It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. It’s hard to believe it is August already! It seems the summer has flown by quickly for me. But last week I was busy planting fall greens like collards and kale, which tells me autumn is just around the corner. The harvests say it’s still summer though, as does the heat and humidity we had most of last week. A change in weather Saturday brought a bit of cooling along, which was surely appreciated by yours truly!
Tomatoes are playing a starring role in the garden and kitchen now. We’ve been eating them fresh, both raw and cooked, and I have been dehydrating the smaller ones for later use. The dried tomatoes keep well in a glass jar, and I usually keep them in the freezer or a cool pantry. It won’t be long and it will be time to cook up sauce and ketchup with them.
The greenhouse cucumbers are slowing down but still keeping us supplied. The container eggplants are still yielding well too. I try and have a container of my Quick Refrigerator Pickles on hand whenever the cucumbers are in season.
I got the first ripe Pot-a-peno peppers last week. I used one of them in a batch of Fermented Curtido, where it should add just the right amount of zip. I would rate these as about a 2 on a heat scale of 1 to 5. I tend to not grow the really hot peppers like habaneros, and most jalapenos are plenty hot for me. I have the Pot-a-peno growing in containers, and there are lots of green peppers setting on now.
I made a cutting of Genovese type basil for pesto last week. I tossed the pesto with cooked farro penne, added chopped cooked chicken and some grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. In the past I’ve also made this dish with asparagus, spinach or arugula added. I don’t usually add cheese to the pesto, and for this batch I used a mild extra-virgin olive oil and some walnuts along with the basil.
I harvested a few more of the Goldilocks squash. These all weighed a bit less than one pound each. The smaller size and earliness are a big asset as far as I am concerned.
I also cooked up the first one one night for a side dish. I cut the squash in half, scooped out the seeds and baked the halves until tender. The seed cavity is quite small, and the flesh mild and tender. Next time I want to try cutting it into slices and baking in a cast iron skillet. My wife and I both enjoyed this first one and gave it two thumbs up!
Another dish I cooked up was a Caprese Summer Squash Casserole. I spiralized one yellow squash and one green zucchini, then spread in the bottom of a baking dish. I topped that with sliced tomato, chopped basil and a drizzle of olive oil. I covered with foil and baked until tender, then added slices of fresh mozzarella cheese and put it back in the oven long enough to melt the cheese. Most recipes I saw for this dish used sliced squash, but I used the spiralizer which worked out well. The end result was quite flavorful, but a bit watery no doubt from my covering the dish and from the moisture that came out of the tomatoes. Next time I will try cooking it uncovered.
I’ll close with a recent photo of baby bluebirds. The parents have been busy lately feeding these four babies in the nest box. This is the 3rd brood this year. I’ve been putting up nest boxes for almost 40 years now and I never get tired of seeing them!
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!