Thursday, October 29, 2009
Our first rainy day harvest. It was cold and dark and wet this morning when I left the house, but by the time Danny showed up at the farm it was quite a bit warmer, the rain had slowed to a drizzle and there was plenty of light. We pulled some beautiful Hakurei turnips for the share. These are sweet enough to eat raw, although they are also good cooked and they aren't quite as sweet as spring plantings. We harvested chard leaves heavy today. We'll probably get another harvest if it doesn't frost, but frost will make the stems soft and leaves slimy so we pulled most of the good sized leaves today. The fennel is another one that doesn't like frost, and even though there's none in the forecast its growth has slowed way down and the tips of the leaves are starting to yellow from too much water and cold and wind so we cut every last one of them for the shares, no more until next year. Finally, we've started in on the cool season heads with escarole. The variety is bionda cuore pieno, a full hearted light green escarole. If you're not familiar, escaroles are similar to a very hardy lettuce. Some people find them slightly bitter, but this time of year they can also be very sweet. My favorite thing to do with escarole is to slice it into thin ribbons (across the ribs), soak it in ice water for fifteen minutes to a half hour to crisp it up and leach any bitterness, and then toss it with a nice olive oil, lemon and salt dressing, and maybe some anchovies. It can also be cooked with olive oil and salt, but I save that for pan di zucchero, which we'll be giving out later in the season.