Harvest Monday December 21, 2015

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. This time of year we usually harvest things from the garden on an as-needed basic. Last week I didn’t need a lot of things. I did get a big cutting of parsley from the greenhouse to make a batch of chimichurri sauce. The sauce got served up on a meal of seared scallops I cooked for dinner one night. I also threw in a bit of Aji Angelo pepper, leftover from a previous harvest. The parsley is a strain of flat-leaf Italian parsley called Splendid from Wild Garden Seeds.

harvest of Splendid parsley

harvest of Splendid parsley

I cut more of the Lacinato kale last week too. I love using this kale for soups. I think it holds up well, plus the darker color and bold flavor work well in hearty soups. This batch was destined for a pot of  Minestra Maritata (aka Italian Wedding Soup).

Lacinato kale

Lacinato kale

I also cooked up a pot of Jacob’s Cattle beans for the soup. They were leftovers from 2014, and despite being over a year old they still cooked up fairly quickly. These beans tend to keep their colorful markings after cooking, and also hold their shape nicely.

cooked Jacob

cooked Jacob’s Cattle beans

Minestra Maritata is a traditional Neopolitan soup that probably dates back several hundred years, before the introduction of the tomato or pasta to Italy. The literal translation for the name of the soup is ‘married soup’, which refers to how well meat and greens go together in soup (i.e. they’re well married). The beans are certainly not an authentic addition, but they do add fiber and nutrition. I made meatballs from ground turkey breast that I browned in a skillet before adding to the soup. For the greens I used the last bit of homegrown cabbage I could find in the refrigerator plus the Lacinato kale.

Minestra maritata soup

Minestra maritata soup

It’s a hearty soup, with lots of greens. I think it’s a good use for the Lacinato kale, though I have used spinach in the past. I’ve seen recipes calling for escarole and broccoli raab too. Whatever greens you choose, just serve a crusty bread with the soup and you’ve got a meal. This time I added a sourdough bread inspired by the book 52 Loaves: One Man’s Relentless Pursuit of Truth, Meaning, and a Perfect Crust by William Alexander. An overnight bulk fermentation in the refrigerator before shaping and baking gives the bread a lot of flavor. Though my bread looks more like his Baguettes à l’Ancienne, the recipe more closely resembles his Peasant Bread since it includes a bit of whole wheat and rye flours.

Baguettes à l’Ancienne

Baguettes à l’Ancienne

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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