Monday, October 29, 2018

Harvest Monday - October 29, 2018

Peppers are back for Harvest Monday this week. The sweet pepper harvests are starting to wind down after these harvests although they are still quite a way from being finished. This year I'm lacto-fermenting a lot of peppers after experimenting with the process late in the season last year when I found that I LOVE what fermenting does to peppers. I made a couple of batches of fermented sweet pepper paste last year and really wished that I had a lot more of the stuff so this year I'm devoting a large portion of the harvests to the process. One thing that I figured out this year is that the thickest fleshed peppers make the best paste because thin fleshed peppers have a higher ratio of skin to flesh which makes for a less smooth paste. I also like to ferment the peppers that I dehydrate and grind into flakes, like Aji Angelo, Aji Amarillo, Aji Golden, and Ethiopian Brown. And then I also ferment the peppers that I turn into hot sauce, the newest addition to the hot sauce line-up being Sugar Rush Peach and before that a green Jalapeno sauce.

My newest experiment in progress is with that basketful of Long Sweet Turkish peppers shown below, I cut them in half and removed the seeds and am fermenting them for a week and then I will dehydrate them. I also have one batch of them that I sun-dried and another batch that I dehydrated. Those plants were really prolific.

Long Turkish Sweet
I made a batch of fermented pepper paste with previous harvests of Gogosar peppers so some of these were used in a baked stuffed pepper dish and then I seeded, sliced, and dehydrated the rest of them.

These Topepo Giallo peppers got the same treatment as the Gogosar peppers, stuffed or dehydrated. My latest stuffing for the peppers was a mix of eggplant, cheese, tomato, and breadcrumbs seasoned with parsley, oregano, capers, and anchovies. Big Yum! I'll have to write up the recipe on my recipe blog because it was a mashup of a couple of recipes and it was definitely good enough to make again.

Topepo Giallo
Odessa Market is very sweet and crisp and is my favorite variety for snacking on fresh and that has been the fate for most of the crop this year.

Odessa Market
This is the second harvest of Aleppo peppers and I think I'm going to try fermenting them before drying them. The first round got sun-dried and ground into flakes. Oh my, are they delicious. They have a sweet and fruity flavor and are not too spicy since I removed the seeds and cores before drying them. 

The Urfa Biber plants have not been as prolific as the Aleppo plants, here's my second harvest of them. The previous harvest was quite nice though and I got enough to fill an 8-ounce jar with sun-dried ground flakes. 
Urfa Biber
You can see that I seeded the peppers before drying them so the flakes are only mildly spicy. These too have a wonderful sweet and fruity flavor. They won't last long.

Urfa Biber
I've used most of the Mehmet's Sweet Turkish peppers as a frying/roasting pepper. Most of the time I roast them in the oven in a cast iron skillet but the latest dish I used them in was a saute with some Castandel beans with some tomato paste and fermented pepper paste and capers, garlic, and parsley. 

Mehmet's Sweet Turkish
Turkish Pimentos look quite a bit like Odessa Market but they have tougher skins and aren't as sweet but have a nice flavor. I made one small batch of fermented paste with them which is when I figured out that the thicker and juicier peppers are better suited for turning into paste. The pimento paste is tasty but I like the smoother results from thicker fleshed peppers. I've been dehydrating the rest and will use them to make paprika powder.

Turkish Pimento
Florina is a big juicy thick fleshed pepper that is perfect for roasting. I used a big bunch of these to make a few jars of preserved sweet peppers and then turned another couple of pounds into a batch of fermented pepper paste, they're perfect for that too.

Spicy and not. Yellow Pointy is a hot chinense habanero cousin. Caribbean Seasoning and Habanada are in the same family but are totally sweet. Last year I found that Habanada makes great fermented pepper flakes. I think that the Caribbean Seasoning peppers might also make great fermented flakes but they are very shy producers so I'll probably end up using all of them fresh. 

Yellow Pointy
Caribbean Seasoning, Habanada
Last year I dehydrated my pepper pastes on parchment lined baking sheets but this year I switched to unlined Pyrex baking dishes with good results. You can see how much the pureed peppers reduce down to make a paste. This photo was taken when the paste was about 90% dehydrated.

Fermented Ajvarski Paste
OK, enough of the peppers for this week. The Castandel beans were in high gear this week and I harvested 2 baskets of beans like this, actually the second harvest was even bigger than this one. We've been eating a lot of beans but not enough to get through the lot so I'll have to do some blanching and freezing. There aren't a lot of beans left on the bushes and the plants are now pretty heavily infested with spider mites so I'll have to cut them down soon.

Castandel Beans
The fennel has been quite happy this fall. These are 2 more bulbs from the spring sown plants and I need to cut some of the summer sown bulbs because they've suddenly got to be quite large. And the Pink Plume celery is super happy also. That's well over a pound of trimmed stalks and I could easily cut twice that amount again and the plants would still be quite lush looking.

Orion Fennel
Pink Plume Celery
The carrots that I'm thinning out are getting to be a respectable size, that was about a pound of carrots after trimming off the tops.

Short Stuff Carrots
And finally, the bees love the saffron blossoms and this one got stuck outside late and spent the night clinging to one of the plants. Click on the photo for a larger view and you can see that the bee is dusted with a nice load of pollen. After the sun finally came out and the bee warmed up she flew off.

Sleepy Bee and Saffron
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. Ahh, the joys of fermented peppers! I used some of my Sugar Rush Peach in a fermented hot sauce along with other baccatums and they made a very tasty sauce. I guess I will grow it again next year. My Aleppo plant was not so productive. Castandel did well for me this fall and I want to grow it again next spring. I don't usually get mites on my beans but the bean beetles were really plentiful this fall.

  2. So many tasty looking peppers! It sure would be nice to have a long-enough season to preserve as much as you do.

  3. You certainly have great success with your peppers.

  4. So envious of all those gorgeous peppers - one would never think you've had any issues in the pepper patch at all! So far I've only dehydrated and frozen peppers but I'm quite looking forward to eventually having the time to try some of your fermenting techniques.


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