Harvest Monday December 14, 2015

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. We have been enjoying unseasonably warm weather here the last few weeks. Margaret recently said it reminds her of the Energizer bunny, and that is so true because the garden just keeps going and going! I have tried to get creative with the few fresh vegetables we have in abundance, like turnips for instance. Last week I steamed equal parts Hakurei turnips and Yukon Gold potatoes (from storage), then blanched some turnip greens in the steaming water. I also roasted a big head of Simonetti garlic in the oven while I cooked up mini meat loaves for dinner.

veggies for turnip potato mash

veggies for turnip potato mash

I smashed up the cooked turnips and potatoes, and added the chopped greens plus the roasted garlic. I used kefir to thin everything and give it a bit more flavor. Lately I have been using lowfat kefir instead of buttermilk in the kitchen. It certainly added flavor to the veggies without adding fat like butter. I think the green flecks of the turnip tops added a nice visual touch as well as a bit of flavor. I will be making this dish again. They are joined on the plate by some of our frozen pole beans, and that is homemade tomato ketchup on the meat loaf.  I love making mini meat loaves, because every portion is the same, and in this case I got four loaves from a pound of lean ground beef.

Turnip Potato mash

Turnip Potato mash

Kale is another veggie that is abundant at the moment. I made a cutting from the Lacinato kale last week. This was the first harvest I made from those plants I set out back in August. They have been frozen a few times and been through a couple of heavy frosts, and the taste was remarkably sweet for this type of kale.

harvest of Lacinato kale

harvest of Lacinato kale

Lettuce has been scarce here for a few months. I think my favorite harvest of the week was a bowl of salad greens I got from the cold frames and greenhouse. Yesterday I cut leaves from Giant Winter spinach, Speedy arugula, Mizspoona Salad Select and Wild Garden Lettuce Mix. We enjoyed them in a salad I made for lunch, served up with salmon burgers. The leaves were nice and tender and actually had some flavor, unlike the lettuce we have been getting from the grocery which is pretty blah tasting.

salad greens

salad greens

The honor for smallest harvest of the week goes to one Aji Angelo pepper I plucked from a container plant that is overwintering in the basement. I used it to season a pot of black beans I cooked up last night. It’s nice to have even a little bit of fresh pepper to go along with the ones I have dried and frozen. This one was only mildly spicy, no doubt due to its ripening in cooler temperatures. It was also a tad smaller than usual for this variety, though plenty big enough for the beans.

Aji Angelo pepper

Aji Angelo pepper

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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8 Responses to Harvest Monday December 14, 2015

  1. Susie says:

    That turnip mash sounds delicious. Nice that you still have lettuce, I’m already craving some fresh lettuce greens!

  2. Phuong says:

    Your turnips are getting bigger and bigger. And your lettuce and spinach are looking amazing, I’ve always wondered about Lacinato kale.

    Our new garden gets a lot less sun than the old one, so it’s taking the lettuces and carrots a lot longer to size up than anticipated.

  3. David Velten says:

    Mixing the turnips and greens with potatoes is a good way to tone down the turnip flavor for those not fond of it (like my wife). I usually boil slices of yellow turnip with the potatoes for Thanksgiving which gives them some zip without eliciting complaints from you know who. Nice you are still getting kale and lettuce.

  4. I stand in amazement of your harvests in mid-December in your location. The best I can hope for sweetening the Lacinato kale is temps into the low 40’s lately. I always welcome a dip into the 30’s. The winter vegetables prefer that to a jump to the 80’s which can occur briefly with Santa Ana conditions.

  5. Margaret says:

    Your mash looks delicious! Great idea incorporating the greens too – I’ll have to do that this winter with some of the turnip greens in the freezer. I was just reading on someone’s blog the other day (can’t recall which one) that their spring Lacinato kale was still growing – and looking like a palm tree. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted frost nipped kale as I’m always convinced that my spring planting will keep going (which it never does, for one reason or another). Hopefully I’ll remember that next year when it comes time to plan the fall garden.

    Such a wonderful bowl of lettuce – and so varied too! I have one bowl of lettuce from the garden left in the cold cellar – and that will be it. I’m already saddened by the thought that I’ll likely have to go to the lettuce section of the grocery store by the end of the month.

  6. Michelle says:

    Turnip and potato smashers sounds delicious! I’ll have to remember that for the day when I finally get some turnips from my garden again. And mini meat loaf – brilliant! Your lettuces and kale look so beautiful. I might be able to harvest some baby lettuces from the garden soon. I’ve been buying lettuce at the farmer’s market, which is much better than the lettuce from the vegetable morgue at the grocery store but still not as good as home grown. We gardeners are so spoiled!

  7. I wish I had that lovely kale! I have bit still growing but it’s tiny. Lettuce too, wow.

  8. Mark Willis says:

    I think that sometimes you appreciate the smaller harvests more than the big ones. A little bowl of lettuce or a single chilli at this time of year is worth a lot more than huge quantities of the same things in High Summer.

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