Monday, June 20, 2016

Harvest Monday - June 20, 2016

This past week was a pretty generous one for harvests. A number of the spring vegetables are coming to an end and one more summer vegetable is just getting started.

All the cauliflower was ready (or past ready) to be harvested this week. One was on the small side, not quite a buttoned head but not close to full sized either. Another was larger but a bit past its prime so it was loose headed.

Amazing Taste Cauliflower
And I caught the third one just a bit past its prime, it could have been a bit more dense, but it's pretty nice. I roasted the larger florets from the big head shown above and served it atop a Delicata squash puree (still some of those keeping from last year) with some crisp bits of bacon. Last night I roasted the rest of that head after tossing the florets with a mix of finely chopped capers and shallots (shallots from last year also).

Amazing Taste Cauliflower

Sabre Shelling Peas
The shelling peas are just about finished and they put out one big almost final harvest, there's just a few pods left on the plants that I've got to get to today before they get to be too large and starchy. I've been enjoying a lot of the peas straight from the pods in my almost daily lunch salad.

Bolero Carrots
Many of the carrots were in prime condition for pulling. I cleaned out all of the Bolero carrots in 2 separate harvests.

Bolero Carrots

Nelson Carrots
Then I pulled the largest of the Nelson carrots. They were a bit shaded by the Boleros so they are sizing up more slowly.

Rotild Carrots
The Rotild carrots were at the back of the carrot patch and were quite shaded by the quick growing and huge topped Pusa Asita Black and Pusa Rudhira Red carrots. They've started to size up now that they're getting more light.

Purple Sun Carrots
The Purple Sun carrots are in the middle of the patch and have also been slow to size up. I think most purple vegetables are slower growing than their green counterparts anyway, so the next time I grow these they will get to be in the sunniest position.

Purple Sun Carrots

Pusa Rudhira Red Carrots
I pulled all of the Pusa Rudhira Red carrots and got a decent amount.

Not Pusa Asita Black Carrots
And that's the last of the Pusa Asita Black carrots which turned out not to be Pusa Asita Black. I emailed Baker Creek and sent them a photo of the carrots and they have offered to refund the price of the seeds or send me another variety.

Last night I tried whole roasted carrots for the first time (inspired by the roasted carrots from Glen Ellen Star restaurant that Dave had remembered having about a year ago). The weather was quite warm so instead of heating up the kitchen I fired up the Big Green Egg and roasted the carrots in a cast iron skillet in there instead of the oven. They came out great! I preheated the skillet first and then slicked two each of the Bolero, Nelson, Purple Sun, and Pusa Rudhira Red carrots with some rice bran oil (I use rice bran oil for high heat cooking because it has a high smoke point) and kept the BGE at about 450ยบ F. They all got turned once so they developed some nice dark caramelization on two sides. When the were almost tender I sprinkled them with some brown sugar and a spice blend that was about equal parts dried green coriander seeds, cumin seeds, canela cinnamon, and cocoa nibs, then served them with some chopped cilantro. I used that same spice blend to season a sort of BBQ sauce made from dried Quatro Milpas chiles from my stash that I simmered in water until soft, blended until smooth, then sizzled the spices in some oil, added the chile puree back along with some sugar and pineapple vinegar and salt and simmered it all until thick. Simple and delicious atop a grilled pork rib chop.

Pink Plume Celery
I've always been leery of growing celery in the spring since I've read that they are fussy about temperature fluctuations which is the norm from winter through early summer here, but I really wanted to try the Pink Plume celery so I tried a spring sowing and the plants have performed far beyond my expectations. I've been harvesting a few stalks almost every day and the plants just keep getting bigger and seem to be resisting the urge to bolt. It will be interesting to see how they do as summer progresses. I will be sowing another round soon to get me through this fall and the winter of 2017.

Buck's Horn Plantain
I cut the Buck's Horn plantain back hard and kept just some of the youngest and most tender leaves. It came back very nicely from the initial harvests for which I cut back the entire plant to within an inch of the soil line. Some of the plants have been producing flowers but it hasn't had a detrimental effect on the flavor and the young flower stalks are tender enough to eat too.

Manoa Crisphead Lettuce

I harvested the first two heads of Manoa crisphead lettuce. This variety is adapted to warm weather having been selected to perform in Hawaii and so far it is doing well in the warm but generally not too hot weather that we've been enjoying lately. Each head was just the perfect size for a main course salad for the two of us.

Manoa Crisphead Lettuce
Romanesco Zucchini
If you have watched my harvests for the past few summers you will be familiar with the hybrid Romanesco zucchini that I've been growing. There's the first one for this year! It didn't get pollinated so it wasn't much larger than that when I harvested it, but the next couple of ones will be more typical of this variety as you'll see next week.

Fresh Caper Buds
The caper harvests are continuing. I'll have more than enough to get me through the year - 2.2 pounds so far!

Other harvests that didn't get photographed included just a few shoots of broccoli and the last of the radicchio which was getting to be a bit brown around the edges but seems to be ok after a bit of trimming.

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

Batavia broccoli - 6.2 oz.
Capers - 5.7 oz.
Bolero carrots - 3 lb.
Nelson carrots - 14.9 oz.
Purple Sun carrots - 4.9 oz.
Pusa Rudhira Red carrots - 1.6 lb.
Rotild carrots - .7 oz.
Not Pusa Asita Black carrots - 3.2 oz.
Amazing Taste cauliflower - 4.4 lb.
Pink Plume celery - 1 lb.
Manoa Crisphead lettuce - 1 lb.
Sabre shelling peas - 3.2 lb.
Buck's Horn plantain - 7.7 oz.
Palla Rossa radicchio - 2.8 lb.
Romanesco zucchini - 3.1 oz.

Total harvests for the past week - 20.5 pounds
2016 YTD - 317.2 pounds

Harvest Monday is hosted by Dave on his blog Our Happy Acres, head on over there to be inspired by what other garden bloggers have been harvesting lately.


  1. A very nice varied haul of veg, Michelle. Oh, and I love the way you have described the caramelised carrots - no-one could fail to like the sound of them when put like that! The business about Baker Creek supplying the wrong seeds is poor. I reckon they ought to give you a full refund plus 100%, to compensate you for all the time and effort you spent on raising the wrong crop!

  2. That's a lot of carrots!!! The spicy, carmelized cooking in the egg sounds great. I might have to get another egg. Roy's Feasts from Hawaii has a nice recipe for Manoa lettuce and Maui onion and tomato. The tomato and the onion are both sliced and then stacked interspersed. A family favorite in tomato season.

  3. Oh my goodness! What beautiful cauliflower and carrots!!! And I've never thought about caramelizing carrots before, but it sounds incredibly delicious.

  4. Prime condition is exactly the right term for those carrots - they are absolutely perfect! And I'm glad to see the picture of the shelling peas. I'm growing some for the first time this year and wasn't sure when the harvest, seems I have a way to go yet.

    Terrific harvest!

  5. Those are some lovely cauliflower heads - I would be mighty pleased if they came out of my garden (but no plan on trying them yet...they are on the tricky veg list for the future though, together with celery). I can't believe that you still have Delicata in storage - how did you manage that?

    Wonderful selection of colourful carrots; the Bolero carrots look great too - I'm trying those this year too, but mine are at the barely visible seedling stage still, so a few months to go before I can taste them.

  6. I'm with Mark, you have have described those carrots in mouth-watering detail! I often roast cut carrots but not whole ones. I'm not only amazed at your lovely cauliflower, but also that you still have Delicata squash left from last year. Is that the Candystick Dessert Delicata? I have high hopes for my plants to produce this year, after seeing all of yours last year. I've got some Manoa lettuce going too and our weather is certainly hot enough to give it a good trial!

  7. The cauliflower looks perfect to me. I had to buy one to make unpotato salad. And what a beautiful variety of carrots. I am having my usual problem getting carrot seeds to germinate at all.

  8. Those cauliflower heads look amazing! They make me want to try growing cauliflower again even though I've never been successful at it. And how interesting to grow capers- I've never seen anyone growing them before.

  9. The cauli truly is AMAZING. It's something I've never had success with. And your carrots look straight out of a seed catalog.

  10. The cauliflower looks delicious, and your carrots are beautiful. I'm very curious about the capers, so I'll have to look through your past posts about them.

  11. Great harvests! Too bad about the Pusa Asita Black on several counts - Baker Creek really was talking them up this year.


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