This winter of 2011-12 has been interesting. We’ve had only about 1″ of snow so far, and very mild weather in general. That has given us plenty of eating choices with our overwintered vegetables, and some real surprises.
Collard greens are not generally winter hardy here. In my memory, I have never seen them make it to January. But here it is in late February, almost March really, and the plants are still alive. So I figured I needed to cook up a mess of greens and see how they tasted. And I was not disappointed! They were nice and sweet, with large but tender leaves.
I usually have a hard time estimating how many greens to cook. So I wind up cooking too many. My wife and I were eating on the collards for 4 meals. The leftovers were just as tasty though.
Another green that has surprised us this season is the Lacinato kale. It normally doesn’t make it through our winters either, but like the collards, it is still going strong in the garden. I didn’t harvest any of it this week though.
I did harvest some Yukina Savoy, which is an upright tatsoi relative. I did a quick stir fry with it, and we had it for a side dish one day. The Asian greens in the cold frames are doing so well that I haven’t even started any seeds for new plants just yet. At some point they will start bolting though. The maruba santoh in the greenhouse is flowering already, with bees coming in to visit on the days it’s warm enough for them to fly.
I also harvested some baby lettuce from a mini salad box in the greenhouse. All the lettuces have been doing well this winter too. This cutting gave us 6 ounces of lettuce, which was plenty for two large salads. This was a Misticanza Quattro Stagioni mix from Seeds from Italy.
And one last thing we enjoyed last week wasn’t really a harvest, but certainly worth mentioning. I made a Double-Chocolate Sourdough Bundt Cake for a going away party for a friend at the kitchen where I volunteer. This cake was moist, not too sweet, and oh-so-chocolatey! Thanks to the folks at Curbstone Valley Farm for sharing their great recipe. I will be making this one again soon!
To see what others are harvesting and cooking up from their gardens, visit Daphne’s Dandelions, host of the Harvest Monday series.