Harvest Monday November 23, 2015

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. Harvests here are slowing down for sure, with me harvesting cold weather crops on an as-needed basis. I needed some kale last week for a dish I was making, so I cut some of the prolific Wild Garden Kale Mix.

Wild Garden Kale Mix

Wild Garden Kale Mix

The kale joined up with some Thai Rai Kaw Tok Squash in a Butternut Squash and Kale Brunch Tart I made last week. I have been anxious to try this dish ever since Susie at Cold Hands Warm Earth posted it several weeks ago. The frozen Rai Kaw Tok squash came from last year’s bumper crop. Since I had frozen the squash raw, I decided to roast it in the oven along with a few cloves of garlic I planned to add to the tart.

roasted Thai squash for tart

roasted Thai squash for tart

Following Susie’s comments about her recipe, I kept the proportions similar but changed the ingredients a bit to use what I had on hand. I used a mix of Parmesan, Asiago and Mozzarella cheeses, and used kefir instead of the cream. The bacon, kale and squash made for a winning combo, but I can see other veggies working as well. My wife thought it would be good with just the kale and bacon without the squash, so more experimenting will surely be in order!

Butternut Squash and Kale Brunch Tart

Butternut Squash and Kale Brunch Tart

I served a fruit salad along with the tart, using our frozen raspberries and blueberries plus some local Fuji apples. I used a recipe we got from a Thai cooking class we took a few years back, and I made a dressing using Meyer lemon juice and mint which complimented the fruit nicely. I sometimes use Thai basil when it’s available, but fresh or dried mint from the garden does just as well. The recipe also calls for chopped hot pepper but I skipped that this time.

fruit salad

fruit salad

Another herb I’ve been enjoying fresh is parsley. I have four plants in the greenhouse bed, and they should keep us supplied all winter and on into spring, until the parsley starts bolting. I cut a big bunch of it last week to make a batch of chimichurri sauce. This is a strain of flat leaf parsley called Tall Italian I planted back in May.

flat leaf parsley

flat leaf parsley

Along with the parsley I added lemon juice, garlic, olive oil and a little bit of dried red pepper flakes (Aji Angelo) to the chimichurri. I used part of it in a chicken dish and the rest to serve on top of grilled salmon. I have to confess I love parsley so much, I could eat the sauce with a spoon!

chimichurri sauce

chimichurri sauce

For the chicken dish I marinated skinless chicken pieces in chimichurri for several hours.  I browned the chicken in olive oil in an oven safe skillet, added a handful of peeled garlic cloves, then popped it in the oven to finish cooking. I served it up with a little added chimichurri on top, and alongside some smashed German Butterball potatoes, with the garlic and pan juices drizzled over everything. My wife and I called it comfort food Happy Acres style!

chimichurri chicken and smashed potatoes

chimichurri chicken and smashed potatoes

A most unlikely harvest came when I was out in the garden doing some cleanup and found two Seminole winter squash that were ripening on the leafless vines. These were still quite green when the first freeze hit, and I had left them thinking they were not mature enough. They had other ideas though! I decided to bring them in from the cold and let them finish ripening indoors. This is a moschata squash, and since most of them improve with age I will let them sit for at least a month before we eat them. They weighed four pounds. That brings our total up to 80 pounds for the year, less than the 166 lbs last year but I’m happy to have them in a year when all the cucurbits struggled here.

Seminole winter squash

Seminole winter squash

Harvest Monday is a day to show off your harvests, how you are saving your harvest, or how you are using your harvest. If you have a harvest you want to share, add your name and blog link to Mr Linky below. And be sure and check out what everyone is harvesting!

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18 Responses to Harvest Monday November 23, 2015

  1. Norma Chang says:

    Never thought of freezing winter squash raw, thanks for the idea. I also like your butternut squash and kale combination.
    Have a lovely parsley plant growing in the garden, it is unprotected, am hoping it will make it through the winter.

  2. Mark Willis says:

    Like you, I am very keen on Parsley. However it is easily confused with Coriander / Cilantro, to which I am allergic, so I have to be very careful. I have had mixed experiences with Squash. Lots of them seem very inferior when compared to Butternut, which has much better texture and flavour than most.

  3. I’ve had a very mixed year with Winter Squash. Varieties that I’ve grown before and thought were fairly dependable even in cooler seasons such as Winter Sweet Dumpling and Black Futsu have been poor. Whilst I’ve had a bumper harvest of Blue Kuri and Blue Hubbard which I’ve struggled with in previous years.

  4. Mary N. says:

    Young winter squash with the skin still soft, can be used like summer squash, and they are often better flavored. I used up a couple good sized, green Rumbo’s in stir-fries this fall.

    • Dave says:

      Thanks Mary! Tromboncino and Kumi Kumi are two winter squashes I usually eat at the green stage. I’m not as familiar with the Seminole, so I had a hard time judging their readiness.

  5. Stoney Acres says:

    Good looking week!! I may have to try that sauce out as we still have a lot of parsley hanging out in our garden too.

  6. Such bountiful harvests in your northern garden in November! The Meyer lemon and mint combo for fruit sounds delicious. Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve found kale and winter squash go well together in hearty soups I make this time of year. Hadn’t thought of a tart/quiche combo. Thanks.

  7. Jenny says:

    Yum! Everything looks very tasty, especially the butternut and kale tart.

  8. Michelle says:

    Gotta love those surprise bonus harvests. I love parsley also and am so happy that a few plants decided to volunteer in the garden this fall otherwise I would be without for the winter. I just found that there’s a bunch of Cilician parsley volunteering around the pots of the plants that I allowed to go to seed. That may well be my source of that variety of parsley for the winter since I didn’t get around to sowing any in the garden!

  9. Phuong says:

    That’s great that the Seminole squash ended up being harvestable. Your kale and parsley look fantastic.

    Surprisingly the lemongrass in our garden looks like it’s still alive even after freezing weather.

  10. Margaret says:

    Blogger has been eating my comments today. Ok…I’ve switched computers and FOURTH! time is the charm….

    That chicken dinner looks amazing – so amazing that I think I’ll be putting it on the menu this week. And yum on that tart! I had no idea you could freeze squash when it was raw – did you find any difference at all once it was cooked and would you say this can work with other varieties? I have a few Delicata from the farm and I know that they are not supposed to be good keepers – it would be nice to be able to cut them up and plop them into the freezer to enjoy later in the winter rather than “having” to eat them all up now.

    And ditto on the chimichurri – it’s a favourite around here.

    • Dave says:

      It thought your earlier comments were spam and sent them to the spam folder. Don’t feel bad, the recapcha makes me solve the puzzle twice sometimes – on my own blog!

      It’s hard to say about the frozen squash. I’ve done it with butternut before, but this was my first time with the Thai squash since it was my first time growing it. I don’t think it tastes as good as fresh, but it worked in the tart and it works in soup. I froze it because the Thai squash are so big, I can’t use them all in one meal!

  11. Nice use of frozen squash. Jan usually makes the pastry in our house so I might have to hint about pie. I froze some squash a few weeks ago (I can’t remember why now!) but I’ll leave it until later to use, whilst the others are still keeping ok in the lean to.

    You’ve also reminded me that I have some parsley in the lean to – they grew by themselves recently after some of my basil plants died off, as I’d composted a big parsley plant last year and the seeds must’ve been in the mix – I like this kind of growing – no effort!

  12. Susie says:

    I have GOT to make chimichurri some time – it sounds wonderful!

  13. Cool colors on the kale photo, and long shadows on the squash photos.. it must be late November!

  14. Sue Garrett says:

    We rarely can use a whole squash and so we often freeze some either raw, roasted or pureed. It is a useful addition to the freezer.

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