Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The rainy and cool spring weather we have been having have certainly made the early veggies grow, but they have put me way behind schedule in getting things planted. Hopefully we are entering a dry spell for a few days and I can play catch-up in the garden. Meanwhile, I began cutting the lushly growing spring planted lettuce last week. I started with Radichetta, a tall growing oak leaf type that I’ve grown for years.
Radichetta looks a bit like a chicory, but the taste is mild and the leaves have a crunchy midrib much like a romaine lettuce. To me it looks and tastes like other oak leaf lettuces, but it is much more upright in growth, more like a romaine. That lets me plant it closely together. The plants also get quite large, though I cut this one before it was full-sized. I did a Spotlight on Radichetta a couple of years ago and it’s on my growing list every year.
I also cut newcomers Tall Oaks and Big Flame. Neither of these lettuce were quite full sized either, though the Tall Oaks weighed in a bit over 10 ounces. I planted all the lettuce fairly close together, and taking out some of them should give the remaining plants a bit more room to size up.
I harvested more garlic scapes from the early varieties. This batch came from Shilla and Uzbek. Some of these went into a mixed stir-fry, and some are destined for Daphne’s Garlic Scape Dressing. I still have the rocambole varieties like German Red and Russian Red that haven’t made scapes yet, though it shouldn’t be much longer.
Oregon Sugar Pod 2 snow peas joined the Sugar Ann snap peas in the harvest basket this week. Well, there weren’t enough to need a basket, since they easily fit in my hand! These wound up with the garlic scapes and some asparagus in a stir fry I made last week. We also enjoyed another batch on a salad, where they (and some raw asparagus) added crunch.
Speaking of asparagus, the cold and wet weather slowed it down a bit last week. We’ll probably cut it for one more week, then that will be it for the season. I used some of it in a pasta dish I whipped up last week, using garlic scape pesto as a sauce and baked tofu for protein. I’ve made this before with chicken or shrimp, and the tofu made for a lovely meatless version. I don’t really follow a recipe for this, and I make it with whole wheat pasta and whatever pesto is in season, be it made with garlic scapes, parsley or basil. The asparagus and garlic scapes are usually ready about the same time every year, so that combo is a common one here. There’s a bit of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in there as well. We don’t eat a lot of pasta anymore so this was a real treat.
Another real treat last week were some baked sweet potato ‘fries’ I made using one of the 2015 Purple sweet potatoes. In a week or so it will be time to set out this year’s slips, but in the meantime we are still enjoying last year’s bounty. I cut up the sweet potatoes, toss with olive oil and a bit of salt, then bake in a hot oven until crispy.
I got a lot of prep work done in the garden yesterday, and today I hope to get the squashes planted. After that, it’s on to more prep work, then planting the paste tomatoes, eggplant, pole beans, peppers, and cucumbers. I’ll finish up planting the summer garden when the sweet potato slips I ordered from Sand Hill Preservation Center arrive. The slips I started myself (Purple and Bonita) should be ready to plant any time, once I get the bed ready for them. I normally wait until the first week of June to plant them, which will give them plenty of time to grow before the first frost of fall arrives.
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!