Monday, August 10, 2015

Harvest Monday - August 10, 2015

The first eggplant of the season was ready to harvest last week. It's right on schedule, last year I harvested the first eggplant, although a different variety on August 2. There won't be many of these to show off this year, more about that in a post to come. This first specimen went into a casserole of sorts. I cut the eggplant into slices and panfried it. The slices were layered with some roasted sweet peppers (last year's from the freezer), some grilled sweet onions, and some mozzarella, in tomato puree (also from the freezer) and topped with parmesan and baked until bubbling hot. That was delicious.

Bonica eggplant
On the subject of eggplant, I pulled out a package of frozen eggplant that I had fire roasted last year, thawed it out, chopped it up, mixed it with minced fresh garlic (one of my runty specimens that I didn't even bother to weigh), olive oil, a dash of fish sauce, and fresh mint. Piled that on top of grilled bread and drizzled it with pomegranate molasses. It got rave reviews! It's funny that as things are coming in from the garden it's reminding me of things I still have in the freezer and I'm pulling them out to use before this year's glut begins.

A couple of tomato varieties produced the first ripe fruits last week. The red one is Camp Joy, a large cherry tomato with a classic umami laden tomato flavor. The striped one in the center is Spike, whose flavor I can't comment on since I haven't tasted it yet. The orange tomatoes are Jaune Flamme, a favorite around here that I've been growing for a few years.

Camp Joy, Jaune Flamme, and Spike tomatoes
The Mareko Fana pepper plants are producing a few peppers at a time, I had three small harvests last week and I'm saving them up for one good fry up. We tasted the first few from the prior week and compared them to some Padrons that I cooked up separately. I should have taken notes because I don't recall the specifics other than to say the the Mareko Fanas compared favorably in terms of flavor and they had a bit more spice. All the the Padrons that I've harvested so far have been completely mild. The Mareko Fanas had just a hint of heat, they were interesting because the initial flavor seemed to indicate that there should be more heat but it stopped there. Both Dave and I really liked them.

Mareko Fana peppers, Sweet Gold and Camp Joy tomatoes
The Padron peppers have become quite productive. We've enjoyed a few fry ups in the past couple of weeks. The last round was large enough to produce leftovers that will go into a frittata for Dave's lunches.

Padron peppers
I'm growing two varieties of amaranth for greens. This is the thinnings from the Tender Leaf variety. This bunch was cooked very simply, wilted with some garlic and a dash of fish sauce. And that's my entire harvest of the latest planting of Ruby Streaks mizuna, it was starting to bolt already. I'll be using it in my lunch salads this week.

Tender Leaf amaranth and Ruby Streaks mizuna
The Tromba D'Albenga squash vines are producing a squash every few days now. They are coming in just as the Romanesco is going out. The nice thing about the Tromba squash is that one squash is large enough to equal two or three zucchini. The only thing I don't like about the Tromba squash is that they are hard to wrap up and store in the fridge unless you cut them up which I don't like to do since I think they keep better if they are kept whole.

Romanesco zucchini and Tromba D'Albenga squash
The Tasty Treat cucumbers went on a production spree while the Green Fingers cucumbers took a break last week.

Tasty Treat and Green Fingers cucumbers
Tromba D'Albenga squash and Romanesco zucchini
Take a good look, this is the last Romanesco zucchini that you'll see from my garden this year, the plant got pulled yesterday.

Romanesco zucchini
The snap beans are going full bore now. The Rattlesnake beans are especially productive. The purple beans are more modest. There's something that has a taste for the purple beans, I think it's sow bugs, I've been finding them up in the vines and I keep finding immature purple beans with chunks chewed out of them. The Stortino di Trento beans are nearly as productive as the Rattlesnake beans but the beans are shorter so they weigh in lighter.

Rattlesnake, Purple, and Stortino di Trento beans
The beans got away from me when I couldn't harvest for a couple of days because my back went spastic. It's amazing how quickly they get fat. The fattest of the beans are a bit too tough for simply steaming, so I roasted them instead and served them topped with a sauce made from sauteed onions and ground veal in tomato puree seasoned with Urfa pepper flakes (not my own), pomegranate molasses, and garam masala. That all got topped with chopped tomato, basil, and cilantro. Yummy!

Purple and Rattlesnake beans
Stortino di Trento beans
I pulled out all the Red Baron and Golden beets that I had sown for summer harvests. These have been roasted and I'll be including them in salads this week.

Yet one more funky Sicilian cauliflower which really got away from me. It was difficult to tell just how overgrown it was because there are so many leaves growing up between the florets which I trimmed back before taking the photo.

You may have seen these already, these are the onions that I used to experiment with smoking and drying onions.

Here's the end product, dehydrated until leathery. Now I need to come up with some good uses for them. I think they would be interesting ground up and mixed with salt to make a smoky onion salt. I'm also thinking that they would be really tasty in bean soup or baked beans.

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

Tender Leaf amaranth - 8.9 oz.
Purple pole beans - 13.7 oz.
Rattlesnake beans - 2 lb., 7.4 oz.
Stortino di Trento beans - 1 lb., 4.1 oz.
Golden beets - 11.4 oz.
Red Baron beets - 1 lb., 1.7 oz.
Sicilian cauliflower - 3 lb., 5.4 oz.
Green Fingers cucumbers - 1.6 oz.
Tasty Treat cucumbers - 1 lb., 13.3 oz.
Bonica eggplant - 15.4 oz.
Ruby Streaks mizuna - 4.6 oz.
Candy onions - 3 lb., 1.3 oz.
Superstar onion - 1 lb., 9.2 oz.
Tonda Musona onion - 11.4 oz.
Mareko Fana peppers - 3.3 oz.
Padron peppers - 11.1 oz.
Camp Joy tomatoes - 4.2 oz.
Jaune Flamme tomatoes - 6.8 oz.
Spike tomato - 2 oz.
Sweet Gold tomatoes - 3.9 oz.
Romanesco zucchini - 2 lb., .9 oz.
Tromba D'Albenga squash - 3 lb., 2.6 oz.

Total harvests for the week - 26 lb., .2 oz. (11.8 kg.)
2015 YTD - 454 lb., 12 oz. (206.3 kg.)

Harvest Monday is hosted by Daphne on her blog Daphne's Dandelions, head on over there to be inspired by what other garden bloggers have been harvesting lately.


  1. So many beans! And I love the tromba squash. I've never been much of an eggplant fan but you make them sound pretty good.

  2. Look at all those beans. I hope your back is feeling better. I hate when my health keeps me from the garden.

  3. Lovely eggplant and tomatoes. I did not know "umami" applied to tomatoes...or is it just that variety?

  4. I am doing the same thing with my freezer stores - and I'm hoping to be more organized & label everything better than I did last year so that there is a bit less guessing going on!

    You are harvesting your last romanesco and I'm just starting to see some male flowers on my late sown one - hopefully I'll be harvesting at least a few squash before the season is done. I'll have to add those Mareko Fanas to my list - with our short season, I'm always on the lookout for peppers that are usually picked while still green.

  5. Nice, you are starting to get tomatoes now. Your growing season still puzzles me a little. I guess it doesn't warm up until later. My usual tactic with fat beans is simpler than yours, stew them with tomatoes, onions and a chili pepper. Makes them tender and tasty and the leftovers freeze well.

  6. Seeing all those Rattlesnake beans makes me regret not growing them this year. They are supposed to like the heat, and they obviously like your conditions too. The Spike tomato looks like a larger version of one of the Bumble Bee cherry tomato varieties. And a nice size, about the same as the JFs. I think I would grow them for the visual appeal alone! They look great mixed in with the orange and reds.

  7. First off, I hope that you are feeling much better. And I am so envious of your padron peppers! That's what my mystery plant was suppose to be. Lovely eggplants as well. Have a great harvest week.

  8. The Spike tomato is pretty, love your beans. Strangely I did not get a single spicy Padron pepper this year, maybe too much rain?


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