Monday, December 26, 2016

Harvest Monday - December 26, 2016

The harvests, for the most part, turned quite seasonal in the past week.

Gustus Brussels Sprouts
First I had to harvest some Brussels sprouts because they were starting to split open. I have been harvesting mostly the Hestia variety so far because they are a bit loose and large and the aphids were invading. The Gustus sprouts are more solid but they are getting to be large and the most mature ones are the ones that are starting to split a bit. I caught them before they split wide open so they were perfectly fine for cutting in half and roasting.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta and Pine Nuts
I like to roast the sprouts in a large cast iron skillet. I preheat the skillet in a 400ºF oven. First I cut the sprouts in half and then toss them with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. When the skillet is good and hot I toss in the sprouts and turn as many of them cut side down in the pan as will fit so that the cut side browns nicely. It's important to not crowd the pan too much or the sprouts will steam in their own juices. About half way through the roasting, about 15 minutes, I add chopped onions (I'itoi this time), bits of pancetta, pine nuts and pepper flakes, without stirring the sprouts. After another 10 or 15 minutes I remove the skillet from the oven and toss the sprouts in the skillet with some good quality vinegar. One of my favorite vinegars to use for this is the Late Harvest Honey Viognier from Katz, it is both sweet and tart with a nice honey flavor.  The sprouts get nice and browned but not overcooked when they get started in a HOT skillet. Adding the condiments half way through insures that those don't get burned.

What a difference there is between the Brussels sprouts harvests last year and this year. I started harvesting the current round of Brussels sprouts on November 7, well before my target of Thanksgiving. The plants that I started in the summer of 2015 with hopes of a Thanksgiving harvest last year weren't ready to start harvesting until January 7 of this year. Last year I sowed the seeds in July and this year in June. I also gave the plants more space this year so they have grown larger than they did last year.

We were in the mood for a hearty chicken and vegetable soup this weekend because Dave caught a nasty bug and I felt like I might be succumbing also. So the rest of the harvests were intended for the soup.

Gladiator Parsnips
I pulled the first parsnips.

Rotild and Nelson Carrots
And more carrots.

Pink Plume Celery
What would a veggie soup be without celery? I think the cold weather is really intensifying the color of the celery.

All together now for some perspective on various sizes. Those first parsnips are bigger than I expected.

Tronchuda Beira Cabbage
And the Tronchuda Beira cabbage plant gave up a couple more leaves. The freezing temperatures that they endured last week caused some of the stems to crack but they are in good shape otherwise.

A few other things got added to the tally that had been harvested earlier but not yet accounted for.

Puhwem Corn
I finished shelling the Puhwem corn and got it all winnowed and weighed.

Not pictured were more tomatoes that ripened on the kitchen counter and got used. All the cherry tomatoes in the tally this week were split, dusted with a mixture of ground dried green fennel, dried smoked NTR peppers (from 2015), powdered dried Exhibition onion, and Red Boat salt, and then they were dried. That's my favorite new thing to do with cherry tomatoes, the seasoned dried tomatoes make a great snack. The rest of the tomatoes in the tally got used in salads.

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

Gustus Brussels sprouts - 1 lb.
Tronchuda Beira cabbage - 11.4 oz.
Nelso carrots - .9 oz.
Rotild carrots - 8.3 oz.
Pink Plume celery - 2.8 oz.
Puhwem flour corn - 7 lb.
Gladiator parsnips - 8.3 oz.
Camp Joy cherry tomatoes - 10.2 oz.
Chianti Rose tomato - 4.9 oz.
Mavritanskite tomato - 4 oz.
Pantano tomato - 13.6 oz.
Piccolo Dattero cherry tomatoes - 5 oz.

Total harvests for the week - 12.4 lb. (5.6 kg.)
2016 YTD - 961.1 lb. (436 kg.)

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

I forgot to mention when I first published this post that I will be standing in for Dave as the host of Harvest Monday for the month of January. Dave deserves a break now and then for sure. So don't forget to come and link up here, I'll have Mr. Linky going for you to add a link to your harvest post and find links to other harvests posts.


  1. The sprout recipe sounds really delicious. Our sprouts are often attacked by aphids so this year we have covered them with environmesh. We have to sow our seeds much earlier than you - end April, beginning May - as the plants grow far slower.

  2. I'll second what Sue says about the sprouts recipe. I roast them sometimes but never thought about using a cast iron skillet. I'll have to give that a try, though it won't be with homegrown sprouts. The pancetta and pine nuts sound like good companions to them too.

    It's good to know the Tronchuda Beira survived the freezing you had. I'm looking forward to growing it again next year. I couldn't remember how hardy it was, just that it didn't seem to be as hardy as some of the other kale I grow.

    I hope you all are feeling better soon!

  3. I think, I have to try to grow that celery. The color is so striking.

  4. Happy New Year to you and hope you are both over that bug soon!

  5. Hope you are both well now. Love the look of that celery!


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