Harvest Monday February 1, 2016

Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. And let me say thanks again to Michelle for hosting while I took a month off from HM. After a warm start to the year, winter finally arrived here with cold temperatures and a bit of snow. For me, cold weather is soup weather, and last week I made a batch of minestrone using some of our stores of veggies. Every year I freeze bags of mixed vegetables for use in soup. The contents vary, but usually always contain some form of summer squash and snap beans, along with added carrots, onions or cabbage. To the frozen veggie mix I added our frozen tomatoes and homemade tomato sauce, plus carrots and celery from the grocery. I also added some of our Jacob’s Cattle beans for protein, and a little homemade broth for a base.

minestrone soup with garden veggies

minestrone soup with garden veggies

People often ask what I do with frozen squash and soup is always one of my answers. In the above photo, I can tell by the color and stripes that it is Striata d’Italia, one zucchini that is usually prolific in my garden. It looks like a Gold Marie bean next to it. Of course, a bowl of soup almost begs to have good bread to go along with it. My go-to recipe these days is a sourdough bread inspired by the book 52 Loaves: One Man’s Relentless Pursuit of Truth, Meaning, and a Perfect Crust by William Alexander. It makes for a tasty and crusty bread that my wife and I both enjoy eating.

Baguettes à l’Ancienne

Baguettes à l’Ancienne

I am happy to be getting a few fresh harvests this time of year. It might be small in weight, but the fall planted cilantro in the greenhouse is big on flavor. I made some cilantro pesto with it last week, adding a little of our Red Russian garlic plus olive oil and a few macadamia nuts.

fresh cilantro from the greenhouse

fresh cilantro from the greenhouse

Another fresh harvest was a mix of arugula and spinach from the cold frames and greenhouse. The spinach in the cold frame bed is oblivious to the cold weather, and while it isn’t growing much it isn’t hurting either. I have more planted in the greenhouse that isn’t quite ready to harvest yet.

spinach and arugula for pizza

spinach and arugula for pizza

The spinach and arugula went on a pizza I made one night last week. I made the crust from fresh milled White Sonora wheat flour, which is my current favorite for flat breads since it is so easy to roll out. The pizza also featured some of our dehydrated tomatoes, along with mushrooms and some pickled peppers.

pizza on homemade White Sonora crust

pizza on homemade White Sonora crust

We continue to enjoy the fermented veggies I made last fall from cabbage, kohlrabi and turnips. They keep for a long time in the refrigerator, at least until we eat them up! I baked up a loaf of Light Rye Sandwich Bread last week and made meatless Reuben sandwiches using some of the cabbage kraut and Muenster cheese. This is still one of my favorite ways to enjoy the homemade krauts.

meatless Reuben with homemade kraut

meatless Reuben with homemade kraut

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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12 Responses to Harvest Monday February 1, 2016

  1. Phuong says:

    That’s a great idea to make your own frozen mix vegetable for soups. Do you blanch the vegetables before freezing them? Your kraut looks delicious, and homemade bread and pizzas are always sublime.

    • Dave says:

      Yes, I blanch the vegetables before freezing. It’s a great way to preserve odds and ends from the garden, anything that would go good in soup.

  2. Mark Willis says:

    The thing that stands out most in this post is the beautifully-formed baguette. Do you use a tin with a hinged lid to get your baguettes so regularly-shaped?

  3. Marcia says:

    That pizza looks yummy. No harvests here.

  4. Susie says:

    I always love a fresh baguette straight from the oven – I should do that again some time soon. A meatless Reuben, that sounds delicious!

  5. Michelle says:

    Great idea to freeze mixed veggies for soup, I’ll have to remember that for next summer. It is so nice to be raiding the freezer and pantry in the dead of winter, it really makes me appreciate the frenzy of work I went through at the height of the season. I wish I had some fresh cilantro now, it’s not that it won’t grow here in the winter, the birds gobble it up before it gets big enough to harvest.

    It was fun to host for the month, happy to help! Welcome back.

  6. Margaret says:

    That cilantro and spinach is a sight for sore eyes! Hopefully, if my spinach overwinters successfully, we will have some homegrown greens on the table sooner rather than later.

  7. This post is making me feel very hungry, it all looks delicious! Ive still got lots of fruit left in the freezer but not too many veggies. My courgettes didn’t do amazingly last year, there were enough to eat at the time but not to store.

  8. Julie says:

    Everything looks delicious! That’s a good idea to make frozen vegetables for soups. Must be a nice treat for a cold winter dinner. And that pizza looks fabulous!

  9. We use frozen squash in casseroles, curries and tagines too

  10. Karen says:

    Those baguettes are amazing, as well as the pizza, and the Reuben!!

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