Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. It’s definitely been squash-y around here, with lots of summer squash setting on the plants. I’m also getting some nice cucumbers from the greenhouse plants. In the below photo there’s a Tasty Jade cuke, plus Romanesco, Striata d’Italia, Clarimore and Bossa Nova zucchini.
My wife used some of the zucchini to make zucchini boats, stuffed with some shredded beef taco meat I had made up from a leftover roast and then frozen. We had a hard time getting the zucchini done, even with par-boiling before baking, so that recipe needs a bit of work. It’s still a novel way to make squash disappear and we will likely make it again, perhaps with a different filling. If anyone has a good recipe I would love to hear about it! I also want to make Michelle’s Scarpaccia recipe, and I can see some Zucchini Hummus in my future as well as more spiralizing – if that’s even a word!
I’ve harvested all the main heads of the broccoli, and the plants are making a few side shoots. The broccoli is not really liking the hot weather we’ve been having, though the rain has perked it up a bit. The side shoots are nice, and I’ll probably leave the plants until I need the space for fall plantings.
The blueberries and blackberries are still coming in. We freeze what we don’t eat, spreading the berries out on a pan then putting them in a bag after they are frozen. That makes it easy to get out the amount we need, since they aren’t (usually) all frozen up in a big blob.
We have two varieties of blackberries planted, Apache and Natchez. The Apache has been planted for at least eight years, while we planted the Natchez back in 2014. This is the first really good harvest we’ve gotten from the fairly young planting of the Natchez. I’ve been a fan of Apache for some time, and I did a Spotlight on it back in 2013. But the Natchez is quickly becoming another favorite here, with berries that are about as big as Apache and perhaps even more flavorful. They are a great combo together, and I’ve harvested about five gallons of them so far, with no end in sight just yet.
Also coming in are the Derby bush beans. My wife made a batch of one of my favorite things, Green Bean and Bulgur Salad with Walnuts. I found some cherry tomatoes and an onion to go with the beans for the salad. We had five straight days of rain last week, dumping over five inches of rain total on us, and many of the small tomatoes are splitting. Sun Gold is prone to that anyway, but the tomatoes were fine and we enjoyed them in the salad.
I pulled all of the Candy and Sierra Blanca onions, since they were flopping over and some had started flowering. I didn’t plant a whole lot of them, which is too bad because they seem to have done a lot better than they have the last couple of years. I’ll weigh them up after they have cured. None of them are storage types so we will use them up fairly quickly. I can always chop and freeze some if need be.
I also dug the rest of the potatoes. The Kennebec did the best, with the eight plants making almost eight pounds of spuds. We don’t eat a lot of potatoes, but it is nice to have some really fresh ones. We enjoyed a couple of the Kennebecs baked last week.
The first eggplant fruits have been setting on. That’s Millionaire and Fairy Tale in the below photo, along with some of the Derby bush beans. I grilled the eggplant for a side dish yesterday.
The smallest harvest of the week was the Speedy arugula I cut to go on a pizza. It was mighty big on flavor though, and it’s one of my favorite pizza toppings. I’ve got this growing in the greenhouse in one of my salad boxes.
The pizza also featured some of our Profuma di Genova basil and slow roasted tomatoes from the freezer, with a 100% whole wheat crust I had made earlier and frozen. I bake the crust for about four minutes before freezing, then after thawing and assembling the pizza it only takes about five minutes on a hot pizza stone and it is done. You’d never know the crust had been frozen either.
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!