Welcome to Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. It’s hard to believe summer is almost over. The summer veggies don’t seem to know that though! I finally got the first ripe peppers last week. The yellow Cornito Giallo peppers were stars of the garden here in 2016, along with their slightly larger cousin Escamillo. The plants are loaded with green peppers, so these first two won’t be the last. Along with the two yellow peppers I’m also growing the red when ripe Carmen and Cornito Rosso, which rounds out the four great Italian type peppers bred by Johnny’s Selected Seeds. Three of them are AAS Winners, which is quite an achievement for any breeder.
I also got my first taste of the Hungarian Cece pepper. These are white peppers that lack the chlorophyll that makes most peppers green, and sort of resemble the Feher Ozon peppers in that regard. I wasn’t that impressed with the unripe Cece though, and I thought it pretty much had no taste at all. I will let future peppers ripen and see if that improves the flavor, or perhaps dry them and see if that helps. It’s fun to experiment in the garden, but sometimes that means you meet up with ho-hum results!
Eggplants are still coming on strong too, and there’s nothing boring about that at all. They’re hanging out with Cornito Giallo in the below photo. I used one big Nadia eggplant Saturday night for eggplant and tomato sandwiches, and grilled the peppers for a side dish.
And the tomatoes are still producing too, though the slicers are perhaps slowing down a bit. I have been enjoying the white cherry tomato Snow White. This is the one (I think) our friend Jan let me taste at the farmer’s market a couple of years back, and this year I decided to grow it myself. The vines have been pumping out lots of these nice sized cherry tomatoes. They’re not exactly white though, more of a pale yellow or cream color when ripe.
Snow White is larger than Champagne Cherry, though not nearly as sweet. In the below photo I put Snow White, Champagne Cherry and a Sun Gold in my hand to show the sizes. The mild flavored Snow White does make a nice addition to salads, and I’ve snacked on quite a few out in the garden. I think the Champagne Cherry is even sweeter than Sun Gold, and I eat a lot of these when I’m outside too. I had seeds of Champagne Cherry to give away last year, and I’ll save some from Snow White and make them available later too.
Another new cherry tomato here is Midnight Snack, one of the 2017 AAS Winners. This is an indigo-type tomato with the anthocyanin pigments, which show up when the fruits are exposed to sunlight. The first ones that formed on my plant were in the shade and lacked any visible purple color, but now I am getting ones with a blackish-purple blush on the top side of the fruits. It has a very good taste, unique and hard to describe, but one that both my wife and I enjoy eating. The vines are prolific too, and are making lots of fruit. I need to do a Spotlight on this one when I get a few more of the purplish colored tomatoes. The new ones setting on at the top of the cage are really coloring up nicely.
We’re getting our first taste of the winter squashes now. The white Buffy is quite tasty, but I neglected to get a pic of it. The mini butternut Honeybaby is also a keeper, and I did remember to capture it before cooking it up one night. The size is perfect for our tastes, and half a squash makes a nice side dish. I guess those with heartier appetites could eat one all by themselves! We also tried the hybrid delicata squash Pinata and it was underwhelming. I only got two of them anyway, which was less than I got from the o/p Cornell’s Bush Delicata and Honey Boat. So much for hybrid vigor!
I also cut one of the Pepitas pumpkins to get at the tasty seeds. This one yielded right at a cup of seeds before drying. We’ve been snacking on them, and I toasted some to go with a quinoa salad I made using several of our summer veggies.
For the salad, I diced some eggplant, tromboncino and Red Tropea onion and roasted them in a cast iron skillet along with a few cloves of our garlic until everything was tender. When they had cooled, I added them to cooked quinoa, along with some slow-roasted tomatoes I had prepared the day before. Then I added chopped basil and the toasted pepitas, and dressed the salad with olive oil and a bit of balsamic vinegar. I served it at room temperature this time, but it’s also good chilled, and it’s one of my favorite ways to use whatever seasonal veggies I happen to have on hand. I usually use quinoa but I could see it working just as well with couscous or bulgur for that matter.
Speaking of tromboncino, I’ve harvested about 35 pounds of it so far this year. And that’s not counting the oversized and overgrown one in the below photo which was well on its way to being a mature winter squash. I didn’t weight it, but I did get it to pose before I took it off to the compost bins. I could have left it on the vine to fully mature, but I didn’t want the vines to stop producing more young squash. The two green ones weighed about 3 pounds each. The big one was hiding on the ground and escaped me, which is another reason I want to trellis the vines next year.
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!
Sweeter than Sungold – Wow! We picked our first green pepper and aubergine (eggplant) last week
Nothing boring about those eggplants, for sure, they are beautiful looking! But I would best I still hate the taste. 🙂
And I agree that the Cece pepper looks just like Feher Ozon when they haven’t ripened. My Feher Ozon are not quite as plentiful this year but I have some in the dehydrator already to make some paprika.
You’re right, it’s fun to experiment! Too bad it takes so long to get results, and you have to give up precious garden space for something that maybe doesn’t work out. The Cornito Giallo is a winner, and I love the pepitas, which is a favorite snack of mine. Wish we had better luck with winter squash here, what with the short season and the squash vine borers.
Trellising the Tromba vines does help to keep the squash more visible, but still there was one that grew to 5 1/2 pounds before I found it. Fortunately it was still green and I was able to use it to make Zucchini Sott’Olio.
I harvested the first almost ripe pepper this week also. The Cornito Giallo peppers are so good looking. There’s just too many peppers too grow them all!
I love how the colour of your vegetables are turning orange and yellow reminding us that Autumn is not that far away now.
Your quinoa salad with roasted veggie looks good, perhaps that is what I should make this week for our lunch boxes.
Your last photo really shows how truly huge the tromboncino squash can get. And your eggplants and peppers are still looking really good. We cleared out the rest of the garden this weekend, and hopefully it’ll get tilled this week. I’m excited to get the fall garden started.
Amazing how a squash that size can hide in plain sight for so long. My lone Carmen pepper has produced about 10 large red peppers already, never seen it so early, and it is one of the best sweet peppers. The Cornito Giallo looks good, and is a manageable size. I just picked the first Mama Mia Giallo a few days ago, and assume they have related bloodlines. It seems like there is the taste of peach in them.
A lovely harvest as usual Dave. Would that semi-mature tromboncino have continued to ripen off the vine for winter storage? Seems a shame to compost it. (Ooh yes, I concur about the salad, it looks amazing, I might cook some quinoa up tomorrow, thanks for the inspiration).
I don’t think the tromboncino was far enough along for it to mature properly. It was quite green when I took it off the vine, and though the rind did color up a bit before I took the photo, it was still greenish on the inside.
We have grown some cream coloured peppers this year (Amy’s Hungarian Sweet Wax) and been a little disappointed they were not more flavoursome, so it is interesting you describe the flavour of yours as underwhelming. Mind you, there are plenty of goodies in your garden this week to more than make up for that!
I’ve missed your last few posts due to life/work, but it was lots of fun to catch up reading them today. I’m a squash fanatic, so it was very awesome to see all the varieties you are growing and how they’re coming along. On that note, I put a few of your Pepitas and Tetsukabuto seeds in the ground a few weeks ago, and the babies have a few sets of leaves now. Way behind your growth, but we’ll get there eventually 😉
Had tricky germination with the Stripey Marzano; they didn’t seem to like being direct seeded in seed starting mix. But they sure loved wet paper towels, so now I’ve got lots of sprouts and I’m putting a few them in 4″ pots this afternoon. I’ll do a post of them in the future, after they stick their heads up and get some growth.
Looking forward to your next update!
I’ve never tried germinating ‘fresh’ tomato seeds like that, so I wondered how they would do. The Pepitas seeds are wild looking – they’re naked just like the ones that form in the pumpkins!
I’ve never done tomatoes on wet paper towels either, but I sure wasn’t going to give up on them! I want me some rogues. And the process actually worked surprisingly well, though I guess the proof will only come if they adapt well to dirt life.
Yeah those Pepitas seeds are wild! I opened the package and was like, uhhhh… where’s the other half? It’s so hard to imagine sticking that in the ground and actually getting something other then green mush. Of course, I knew they would look like that in my brain, but some primitive part of me still expected there to be a hull on the seeds. They sprouted well, though I’ll admit it was a nail biter until their little heads popped up.