Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. I managed to bring in several fresh harvests last week. First up were the turnips, literally pulled up from the main garden. I harvested the red skinned Tsugaru Scarlet and Scarlet Ohno Revival plus the white salad turnips Oasis. There was a little over five pounds total of roots and greens before cleaning and trimming them up.
The Tsugari Scarlet is a Japanese variety that I generally use for pickling or kraut. This year I decided to make fermented ‘pickles’ out of them, since we still have lots of kraut in the frig. The flesh inside these turnips is white with streaks of reddish pink, and I think it has a fairly spicy flavor.
I cut them into wedge shapes, then packed them in a quart jar along with a few cloves of garlic and added a 2% brine solution I made with sea salt and water. I’ll leave them sit on the kitchen counter for a week or two. They should turn to a uniform shade of pink after they have fermented. After less than two days they were bubbling away on the counter, and turning the brine pink, so they are off to a good start.
The Oasis has white skin and white fleshed roots with a mild flavor, and I think the greens are as tasty as the roots. All the turnips had been through several freeze cycles, but seemed none the worse for it. My wife cooked the Oasis roots up with the greens for a side dish one night.
It’s my first time growing the Scarlet Ohno Revival. I grew these mostly for the greens, but I have to say the roots were a pleasant surprise. I thought the skin was a little tough, perhaps because I left them grow for a long time, but after peeling the roots cooked up nice and tender. The inside flesh was white with pink flecks, though not quite as striking as the Tsugaru Scarlet.
Other than turnips, I pulled the last of the mature lettuce from the cold frame beds. I had three plants of Tall Oaks left. They too had been through several cycles of freezing and thawing, but unlike the turnips they were protected by the cold frames. Tall Oaks is a Wild Garden Seed creation of oak leaf types crossed with romaines, and wound up being one of my favorites of the lettuces I grew this year. The plants are not completely uniform in size, color or shape, but most of mine turned out to be tall green oak leaf types. I cut them anywhere from the baby to the mature stage, and all had tender leaves with a crunchy midrib. Some of this wound up in a turkey taco salad, which also featured some of the cilantro sprouts I am growing, along with leftover Thanksgiving turkey.
The other harvest I got last week was pea shoots, grown indoors under fluorescent lights in the basement. This variety is Dwarf Grey Sugar, an heirloom snow pea. There’s about three ounces of them in this cutting, and we stir fried them very briefly. We cooked a couple of big King Oyster mushrooms first, then added the pea shoots right at the end and turned off the heat. We gave them a splash of soy sauce and sesame oil and served them up as a quick side dish. I say ‘we’ in the prep details because it was a joint effort between me and my wife, as we collaborated on preparing this first harvest of shoots. I’ve got more of the Dwarf Grey Sugar shoots left, and I’ve started a second batch of shoots using Johnny’s Field Peas, which it says are the ‘preferred pea’ for shoots. We should know in a few days which one of the two we prefer.
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!