Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. Fresh harvests are always lean for us this time of year. The only thing still growing in the main garden (other than garlic) is kale, and much of it looks pretty sad after several smallish snowfalls and lots of sub-freezing weather that got down to 5°F on one occasion in January and 6°F on two others. One variety though, White Russian, had enough edible leaves to give us a welcome harvest last week.
I love pairing kale with potatoes, so I made a batch of Kale and Potato Hash to go with baked fish I cooked for dinner one night. Our stores of potatoes are dwindling, so the hash had lots of kale and not so many potatoes. That was fine, because the kale stole the show anyway. Last year was my first time growing the White Russian kale, but the flavor quickly won me over. Now it also seems to be quite tolerant of our winters, which is another big plus.
I pickled some of the Malawi Piquante peppers last year, using a process I have used in the past for other peppers like Topepo Rossa. I make a sweet brine using vinegar, water, sugar and salt and then store in the refrigerator. The Malawi Piquante is a C. baccatum pepper said to be like those used to make the pricey Peppadew peppers you see on salad bars and in grocery stores. The Malawi peppers have a mild heat, and I like to use them on salads and pizzas. The ones in the below photo went into a red pepper aioli I made last week to dress up some salmon burgers.
And speaking of peppers, I got a small harvest from a container grown Aji Panca pepper that has been overwintering under lights in the basement. I’ve enjoyed using these mildly hot baccatum peppers in chili con carne and in enchilada sauce. I’ve used most of them dried and then ground into powder, and the ones in the below photo dried while still on the plant. They look almost black in the photo, but they are really more of a dark brown color after they dry. After harvesting the peppers I cut the plant back. I hope to plant it in the ground this spring and get a jump on the growing season that way, since the overwintered plants usually begin flowering and fruiting at least a month before the seed grown plants.
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!