Monday, January 4, 2016

Harvest Monday - January 4, 2016

Welcome to Harvest Monday! I'm stepping in for Dave of Our Happy Acres as temporary host of Harvest Monday for the month of January. Don't worry, Dave is just taking a break, he'll resume as host on February 2.

The most exciting thing to come from my garden this week was fresh spinach. I got my winter spinach plants off to a very late start but my trick of growing them in cloches helped them to produce a decent first crop just before the end of the year.

Summer Perfection spinach
I used the Verdil spinach in a sort of soupy preparation, I wilted the spinach in some broth that was flavored with some tomato and sweet pepper conservas (pastes) that I made this fall. Then the spinach was piled onto some garlicky toasts in wide bowls with lots of the broth poured over, the whole garnished with seared sweet onions, toasted pine nuts, feta cheese, and Mareko Fana pepper flakes. The Summer Perfection spinach was used to make a salad with pomelo, pomegranate, and hearts of palm with a Meyer Lemon dressing.

Verdil spinach

I pulled a couple more parsnips to roast with some Brussels sprouts and onions. These were the mildest and sweetest ones to come from the garden so far thanks to a number of frosty nights. The tops of the plants are looking a bit sad with their foliage all flopped over, but the roots are marvelous.  Dave remarked at how creamy the texture was yet the chunks were not mushy and falling apart. I'm definitely going to try growing parsnips again next year. It's a veggie that requires a lot of patience to grow, they start off so slowly and take a long time to get to harvestable size, but these have been better than any parsnip I've ever purchased so they are definitely worth the effort. It's such an underappreciated veggie.

Gladiator parsnips

The one Spigariello Foglia Ricca broccoli plant left from the spring sowing just keeps on growing and shows no signs of forming flower buds yet, but it's producing lots of beautiful leafy shoots that can be used like kale. I cut one branch off the plant and then cut all the shoots growing on it.

Spigariello Foglia Ricca broccoli
I ended up with a basketful of leafy greens which I braised with some onion and garlic and other seasonings and paired it with some San Franciscano beans that I had purchased from Rancho Gordo a while ago.

Spigariello Foglia Riccia broccoli
Here's a beet that only a gardener could love, definitely one for the ugly veggie arcade. It is a rather warty looking thing, but the flaws were all on the the rootlets and the main root was just fine. I'm not sure why it produced the bulbous growths but I suspect it may be the beneficial bacterial and mycorrhizal inoculants that I've been using, they can produce benign growths like that on roots.

Chioggia beet

Chioggia beet
I used quite a few of my preserved veggies in the past week, including some Negro de Valle dried chile peppers that I grew back in 2013. The split dried peppers have kept remarkably well in a canning jar that I keep vacuum sealed with an attachment for my FoodSaver machine. I also used a few of my homemade chipotle peppers with the Negro de Valle peppers to make a spice paste for a shoulder of goat that I slow cooked based on a recipe from the book In The Charcuterie and served with some of my Taos Pueblo Blue corn that I nixtamalized to make posole. I made enough posole to have extras and that went into soup with green beans and roasted sweet red peppers from the freezer along with some dried Tromba D'Albenga zucchini and canned tomatoes.

Veggie Packed frittata
My latest fritatta used a number of veggies from my stores including onions, frozen fava beans, dried tomatoes, and dried zucchini as well as fresh broccoli.

I am relying heavily on my stash of preserved veggies right now because the garden isn't producing much and my favorite farmer's market which runs all year - rain or shine - is on Fridays so it was closed for both Christmas and New Years Day.

So here's the harvest totals for the past week:

Chioggia beet - 11.4 oz.
Spigariello Riccia broccoli - 14.4 oz.
Gladiator parsnips - 10.9 oz.
Summer Perfection spinach - 11.8 oz.
Verdil spinach - 11.9 oz.

Total harvests for the past week - 3 lb., 12.4 oz. (1.7 kg.)
Final total for 2015 - 1232 lb., 9.1 oz. (559.1 kg.)
No harvests yet for 2016...

Harvest Monday is a place to showcase everything harvest related, what you've harvested, how you are preserving your harvests, and how you are using your harvests. You needn't be harvesting anything new to participate, write a post about how you've been using your preserved harvests and then link up. I'm sure we could all use some inspiration when it comes to using up the canned tomatoes and frozen veggies, (and  my wrinkling winter squashes) that we all worked so hard to produce and preserve. If you want to join in the fun just add your name and a link to your post in Mister Linky below. Then stop by the other linked posts to see what other garden bloggers have been harvesting and cooking up lately.

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  1. That basket of broccoli looks awesome! Very interesting variety. And yes, parsnips take forever. I grew them for the first time in 2015 - I seeded them early in the spring and just left them until October! Fresh spinach would be wonderful right now ...

  2. Love the looks of the Spigariello Foglia Ricca broccoli I should learn more about it.

  3. Your spinach did amazingly, I'll have to try cloches because my fall sown spinach did nothing this year. And your beet looks massive in that picture.

  4. That Spigariello is sure wild looking with all those curly leaves. The frittata looks good too. Ours usually wind up with whatever odds and ends we can throw in them. Thanks again for giving me a break from HM!

  5. That spinach is so lovely as are those parsnips. I'm only planning on adding a couple of new veg in the coming year and parsnips is definitely one of them.

  6. Just noted the revised arrangements for Harvest Monday... I have only just got home from work and I will look at everything in more detail later.

  7. Me again... I'm a big fan of Parsnips, but not only are they quite tricky to grow (they dislike being transplanted; seeds don't remain viable very long; plants take a long time to grow), but also they need care in cooking. Unlike boiled Carrots, boiled Parsnips are not pleasant, and they often go soggy. They are best roasted, but are also good made into soup - especially curried! This year my parsnips were rubbish, so I am jealous of those fine specimens of yours. Your frittata looks very impressive too - very colourful.

  8. Oh bloomin 'eck I just accidentally lost what I was typing. I sometimes hit 'sign out' instead of 'notify me'. Must get smaller fingers. Here goes again.
    I was saying that your harvests are amazing! And the meals sound delicious too. I forgot to include a large gnarly parsnip in my harvests this week. It was ok once the wonky bits were cut off and like Mark says above, lovely roasted, with stored potatoes and squash. I also forgot some leeks and chard I harvested during my lunch break today too but they'll look nicer when they're cleaned up anyway - the slugs and snails haven't taken much of a break this mild winter so the outer leaves are pretty tatty.
    Thanks for hosting HM this month :)

  9. The Spigariello is an interesting plant. Looks a little like the Jagollo Nero kale I saw at the botanical garden this summer, but the Spigariello leaves are more twisted. Maybe I should try this, I might be more successful with it than broccoli. And that's a crazy looking beet.


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