Monday, May 11, 2015

Harvest Monday - May 11, 2015

The harvests were a little lighter this week, mostly because I put off harvesting favas from yesterday to today. Dave actually volunteered to help me finish off refilling bed #3, which I had slowly, very slowly, dug through and lined with a root barrier because the oak tree roots had invaded. Yesterday was soil moving day so the favas had to wait. Now I can get that bed ready for tomatoes, peppers, and eggplant.

We've been enjoying lots of spring onions. Most have progressed beyond the scallion stage and are bulbing up. This one vaguely reminded me of Cousin Itt (I'm seriously dating myself).

This bunch looks deceptively small. These were the last of the last seedlings that I didn't have room for in the rows of onions so I just plopped them in the soil at the edge of the bed in a clump. I didn't realize how big they had become until I had to pull them out to transplant the leeks. A few of them are as big as the one shown above, just not quite as round, the sides have been smooshed up a bit from growing so close together. Now I have to think of something to do with 3.5 pounds of spring onions.

I made another pass through the spring salad greens. I need to sow a new patch of salad greens because most of them are starting to bolt. The Dutch Broadleaf cress is putting all its energy into trying to bolt so the leaves are tough and bitter now. The mizuna is just starting to bolt so I might get one more pass.

Ruby Streaks mizuna
The arugula is already producing some flowers as you can see below. Speedy stays pretty mild even at this stage so I might get another pass.

Speedy arugula
 The chicory seems to be resisting bolting though.

Spadona chicory
Red Iceberg lettuce. I got to this one a bit late, it had started to split internally and was a bit bitter but some homemade blue cheese dressing made it palatable. I forgot to weigh this one...

The Purple Peacock broccoli is very slow to put out side shoots, this was all that was ready to harvest this week. These got lightly braised with the previous harvest with some spring onions seasoned a dash of fish sauce and a drizzle of pomegranate molasses. It sounds like a strange combination but it was delicious. And I got a surprisingly nice harvest of Golden Sweet snow peas from a few plants that volunteered on the edge of the cabbage patch. I had to pull the plants out to make way for the transplanted leeks and managed to glean about 1/3 pound of peas.

The chard is starting to bolt but I got a few good huge but tender leaves off of one of the Peppermint Stick plants. And there's a few Red Candy Apple spring onions.

The only thing harvested but not photographed was one more volunteer Romanesco fennel. I used that along with some spring onions in a saute with some red cabbage. I slowly cooked the onion and thin sliced fennel until they became meltingly tender and then added the cabbage and just wilted the cabbage. The sweet onion and fennel was a nice contrast to the slightly crunchy cabbage.

Speaking of cabbage, we've been working our way through the sauerkraut that I made a couple of weeks ago in various open faced sandwiches. The formula has been simple - toast a slice of bread, add an optional layer of meat, top with kraut, top with slices of cheese, place under broiler to melt cheese. We've tried it with shredded chicken one time and another time with a slice of prosciutto (which Dave dubbed the Carmel Valley Reuben) and I've got smoked turkey on my shopping list. The cheese has varied, one time some local raw milk Tomme, another time with a young Manchego, and I can't remember what else - basically whatever cheese we had on hand. Last week I tried my hand at baking a naturally leavened part rye bread with some success and it was delicious paired with the kraut.

Rye is very different from wheat and easy to mess up. I considered this my "learning" loaf with only 40% whole rye flour. It wasn't perfect, it split quite a bit because I didn't let it rise enough before baking, but other than that it was great. I'll try the same formula again to see if I can figure out the proper proofing time and then I'll try a higher percentage of rye in the next loaf. BTW, I made it without caraway seeds. I don't know why most American rye breads have caraway in them, I think it's much better without.

Here's the details of the harvests for the past week:

Speedy arugula - 6 oz.
Purple Peacock broccoli - 2.3 oz.
Spadona chicory - 11.6 oz.
Romanesco fennel - 11.6 oz.
Ruby Streaks mizuna - 11 oz.
Spring onions - 5 lb., 3.6 oz.
Golden Sweet snow peas - 5.7 oz.

Total for the week - 8 lb., 3.8 oz.
2015 YTD - 268 lb., 1.6 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. Oh I remember cousin It! Wonderful harvests - I'll be interested to see what you do with those spring onions.

    That loaf looks delicious. That's strange about the caraway - around here, although some rye does have caraway, a lot doesn't. I purchase rye all the time as that's our breakfast bread of choice and definitely prefer the caraway free version.

    1. I have a spring onion and spigariello broccoli soup in mind for dinner tonight.

  2. I love rye bread - but I like it with Caraway (as long as it doesn't have too much of it). The photo of the Purple Peacock broccoli immediately caught my eye - it is so vividly coloured. Does it retain any colour when cooked, or does it just go green like PSB usually does?

    1. It does retain much of its color so long as it is not overcooked.

  3. I do see the resemblance to Cousin Itt! I love the sound of your 'reubens' too. I've not made any breads with more than 40% rye. I've been adding whole wheat to the rye, which makes a loaf I'm happy to eat. I bet that learning loaf was tasty despite the rising issues. Looks like it got a nice oven spring though. Did you give it a steam treatment?

  4. Lovely harvests. And you are dating me too, because I remember that show. But I totally disagree with you on caraway seeds. I love them. Not that I use them, I'm into dill seed since it is similar and it is a weed all through my garden.

  5. Your cousin it looks huge! Thankfully I can find rye bread here without the caraway as I'm not a fan but also don't know why it's so darn common. I'm looking forward to hearing what you do with all those spring onions.

  6. Nice to see the Golden Sweets, I'm growing those this year. The caraway thing is German/Eastern European I believe. I happen to like it while my wife does not, although she will happily snarf it down on an everything bagel. Go figure.


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