Monday, December 18, 2017

Harvest Monday - December 18, 2017

Once again it's time to show off some harvests but I have nothing to show this week. It's not because I didn't harvest anything I just didn't photograph anything. So you'll just have to take  my word for it that I harvested broccolini, broccoli, carrots, celery, fennel, pea shoots, and a straggler of a sweet pepper. 

So instead of freshly harvested veggies I'll share a couple of things that I did with previous harvests.

Winter Squash and Ricotta Custards
Cutting into a big 7 or 8 pound winter squash means that I have to get creative with it if I don't want it to end up in the no-man's-land of the freezer forgotten until I rediscover it encrusted with ice crystals and desiccated from freezer burn. So when I was faced with using up a final quarter of a big Terremoto squash I found a recipe for an Italian Squash Torte which I adapted to make individual ramekins of a savory squash custard, sort of a custard since I can't think of a better description, it's more dense and firm than a traditional custard, maybe more like a savory squash cheesecake. It's a really simple dish of squash cooked down to a puree with butter, garlic, and sage, the squash is combined with ricotta, parmesan, and eggs and then baked. I was really delighted with how it came out so I wrote out the recipe which you can find on my recipe blog HERE.

Fermented Mareko Fana Peppers
My experiments with fermented peppers are ongoing. One of my favorite things now is fermented pepper flakes and fermented Mareko Fana peppers have made the best flakes yet. Simply dried Mareko Fana flakes have been my favorite for a couple of years, but I have to say that the fermented version have leapt into first place now. It's hard to describe the wonderful aroma of the fermented version and the extra complexity of flavor. I'm hooked. I don't think I mentioned it before but fermented pepper flakes aren't my idea, I have our Harvest Monday host Dave to thank because he sent me a sample of fermented Aji Golden flakes when he shared some seeds with me. Thank you Dave!

Fermented Mareko Fana Flakes
Last night I made a dish from a Turkish cookbook (thank you Jane for leading me in that direction) for blackened cauliflower that called for Turkish pepper which I don't have but I substituted the fermented Mareko Fana flakes. The cauliflower is tossed with oil and pepper flakes and roasted until it is tender and slightly blackened and then served atop lemony Greek yogurt and drizzled with a butter sauce that features more pepper flakes and tomato paste. It was quite delicious and I don't think it suffered from not using authentic Turkish pepper.

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.


  1. It's only breakfast time and my mouth is watering from reading your accounts.

  2. Dealing with the big winter squash is always a challenge. Your custard/torte certainly sounds like an inventive solution. I'm always looking for savory treatments so I need to give it a try with our Tetsukabuto squash. At 4-5 pounds they are still too big for one meal.

    I'm so glad you enjoy the fermented peppers. I sort of stumbled onto the pepper flakes as they were initially a by-product of making fermented hot sauce. Now I am like you and enjoy them as the primary product! It is still amazing to me how the fermenting adds so much flavor. I am hoping for a more productive pepper year in 2018 so I can experiment with pepper leather as well.

  3. We didn’t harvest anything last week - maybe this week we will pop, o the allotment.

  4. Welp, I've decided that I definitely read too many blogs of gardeners who are also amazing cooks -- it's so daunting, and makes me waaay to hungry! But it's also utterly amazing to see what new fancy amazingness you have pulled off in the kitchen this week, and all from such humble garden denizens. Always a pleasure to see what you post each week :)

  5. Those custards look phenomenal - yum! Hopefully I'll have the time to delve into fermenting next season so that I can try the fermented pepper flakes - and I'm admiring how lovely the actual flakes are (still impressed by your idea of using the KitchenAid grinder for that!)

  6. These peppers are the best look home grown peppers I have seen. I have one cayanne pepper plant and it is slowly producing daily. I have been fermenting some of my veggies and fruits, but is yet to try peppers. Maybe I will do some with some green paw paw(papaya).


Thank you for taking the time to leave a comment. I value your insights and feedback.