Monday, August 13, 2012

Harvest Monday

Harvest Monday 8.13.12

The garden is still mosying along, offering a little bit of this and that for our own consumption but never enough to share with our neighbors. We may even see a bit of a setback as the temps have gotten cooler. This, I think, is affecting the cayenne pepper plants as they are loaded with peppers yet none have turned red. I like to add them chopped in pasta salad or fried rice, so I'm hoping they'll have enough of a kick.

Shiso | Perilla

The one crop that I'm getting a lot of are shiso/perilla leaves, and I pick them in all sizes. Small leaves go into a mixed green salad, larger ones are used as a "wrap" to hold sushi rice and tuna, and the rest gets tucked into summer rolls along with whatever vegetable that's sitting in the fridge. Summer is a great season for finger food, and these here have shredded cabbage and carrots, romaine, shiso and cocktail shrimp. Served with a spicy peanut butter sauce, they make an ideal lunch with beer!

Summer rolls with shiso

At Lecco's Saturday market

Saturday at Lecco market

Loads of stone and clingstone fruits at the weekly open market and while I've tried the sangue di drago (dragon's blood) plums before, this is the first time I've seen goccia d'oro (drop of gold) or shiro plums. They are sweet, even better than the dragon's blood ones. Prices are ranging between 1.49€ - 1.99€/kilo. Head on over to Daphne's for more of Harvest Monday!

Todays high: 24°C / 75°F

36 comments:

  1. I grew Perilla last year but for some reason didn't use it for much. Why I didn't think of rice paper rolls I don't know - it would be perfect, thanks for the prompt.

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    1. Last year I was too lazy to harvest them and they eventually went to seed, spreading their kind anywhere the wind blew. I find them ALL of the yard within 15 feet from their original spot!

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  2. what a beautiful harvest; I haven't had much luck getting perilla to grow for me; will try again next year....

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    1. The seeds for these were sent from Japan but the korean perilla (that I got from Kitazawa Seeds) never germinated at all on the 2 occasions that I've tried.

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  3. Those are really beautiful wraps. It sounds like the perfect lunch for a hot day. A bit ironic that those things would never grow here in the summer, but they're growing beautifully in your cool weather. Enjoy!

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    1. It's just funny that I can't even get the italian parsley to produce like the shiso!

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  4. I love the look of those wraps. Yum. And you have a beautiful harvest. You always are happy to see my okra, and I am always happy to see your eggplants. I just adore eggplants. I do have a little in my garden out back, but that doesn't keep me from drooling over beautiful eggplants.

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    1. The internet must be channeling okra! Just read a post by an italian grandma who was recently introduced to okra by her friend from Albania. Okra is called banje in that country, and they cook it simply with onions, garlic and tomatoes.

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  5. Nix the beer- but the rolls look superb. We are the only ones I know that roll our own and the kids get a kick out of it. LOL. But any time someone else rolls theirs it still impresses me. Go figure.

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    1. I am probably the only one in our whole neighborhood that makes these. Not sure if the italians would go for anything peanut butter, well, with the exception of my husband who will eat just about anything I cook.

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  6. Your summer wraps sound delicious!!! (Especially with a beer!) Congrats on your beautiful harvests :-)

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    1. A neighbor brought over one of those refrigerator beer kegs so I guess I'm good to go atleast until next week's Harvest Monday!

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  7. My husband and I drove through Lecco last year on our way to Varenna. What a beautiful part of the world! Your vegetables are lovely and those wraps look delicious. It's been a long time since I've tried to grow shiso, if it likes cool weather it should do quite well in my garden.

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    1. What a small world. We were visiting the mountains just above Varenna only a couple of weeks ago. Shiso is really a weed in my garden, but a good one nevertheless since it is so delicious!

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  8. What a great harvest. I love the wraps, thanks for the great idea. We will have to give it a try this fall when we are up to our eyes in lettuce again.

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    1. I have rice wrappers that have been in the cupboard for at least 3 years, and this summer's goal is to use them up subito!

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  9. Loved your comment on my blog. So happy to hear from Italy on my blog! My family is from Italy and when my cousin comes to visit here they just love the squirrels (grrrr). Those wraps do look amazing :) What brought you to live in Italy?

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    1. Would you be surprised if I said it was for love? ;-)

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    2. ha, ha. Not at all. Would you be surprised to hear that my mother left Italy for love!

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    3. That Cupid dude is always shooting his little arrows all over the place!

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  10. Thanks so much for visiting my blog! I love Italy and am so excited to see what your Italian garden is growing. Nice looking harvest too, I hope your jalapenos produce before the weather cools off too much!

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    1. I have to admit that what I grow is entirely, how should I put it?, untraditional in terms of vegetables grown in the average italian garden. I LOVE heirloom tomatoes and the exotic stuff (like tomatillos) and am always curious to try new seeds.

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  11. I tried growing shiso two years ago and they did not do well for me, but I think I should give it another try. It looks like a tasty green. Those wraps are beautiful.

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    1. I actually have the main crop growing out of large rectangular planters filled with a mix of half dirt and half potting soil. The planters are situated in a south-facing area. I give them fish emulsion maybe once or twice during the growing period, and let them go to seed in the fall. They come back on their own the following spring.

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  12. Replies
    1. Like a DUMMY, I ate one of the hot peppers because my neighbor was eating them like they were candy. Imagine me with my mouth on fire and dropping f-bombs like it was the coolest thing to say, only to have my neighbor laugh because he rarely hears anyone swearing in english!

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    2. you should try drying the shiso to make furikake, Rowena :)

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    3. You know, I was thinking to do that instead of making shiso oil. Dried is much more useful in my kitchen.

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    4. yeah it would be great for MotH's bento :)

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  13. Your eggplants are beautiful, wish I could grow them but the flea beetles have been relentless. Never heard of shiso. Seems pretty hard to grow, particularly germination, but I will have to try it. Johnny's Seeds recommends putting the seeds in the freezer for a month to help break dormancy.

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    1. Putting them in the freezer? Argh! The japanese shiso seeds germinated without a problem but the korean shiso (from Kitazawa Seeds) went absolutely nowhere on 3 counts so I tossed them. My loss, but now I know better! Btw, my eggplants suffer only from one pest and that is the lowly garden slug.

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  14. Hi Rowena,just picturing you walking around the market checking out all the beautiful food on offer............
    I remember the fruit in Italy taste so good because its vine ripened, enjoy those plums...
    Love your wraps what a perfect lunch ! I too haven't come across Shiso so that's another to put on the list to grow.......... Hope those peppers ripen up. Ciao.

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    1. I still remember planting our very first peach tree in a spot that would enable us to walk out in our pj's to grab a piece of fruit for breakfast. It doesn't get better than that with homegrown produce!

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  15. Great harvest! Love the uses of shisho. I haven't tried growing that yet. I may have to!

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