Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. The weather has been warmer than normal lately, but we had a sudden cold snap over the weekend that sent temperatures down below freezing. I decided to cut several heads of overwintered lettuce from one of the cold frame beds. They weren’t full sized, but they were certainly big enough to eat. I think young lettuce plants can take the cold better than larger plants, and I just wasn’t in the mood to gamble, especially when harvests are so hard to come by this time of year. We enjoyed some of the lettuce in a salad and a bit more in some fish tacos, and the rest is in the refrigerator to be used this week. Some of the lettuce is Winter Marvel, and I think there’s some Hungarian Winter Pink in there as well.
My other new harvest was another batch of sunflower shoots, grown under lights in the basement. I also cut a bit of parsley and Vivid Choi from the greenhouse for a frittata, and pulled a couple of I’itoi onions for use in a couscous dish.
Some of those sunflower shoots went into sprout sandwiches we had for lunch one day. I used homemade whole wheat bread, along with Swiss cheese and the sprouts. I spread a bit of ghee on the bread to help it brown in the skillet. I think hummus would have been nice on the inside but we didn’t have any on hand.
I’ve been running low on chile powder so I made two batches of it last week. I don’t like to grind too much at one time, so I do just enough to last me a couple of months. The peppers need to be brittle and crisp in order to grind, so I heat them in the oven for about an hour or so, with the oven set on 170°F (the lowest ours will go). I did one batch of the red Guajillo peppers, and another batch of smoked green peppers, which are mostly Anaheim and its hybrid cousin Biggie Chili. I use the Guajillo chile powder in cooking, and I keep a small jar of the smoked green chile powder for use at the table, where I sprinkle it on anything that needs a bit of smoky heat.
I have a good supply of the smoked green chiles left from last year but I have used up most of the Guajillos and its hybrid cousin Minero. I have made plans to plant more of these two this year, since they have wound up being my favorite for cooking. They are mild and slightly smoky tasting even though I didn’t smoke them. They also have a bright red color that makes a tasty and lovely sauce, and they have wound up on enchiladas and in chili con carne. I make my chile powders with one ingredient only – ground up dried peppers.
My homemade bread of the week was flat and crispy, in this case a batch of lavash crackers. Lavash is sometimes made into a soft flatbread much like a pita, but this recipe from The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen was rolled out thin and baked until crisp and browned. I made the dough from 50% semolina flour, 25% White Sonoran whole wheat flour, and 25% all-purpose flour. The dough is rolled out thin, brushed with an egg wash, and then sprinkled with sesame seeds and flaked sea salt. I am pleased with how they turned out, and they are probably the best cracker I have baked to date. I served them up with a lentil soup I made for dinner last night.
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!
Happy (belated) Birthday, Dave! Many happy returns of that day, to you and your charming cat…
Your Sunflower sprout sandwiches look very nice, and I agree that some hummus would be a good accompaniment. You are certainly very inventive in your eating-patterns! Have you done any cheese-making?
I have not made cheese Mark. I can’t eat very much of it, since it doesn’t agree with me, which of course makes me crave it all the more!
I like the look of that bread. I’ve never thought of eating sunflower sprouts
How nice to have lettuce in March! And antidote to a lingering winter. I loved using my cold frame when we lived in Massachusetts. The lavash looks yummy. Thanks for sharing the details.
Oh, I so miss lettuce! Still getting mine from the grocer, but I’m counting the days until I can harvest some from the garden…only 2 more months, hopefully!
I’ve made a note of the Guajillo peppers – too late for this year, but hopefully they’ll make it into the lineup next year 🙂
The guajillo peppers look tantalizing. I’ll have to try the low heat setting to roast peppers for powder. I have always baked them at 350 for about 6 -8 minutes and it’s easy to overcook them at that temperature.
The lower heat setting definitely makes it less likely to burn the peppers. I got my seed for the Guajillo from Dust Bowl Seed, and the Minero is available from several sources.
Gorgeous sunflower shoots – I must try them, Mmm.
Ooh, I’m craving fresh lettuce … always hits me this time of the year when it’s been months since I’ve had any, and at least a month or two before I have any of my own!
I can’t believe how quickly I ran out of homemade paprika spice. I have jars of dried (some smoked) peppers to start my own chili powder but amazing how fast it goes!!
Your crackers look amazing, it’s been ages since I’ve had lentil soup I bet they went really well together. How do the sunflower sprouts taste? I imagine they don’t taste anything like sunflower seeds.
No, they don’t taste like the seeds. I can’t really describe the taste, but they are crunchy and mild, not spicy like radish or broccoli sprouts. They are also good in stir fries, or added to soup right before serving.