Cold Harvests

We’re still harvesting fresh vegetables from the garden: leeks, parsnips, salsify, Brussels sprouts, cabbages and cavolo nero, which is just beginning to flower.

Leek and Black Tuscan Kale from the garden

There are pak choi still standing, and one or two late cauliflowers which should be ready soon. Although far from the gluts of summer, there’s still plenty of produce to harvest for the kitchen – and with the days slowly beginning to lengthen there’s enough light in the sky to go foraging without a torch some evenings.

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15 thoughts on “Cold Harvests

  1. Some lovely looking vegetables there; if you cut off the flowers quickly from the Cavolo Nero, you should have some good new leaves to eat, even if they are smaller than those above. My cavolo nero was too small too late but I’m able to pick a few leaves for soup. Christina

    • Thanks – there are a lot of flowers appearing, but I shall try and nip them out at the weekend to encourage more young leaves. Fortunately there are already quite a few leaves left to harvest even if I am too late – and we could always try cooking the flowers, something we’ve not tried before.
      Glad that you have some pickings too despite your droughts holding back growth last year.

  2. I do love Carvelo Nero and its one of the few things I miss from not growing my own as its hard to find in the shops. I am thinking I will grow some in the garden for next winter as it is quite a striking plant ayway

    • I agree, it’s tidy and attractive growing – looking particularly good covered in frost or snow mid-winter – as well as tasty, so worth squeezing in to the garden.

  3. The quality of your veg looks fantastic! You will be pleased (I think) to know that I have some Nero di Toscano (hopefully silmilar to cavalo nero – perhaps I should have looked elsewhere) seeds in anticipation of an equally good crop, and that my sourdough starter is looking very exciting!

    • Very exciting about your black Tuscan kale (= cavolo nero, indeed) and sourdough. I made two spelt sourdough loaves at the weekend, with hemp seeds, and they are very enjoyable too.

  4. I’ve tried cooking the Cavolo Nero florets. Not worth the effort of cooking them is the most charitable thing I could say about them. A bit tough and stringy!

  5. Salsify has the most exquisite lilac blue flowers, so if you leave one or two, they will not only look beautiful (all be it briefly in the mornings), but their dandelion-like seeds will germinate in unexpected places. Also if the middle of the cavalo nero plants are chopped out they should sprout like a many headed monster, and you may get an extra season from them.

    • Great advice, thank you. I must confess I had seen pictures of salsify’s beautiful flowers before we sowed our seed (ssh don’t tell my husband) and intend to leave at least one or two to flower. 🙂 After our rash of borage this year he may not be too impressed at the germinating in unexpected places part, mind!

      I shall chop out the middle of our cavolo nero then, and look forward to the monsters to come!

  6. That is a a rather lovely selection of veg Sara, how satisfying to still be able to cook with home grown veg. I shall have to think about growing Cavalo Nero, such a beautiful plant – how to you cook it?

    • Thanks Janet, it’s nice to still have so much fresh veg to eat – as long as it’s dry enough to get outside and find it!
      I tend to steam our cavolo nero to eat plain, or blanch it for a minute or two before sauteeing with onions and garlic, possibly with bacon or pancetta too on a decadent day, and sometimes a drop of white wine. Leftovers from the steamer are great in bubble and squeak, and it’s also great stir-fried or thrown into a soup. Very handsome plant in the garden too, hope you find room for some in your raised beds or borders..

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