Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Munching on lots and lots of greens

Weather-wise, where August (and summer in general) has failed, September is succeeding. Cooler temperatures, mild sunny days and just the occasional light shower have set the ball in motion for all of my garden greens. I lost interest in the rucola/rocket bed after it was decimated by hail in the earlier part of the summer season, but within the last month both varieties came back to life on their own. I snip leaves once a week to add to salads, and they keep coming back.

Rucola coltivata
Common rocket / rucola coltivata

Rucola selvatica
Wild rocket /rucola selvatica

2 types of rocket greens

Top: common rocket, bottom: wild rocket. They both have that peppery bite, but wild rocket is much stronger, almost to the point of being too bitter if you just eat it by itself. It also took forever for the seeds to germinate. The common variety has less of a bite, germinated quickly from seed, and grows like a weed. The fuller leaves also contribute more bulk to salads. I add both types to mixed greens (butter lettuce, romaine, chicory, etc) for huge salad dinners, but rocket makes a great pesto, and is a must with beef carpaccio and parmigiano flakes. It's also good as a pizza topping, scattered directly onto pizza right out of the oven.

Dwarf Blue Curled Scotch kale

Dwarf blue curled scotch kale grown in a container. Even with a tunnel cover, white cabbage moths managed to get in and do damage. I used a homemade spray of habanero pepper water and misted the plants heavily, even the undersides of the leaves, which helped to keep the pests under control. Blanched and briefly sauted with minced garlic, calamari rings and chile pepper, the leaves make a simple yet tasty spaghetti pasta dish.

Pasti with blue curled scotch kale and calamari

Green and red shiso
Again, the red and green shiso come up like weeds, and I have more than what I can use.


  1. love that your garden wasn't a total bust!

    1. I should've known that anything with a "weed-like" cut-and-come-again capacity would do fine no matter what. :P


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