Harvest Monday July 31, 2023

It’s time once again for Harvest Monday, where we celebrate all things harvest related. I’m still recovering from a case of pneumonia, which has severely limited my gardening activities. The weeds will just have to grow for a bit until I get back closer to 100%. I am keeping up with the harvests though, and doing that early in the morning during our current dangerous heat wave. The ‘feels like’ temperatures were around 110°F most days, and we had poor air quality as well. This has been a summer to remember here, but one I would truly rather forget!

dangerous heat

It is tomato season though, and that is a reason for happiness. Purple Zebra was the taste sensation from last year’s garden, and this 2022 AAS Winner tastes just as good this year!

Purple Zebra tomatoes

The squash is slowing down, which is not a bad thing. And I pulled the last of the spring planted cabbage last week. This head was the Quick Start variety, and weighed a bit over three pounds. That’s not bad for an ‘early’ cabbage, and the heads are nicely dense and solid too.

morning harvest

We’re getting quite an assortment of slicing tomatoes too. I see Chef’s Choice Purple, Chef’s Choice Striped, Chef’s Choice Yellow and Pink Delicious in the below photo. Pink Delicious is another 2022 AAS Winner, and the one I am holding in my hand weighed just over one pound. It has a sweet flavor, and is one of the best pink tomatoes I have tasted in a while.

selection of slicing tomatoes

Pink Delicious tomato

The greenhouse cucumbers are struggling with the heat wave, but we’re getting enough to eat. Nokya is a long green type that is doing quite well, while Excelsior is my favorite pickling type. The Pot-a-peno peppers I have growing in a container outside don’t seem to mind the heat, and keep pumping out the ripe peppers which have a medium heat level.

cucumbers and jalapenos

The cherry tomatoes are coming on strong, and harvesting them definitely takes a bit of time. I’ve got Sparky, Cherry Bomb, Sunpeach and Sun Sugar in the below photo, hanging out with a couple of big Benevento slicers and two small Defiant tomatoes.

assorted tomatoes

My wife and I like to do taste-testing of the tomatoes as often as possible, which helps me decide what to grow in the coming year. I’m growing Prairie Fire and Raspberry Drop for the first time, and we compared them to Purple Zebra one day for lunch. All three varieties are from the tomato breeding program at Cream of the Crop Tomato/A.P. Whaley. We loved the flavor of all three, and it was hard to pick a favorite based on taste alone. I guess more tasting will be required!

tomato tasting

I used some of the cherry tomatoes plus our cucumber and parsley to make a batch of Fregola Tabbouleh for lunch one day. It made a tasty companion to my wife’s Curried Chicken Salad. I’ve just discovered Fregola Sarda, which is a beautiful, tasty Sardinian pasta made from hard durum wheat flour. It’s rolled into small irregular shaped pieces and toasted to a mix of shades of yellow, gold, and brown. I love the chewy texture and nutty taste, and it worked well in tabbouleh instead of the usual bulgur wheat. The pasta soaked up the dressing of lemon juice and olive oil, yet retained that firm texture without getting soggy. I used Cherry Bomb tomatoes, and their sweetness complemented the other ingredients quite well. Another keeper of a recipe to add to the summer collection!

Fregola Tabbouleh

I also used quite a few of the cherry tomatoes to make a pan of Slow Roasted Tomatoes. Like dehydrating, slow roasting concentrates the flavors of the tomatoes. After roasting I freeze them for later use.

slow roasting tomatoes

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 please check out what everyone is harvesting!

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9 Responses to Harvest Monday July 31, 2023

  1. Will - EightGateFarmNH says:

    You are spot on about a summer to remember, and not fondly. I’m glad you are recovering. All the tomatoes are beautiful, with the Purple Zebra and Pink Delicious standing out.

  2. Sue Garrett says:

    Sorry that you are still below par. This will be a summer to remember too for us but for opposite reasons. It’s been mostly cold and miserable. Just hope our tomatoes will ripen. The peppers are growinh so slowly. I’ve never heared of Fregola – I’ll see whether it is available here.

  3. Hoping for a quick recovery for you Dave, it can’t be fun in that heat, although it probably wouldn’t be any better in the early Autumn we are ‘enjoying’. Thank goodness for cherry tomatoes, no sign of colour on the huge trusses of green paste tomatoes in our polytunnel! : All the best – Steve

  4. Susan says:

    Hope you are back to normal soon Dave – for a gardener, summer is the most inopportune time to feel under the weather!

  5. Those Purple Zebra tomatoes look delish! So nice to have so many choices of flavorful tomatoes. Wishing you a speedy recovery. We never like to be slowed down, especially during the growing season.

  6. Hope you’re soon feeling better and the weather calms down for you.
    The Zebra tomatoes are beautiful

  7. sydfoodie says:

    Pneumonia in summer does not sound like fun at all. Just had a thought – what brand are your tools? Is that a specific harvest cutting knife with the “assorted tomatoes” picture?
    The purple zebra tomatoes look great. I think I tried to grow something similar a few years ago, “blue jasper”.
    The fregola sarda when I looked it up, looks like giant cous cous, but apparently the fregola sarda is toasted and the cous cous is not. I do like cous cous, but I have too many starches in my pantry at the moment!

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