper drawers are always full and so are the shelves. Not at the moment, but when the garden starts producing they are.

    I wish I could figure out the timing on growing bulbing fennel here. My wife and I both love to eat it, especially grilled, but my efforts at growing it have been spotty to say the least. It obviously loves your conditions if it is volunteering like that! Those filled lettuce cups had me salivating by the way.

  3. Lovely harvest, there's never enough refrigerator space for gardeners! I have not been able to grow a nice head of buttercrunch lettuce yet, gotta keep trying.

  4. Oh my, Michelle, your garden puts mine to shame. Mt cabbages have not made heads, my radishes went to see before I got them picked (I swear they never made a real radish),

  5. Those Lettuce Cups with pecorino and Fava beans sound really delicious. You are much more inventive with your food than most bloggers I know! My Broad Beans (Favas) are only just producing flowers, so I have some weeks to wait still. I'm interested to see you write about using the Saisai radish tops in salads, because all the radish leaves I have encountered were rather tough and hairy - not the sort of thing I would want to eat raw.

    1. I agree with you about most radish tops, coarse and with too strong of a flavor. The Saisai radish leaves are much different, more tender and mild especially if they are harvested young.

  6. Nice harvest, but 40 pounds!? How do two people eat all that? Putting it in the fridge only delays the inevitable. The Ciliican parsley looks interesting. How does it taste compared to the typical flat leaf?

    1. Well, to be honest, the bulk of that 40 pounds was the fava pods which go into the compost. And a lot of the shelled favas will go into the freezer. But we do eat a lot of vegetables, we eat them for lunch and dinner and oftentimes I have them for breakfast too. Radish greens and spring onion in broth with an egg this morning. And veggies aren't a side dish for most of our meals, they fill most of the plate for most meals. The traditional protein/starch/veggie meal is a rare event for us.

      The Cilician parsley is different from the usual flat leaf parsley, it has a more delicate texture and a more complex flavor, less "green" tasting and I alway seem to taste a hint of nutmeg. I am going to try to save seeds from my latest planting, but I had to dig the plants out and put them in containers so I'm not sure how that will go. The next sowing will definitely go into a space where they can stay and produce seeds.

  7. Beautiful harvests! Especially love the basket of favas - I sowed some just before I left on vacation and am hoping that they received enough moisture while I was away. No sign of them yet, but hopefully soon. The Cilican parsley sounds really nice - will be adding that one to my list.


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