Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. This week I actually have a mix of old and new harvests to share. Last year I grew tepary beans for the first time, with pretty good results. One variety was called Sacaton Brown, and my test planting of it made right at a half pound of dried beans from a four foot row. The below photo is a little blurry, but you can see that the beans are quite small compared to most beans, and more flat than rounded when they are dry. I wanted to be able to enjoy the taste of these without a lot of competing flavors, so I decided to cook them up and make refried beans with them.
Tepary beans are higher in fiber and protein than many other beans, and have a rich flavor and meaty texture. Though they might look like lentils with their small size, they cook up like other beans and hold their shape when cooked. I soaked these beans all morning, then cooked them up the Rancho Gordo way. I added a little chopped onion for seasoning, and simmered at low heat until they were tender. It took about two hours until they started getting tender. At that point I added a bit of salt, and continued cooking for another half hour or so.
The beans were destined for tostadas, so I needed a bit of lettuce to go with the beans. I have some growing in the greenhouse in my homemade Salad Boxes, and it was ready for harvesting. It’s a mix of varieties that I planted back in December, including Radichetta, Simpson Elite, Winter Marvel, Jester and Outstanding. I have gotten a lot of use out of the boxes since I made them back in 2011, and they are holding up quite well considering they were made out of untreated dimensional 2×4 lumber.
I cut only the outer leaves, and left the plants to produce more. It made for a colorful bowl of lettuce, with the red Outstanding, the speckled Jester and the light greens of Radichetta and Simpson Elite. Jester is a lovely lettuce from Wild Garden Seeds, and is a cross between Reine d’Glaces, Merlot and Forellenschluss.
I refried the beans, mashing them and adding a little of the cooking liquid to smooth them out. I seasoned them with a little ground cumin and a bit of my homemade chile powder. I baked corn tortillas (not homemade) for shells, and topped with the refried tepary beans plus cheese and lettuce.
Another fresh harvest came from the greenhouse, a cutting of Simpson Elite lettuce that is planted in one of the beds. That wound up in a wilted lettuce salad we enjoyed for dinner one night last week.
We still have quite a bit of our 2015 asparagus frozen. I used a couple of pounds of it to make asparagus soup for dinner one night. It’s a light treatment, with chicken broth for a base and a medium sized potato added to thicken it a bit. I topped it off with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkled with some of my homemade smoked paprika. It’s hard to believe, but in another month or so the first asparagus spears should be coming up, and that is always an event worth celebrating here at HA.
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!