It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. It was pepper time last week, as I harvested quite a few ripe ones to make a batch of fermented hot sauce. I got almost two pounds of the red Aji Rico, plus a few of the Sugar Rush Peach which are proving slow to ripen this year. I also found some Aji Angelo peppers to add to the mix. I harvested other peppers for drying, including the Korean Kimchi peppers which are hanging out with the mild Senorita jalapenos in the below photo.
But it wasn’t all peppers last week. I also made the first cutting of collard greens. This is a hybrid called Top Bunch, and I cut about a pound of leaves for cooking up for dinner last night. I have over 30 collard plants, mostly heirloom varieties, so we should be well supplied with greens in the coming months.
The eggplant is still coming in too. This time it was the long Asian types like Bride, Machiaw, Farmer’s Long and Orient Express. We really enjoy these roasted.
I still had Italian eggplant in the refrigerator, so I decided to try them in a panini sandwich. I baked a batch of focaccia bread to use for the panini, using a recipe I found at King Arthur Flour. I usually season the top of focaccia bread with herbs or garlic (or both), but this batch I left plain. I did use a good quality Spanish olive oil for it though, since it has enough oil in it to make a difference in the flavor.
For the panini I used a couple of the Italian eggplants left from last week and sliced them lengthwise using a mandoline slicer. Then I brushed them with a mix of balsamic vinegar and olive oil and roasted on a sheet pan until they were tender. I whipped up a batch of basil pesto using basil from the herb garden, and spread that on the sliced focaccia bread before adding the roasted eggplant and a slice of provolone cheese. A 5 minute toast in the panini griddle and they were ready to eat. It made for a tasty and filling lunch along with extra eggplant slices and some roasted carrots which were not from the garden.
The beans haven’t quit yet either. I got 2.5 pounds of Hickory Stick beans last week, and I have to say I am really pleased with this bean I’m growing for the first time.They have a rich, “beany” taste when cooked. The pods turn a reddish-pink color when they mature, which does help make them easier to find among the foliage of the sprawling plants. I got seeds for this one from the Sustainable Mountain Agriculture Center, but they are not listed at the present time so I have dried a few of the beans for planting next year.
Not to be outdone, my fall planting of bush beans has started bearing. I got a small harvest of Cosmos, which I roasted in a cast iron skillet for dinner last night. I’ve been doing a fall planting of bush beans for several years now, and they often seem to do better than the spring planting. The bean beetles are be less of a problem in fall, and more moderate temperatures seem to help as well.
I also found three more of the mature Centercut squash. One had managed to grow through the garden fencing, with the bulbous end stuck in the fence itself. I waited until that one was completely matured, and managed to get it out of the fence intact. I will go ahead and cook it up soon though. I baked one last week from an earlier harvest, and the flavor was much better than the ones I grew last year. Either there is a variability in the seeds, or the weather was a factor, but regardless they should make a valuable dual-purpose squash that is usable at both the green immature stage and when fully mature.
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!