Monday, June 15, 2015

Harvest Monday - June 15, 2015

It was not a big week of harvests, at least not for June, back in January it would have been a bounty.

The big stars of the week were a couple of heads of Italienischer lettuce. The lettuces are growing unbelievably quickly, and the Italienischer in particular. This big oakleaf type has thick crunchy ribs making a nice mix of soft and crunch. I'm finding that I like it best in a simple green salad with an oil and vinegar dressing. We tried it one night with some blue cheese dressing, but the dressing weighed it down too much and the salad flattened out on the plate - it was tasty but not a pretty sight.

Italienischer lettuce
Romanesco zucchini came in second in terms of productivity last week, but only slipped into one photo along with some Spigariello Liscia broccoli and some strawberries. The other night I grilled some sliced zucchini, arranged the zucchini on a platter, then added strips of preserved sweet peppers, thin sliced sweet red onion that was quickly pickled with salt and red wine vinegar, and some Roquerones (preserved white anchovies), and drizzled on a simple oil and vinegar dressing. That was a tasty treat, and pretty too (some day I'll have to figure out how to do a decent photo of a finished dish in the poor lighting of my kitchen).

Spigariello Liscia broccoli

These were the last two "spring onions" for the year.

Here's another "in the garden shot" of the latest harvest of Speedy arugula.

This harvest came from the plants that I interplanted with my bush beans, which are now overwhelming the arugula. That's ok though, I got a couple of very nice harvests of arugula. I can be profligate with my arugula seeds because I collected a jar full of seeds from the plants that I allowed to go to seed last year. Now I've got some new seedlings growing between my corn plants. Speedy is a really good choice for interplanting since it really lives up to it's name.

That same day I harvested a bunch of Spigariello Liscia broccoli shoots.

The plants are getting to be rather rangy.

They are putting out long slender shoots. I cut the shoots down to just one bud, but most of the shoot is too tough to eat, so I find the point where the shoot is easy to cut through and just keep the tender upper part.

My favorite way to prepare this broccoli is to blanch it and then chop it, then saute it with onions and perhaps some raisins or dried cherries, perhaps some pine nuts, maybe some bacon, and sometime some pepper flakes make it into the mix - I don't seem to prepare it the same way twice. It's also very good in a fritatta or in soup. It's not good roasted, the stems are not as tender as a regular type of sprouting broccoli so they get to be too stringy and tough.

Here's a harvest that I didn't record. This is the mess that is my garlic this year. It may not be quite so obvious in this photo, but...

here's a look at some real nastiness. All of the garlic is infected with rust. If I didn't spray with 70% neem at least once a week there would be nothing green in the patch, the plants would be dead by now. I'm about to give up on the garlic and pull it all.

After trimming off the nasty rusty bits and peeling back the out layers this was what's left. It's perfectly edible, so I sliced up all the garlic that I pulled and confited it with white wine, butter, and rice bran oil. The green garlic didn't get as tender as garlic cloves would have been so I pureed the whole thing in my VitaMix blender and I ended up with what I've dubbed "Crema di Green Garlic". Dave thought pesto, but pesto has connotations of nuts and cheese so I thought crema was more appropriate. It is so incredibly delicious that I could just eat it with a spoon or spread it on toast. I ended up tossing some of it with some fresh asparagus which I roasted - big yum. That night I also pan roasted some wild Salmon fresh from Monterey Bay, which we topped with more of the Crema. The rest of the Crema is in the fridge. I'm going to pull more garlic and make another batch and see how well it freezes. I don't have the patience to see how far along towards maturity I can coax the garlic, which likely wouldn't store well anyway, so this seems an easier, not to mention tasty, alternative.

Here's the details of the harvests:

Speedy arugula - 6.9 oz.
Purple Peacock broccoli - 7.1 oz.
Spigariello Liscia broccoli - 1 lb., 7.2 oz.
Italienischer lettuce - 2 lb., 12.2 oz.
Candy onion - 1 lb., 6.6 oz.
Spring onions - 1 lb., 3.5 oz.
Petite Dejeuner radishes - 2.9 oz.
Romanesco zucchini - 2 lb., 1.9 oz.

Total for the week - 10 lb., .2 oz.
2015 YTD - 341 lb., 6.5 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. That is too bad about the rust. At least you have a good solution to save what you have.

  2. That's a shame about the garlic. But as Daphne pointed out, at least your are still able to enjoy it. And you have so many other wonderful harvests as well (I haven't even planted out my squash yet...)

  3. I would truly be lost without garlic. I am thankful we don't have any real pests of it here (so far). The Crema does sound wonderful. I'm such a garlic fan that I've never really tasted a garlic dish that I didn't like!

  4. I like the sound of your newly-invented "crema di green garlic". Necessity is the Mother of invention, as they say, and you have made something good out of your crop where others might have given up. Concerning taking photos in the kitchen - I have the same problem. All my photos of finished dishes come out looking yellow and dark.

  5. Ooh, that rust does look nasty. Thankfully it's a west coast phenomena I don't have to deal with. What do they do in Gilroy? At least you were able to salvage something tasty out of it. And that broccoli is an interesting looking plant.

  6. Sad about the rust, but glad you could make use of it with the Crema (sounds delicious by the way). I have just realized (after ignoring it a few days) that I have leek moth on my garlic. Not sure how well they'll survive going forward but pulled a bunch of the pests off this evening. Argh! I love the look of that first lettuce (won't even bother trying to spell it).

  7. So sorry that you got hit by a rust infestation. I have a good garlic crop growing down here in Southern California. No rust on it. But I have plenty of aphids on my Lacinato kale. Need any extra aphids? ;-)

  8. I love all the elegant European-sounding vegetables you grow. Sorry about the garlic rust. Will the gods give us no peace?


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