Monday, July 9, 2018

Harvest Monday - July 9, 2018

I'll start with a catchup photo this week of the Yellow Cabbage Collards that I didn't get around to photographing for Harvest Monday last week. When I pulled the bunch out of the fridge to cook them up I decided to snap a photo first.

Yellow Cabbage Collards
collards - mid 18th century: reduced form of colewort, in the same sense, from cole + wort.
cole - a brassica, especially cabbage, kale, or rape.
wort - [in combination] used in names of plants and herbs, especially those used, especially formerly, as food or medicinally, e.g., butterwort, woundwort.

Now I know why a cabbage salad is typically called coleslaw

The collards had some bitterness to them but after a long slow braise with some grated garlic, good lard from the local artisan butcher shop, and home made poultry stock they came out silky textured but not falling apart and they were absolutely delicious. Served up with some sausage from said butcher shop and some homegrown fresh ground polenta it made for a very satisfying and delicious meal.

Tromba squash are developing in spite of the blossoms being the latest taste treat for the local rodents. I found a few Batavia broccoli shoots. And the last Violaceo di Verona cabbage was bolting so I cut it down.

Add to the mix the last of the Tennis Ball lettuces and the first Orion fennel which happened to be bolting also.

I pulled up one of the French Blue Belle potato plants and netted almost 1.5 pounds of new potatoes. I served these boiled with some steamed filet beans from the farmer's market and some best quality olive oil packed Spanish tuna and all dressed with a basil oil which is basically blanched basil whizzed up with good olive oil and touch of salt. I love that basil oil, really more of a basil puree, it's a great way to preserve a large amount of basil and the puree keeps well in the fridge for a couple of weeks.

French Blue Belle Potatoes

Here's one of my latest experiments in preserving. This is an old fashioned way to save sweet or green field corn. I used sweet corn that I found at the farmer's market. Traditionally the process starts with steam roasting the whole ears of corn complete with husks and silks in either a pit or a horno (adobe oven). The husks are pulled back from the roasted ears and the ears are bundled up and sun dried until completely dry and then the kernels are removed for long term storage. I kept it more simple. First I soaked the whole ears in cold water while I prepared my Big Green Egg for indirect slow cooking. Then I roasted the corn for a couple of hours at about 275ºF to 300ºF. After roasting I saved a couple of ears for immediate use and then for the remaining ears I removed the husks and silks and dried the ears at about 125ºF in my dehydrator. Drying took about 16 hours.

The corn comes out wrinkled and sweet and slightly smoky. Four average sized ears of corn resulted in about a cup of dried corn. The end result is called Chicos. The dried Chicos can be cooked with dried beans, added to soups and stews, or cooked and added to vegetable dishes. I've got some experimenting to do!

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. The Chicos sure sound interesting! I've never heard of preserving corn that way. I just started seed for the Yellow Cabbage Collards, so it was good to see what you thought of them. Your treatment sounds yummy too. I generally grow them in fall so they mature in cooler weather. And I need to make some basil oil now that I have enough basil leaves to make it.

  2. I just love those potatoes. I think I will look for them next time. Everything else looks great too. Interesting experiment. You'll have to share how it all turns out.

  3. Like, Dave I’d never heard of Chico’s. We tried growing Blue Belle last year but it didn’t do very well for us.

  4. Collards are one of my favorite vegetables. They did surprisingly well for me considering I grabbed a packet of half off Lake Valley Seeds at the dollar store. I didn't think they'd do well here, but they were fine. I'm excited to try a more carefully considered variety this fall.

  5. Those potatoes look great! I think our heat this year has been hard on the potatoes - they are just starting to die back but, judging by the foliage, the harvest will be minimal. And the dried corn looks interesting! It will be a while before I give corn a go in the garden again, though - at least until I find a way of keeping it safe from whatever kept eating the stalks.

  6. Oh i am very much admiring your colourful harvest, esp. the blue belle. And look at the fronds on those fennels - so pretty.

  7. Two things here new to me: Chicos, which sound delicious, and the way you cook collard greens, so thank you for sharing these. Love your harvests, especially the look of the pretty potatoes


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