Monday, August 3, 2015

Harvest Monday - August 3, 2015

There's a few new veggies trickling in now. The Romanesco zucchini seems to be going into decline, it seemed to get the signal that its time was coming to an end when it grew the big 4 pounder a couple of weeks ago. It's growing less vigorously and the zucchini are smaller from the time they bloom. But that's ok, the Tromba D'Albenga squash are just getting started so there won't be a gap in the squash harvest.

Tromba D'Albenga and Romanesco zucchinis
 And just as the Royal Burgundy and Slenderette bush beans are winding down the Rattlesnake and Purple pole beans are starting to produce. I steamed these for just 3 minutes then shocked them in ice water to stop them cooking. Both varieties turned entirely green when cooked. These got warmed through in a simple Tomato Sauce with Onion and Butter from Marcella Hazan and served with a ball of Buffalo Mozzarella wrapped in prosciutto which was seared all around just long enough to warm the cheese but not melt it. (I always have some of that tomato sauce on hand in the freezer). Both varieties of beans are tender and flavorful and beautiful in the harvest basket.

Rattlesnake and Purple pole beans
And just a few days later the Stortino di Trento beans started to produce as well. I steamed and shocked these beans also, but they were served as part of a composed salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, and beets.

Stortino di Trento pole beans
Most of the tomatoes in that composed salad came from the Farmer's Market bu there were a few Sweet Gold cherry tomatoes on the plate from the harvest shown below. The orange tomatoes are the first Jaune Flamme tomatoes harvested this year. And you can see that the cucumber vines are quite prolific. A lot of the cukes got shared with my shift mates at the Aquarium.

Green Fingers and Tasty Treat cucumbers

That's the second main "head" of Di Ciccio broccoli from the summer planting.

Romanesco zucchini and Di Ciccio broccoli
 The first head was rather small, but the two heads together made a generous portion for two people. I split the heads into stalks, blanched them for about a minute, cooled them, then slicked them with a bit of olive oil and roasted them in a 400ºF oven.

Di Ciccio broccoli and Speedy arugula
I've also been harvesting small amounts of the Spigariello Riccia broccoli. It puts out long shoots that I cut back back fairly low.

Spigariello Riccia broccoli
The lower stems are too tough to eat even if they are peeled, but the leaves and shoots growing along the stems are good. I use the top portion of the stem, cutting it where the stem is tender, and cut off the larger leaves, removing their stems because they can get a bit stringy, and use the side shoots whole unless their stems have toughened so those get trimmed to a tender point. These stems were harvested before any flower buds developed so I use it like kale. This bunch was blanched, chopped and incorporated into a frittata.

Trimmed Spigariello shoots
The three Padron pepper plants are all producing now. Each harvest has been just enough to make a nice serving of pan fried peppers for the two of us.

Padron peppers
Yesterday I harvested the first Mareko Fana peppers. These seem to be a multi-purpose pepper, good in an immature green stage as a frying pepper similar to Padrons, or mature to be used as a fresh seasoning pepper, or dried to make pepper flakes. I can't report yet on how they compare to Padrons, I put off frying this harvest until tonight or tomorrow.

Padron (top) and Mareko Fana peppers
This is the thinnings from my patch of Thai Tender amaranth. We had these braised with some zucchini and mushrooms and eggs served over some toasted rustic bread.

Thai Tender amaranth
I saved the weird veg for last. This is a head of Sicilian cauliflower which I dubbed a funkyflower.  It didn't make a classic head of cauliflower, but it tastes just fine.

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

Thai Tender amaranth - 4 oz.
Speedy arugula - 9.9 oz.
Purple pole beans - 7.7 oz.
Rattlesnake beans - 14.3 oz.
Strotino di Trento beans - 4.3 oz.
Di Ciccio broccoli - 10.9 oz.
Spigariello Riccia broccoli -  8.4 oz. (trimmed)
Sicilian cauliflower - 3 lb., 11.1 oz.
Green Fingers cucumbers - 2 lb., 14.8 oz.
Tasty Treat cucumbers - 3 lb., 12.9 oz.
Mareko Fana peppers - 1.6 oz.
Padron peppers - 11 oz.
Jaune Flamme tomatoes - 5.3 oz.
Sweet Gold tomatoes - 3.8 oz.
Romanesco zucchini - 1 lb., 6.1 oz.
Tromba D'Albenga squash - 12.8 oz.

Total for the week - 17 lb., 10.9 oz. (8 kg.)
2015 YTD - 428 lb., 11.8 oz. (194.5 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. You commented (on my blog) recently about organic gardeners being used to "ugly" veggies ... that certainly is an interesting looking cauliflower, so glad that it tastes good. :)

    Wonderful harvest, and beautiful pics, as always.

  2. Wow, that funkyflower really lives up to its name. Glad it was tasty. Congratulations on so many nice things. It's funny, I read "composed salad" as "composted salad," and I thought, I've had a few of those. It's nice you volunteer at the MB Aquarium--it's a wonderful place.

  3. That is a very strange looking cauliflower. And it looks just huge. Maybe you actually got more cauliflower from it than from a normal one. How tall does the Thai amaranth get? I'd love a shorter bushier amaranth than the ones I'm growing.

    1. That cauliflower was definitely larger than average. The Thai amaranth stays pretty compact.
      it's about 10-12 inches high now and shouldn't get to be more than about 18 inches high if it's not allowed to bloom - the seeds are from Baker Creek. I'm also growing another dwarf variety called Tender Leaf which is even a bit more compact - it's from Evergreen Seeds. Evergreen also has another variety named White Leaf which is supposed to be relatively smaller and slower growing, but I haven't tried that one.

  4. We tried our first Mareko Fana peppers last night... super spicy at about 5 inches long. Will try harvesting some littler ones next!

    1. Mine are about 3 inches long, maybe they won't be so spicy. I'll report back.

  5. Such beautiful beans - and very artistically arranged spiral too! Your cucumbers are definitely coming in fast and furious. Over 27 lbs in a week? I'm sure your friends at the Aquarium are more than happy to take them off your hands!

  6. Love the photo of the pinwheeled pole beans. Three lbs of cauliflower is great, but that really was some funky looking produce. Glad it tasted good.

  7. You seldom grow anything ordinary! I would like to know how you "shock" beans, please?!

    1. Maybe you use a different term, but that's what I call it when I drop the hot fresh cooked beans in ice water to stop the cooking so they don't get too soft and it also helps to retain the bright color.

  8. It looks like the Rattlesnake beans are growing well for you. I didn't grow them this year, and I miss them so they will be back next year!

  9. The\at cauliflower is a work of art, glad it tasted good. I envy the cucumbers. I am getting plenty of tomatoes but no cukes yet.

  10. The spiral beans and cauliflower are so pretty, cucumber envy here, I didn't grow any this year, keep forgetting to sow seeds.

  11. The Sicilian cauliflower is magnificent, hats off to you for saving the best for last. But it all looks great, wonderful harvest a reward for all your hard work.


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