Monday, November 14, 2011

Blustery Harvests

It is fall, the first leek came out of the ground the other night. It was a beauty, a good omen for the coming winter. This leek found its way into the wok. There it met some green onion, garlic and chard. Leeks are one of the many vegetables that I didn't know what to do with a few years. I could think of nothing aside from Potato & Leek soup. That always seemed too hard, too involved, too heavy. Then Alicia Silverstone told us, through her book The Kind Diet, to steam it with a bit of vinegar and pepper. It is terribly simple and terribly tasty. Now I can incorporate a leek or two into any dinner in a matter of minutes.
The first of many leeks to come

It was also a week to pick the last of the peppers and tear down the couple remaining tomatoes that were still outside the greenhouse. We are down to less than a 5 gallon bucket of green San Marzano.  I'm not sure what to do with them, aside from trying to let them ripen. I've read that they are easily canned, but that still doesn't tell me what to do with them. It would be fine to let them go to compost, but I'll look around a bit more before that happens.
Shades of green -- Tomatillos, the last of the peppers
and a handful of San Marzano Romas.


  1. I chop up and freeze my peppers - putting them in a large gallon zip loc freezer bag. You can then scoop out what you need to cook with and reseal the bag. Very convenient and since I cook my peppers mostly is just as good as having fresh on hand.

    Leeks can also be used almost interchangeably with onions for recipes that have onions that are chopped and sauteed. The flavor is milder but a good substitute.

  2. I'll generally roast, chop and freeze our peppers also ... When there are enough to put up. We don't grow a ton of Bell-type peppers The hot peppers worked out well this year, thanks to our food strainer. We have plenty for quite some time.

  3. You could always make fried green tomatoes. I'm sure there's some other recipes for green tomatoe relish or catsup or some such out there.

  4. I have never cooked with leeks before but I am considering growing them next year, so thanks for the cooking tips. :)


  5. I'm envious you still have tomatoes, even if they're green! The leeks are nice when grilled, just blanch them first, and are also great in most anything where you want a more elegant, sweeter onion flavor — scrambled eggs, frittatas, fritters (see Ottolenghi), mac and cheese, a fairly endless list. As for the green tomatoes, next on my list is spaghetti with green tomatoes...

  6. Green tomatoes -- I've never tried fried green. DiaryOfATomato will soon post a super tasty image that will lead me off in that direction.

    Leeks -- I'll give grilling a try, also. In any case, they are mild and worth growing. Growing leeks is very rewarding, as they are very tolerant and produce well as long as you get them in the ground on time.