Last Garden Tomatoes

Last night’s dinner was Moroccan meatballs with harrisa, cumin-roasted cauliflower with tahini, Greek salad and rice. The five tomatoes in the salad were the very last ones from my garden. They had been ripening on the kitchen window sill for the past five weeks. They were so very tasty.

From my garden in my pantry right now: garlic, hydroponic basil I grew from basil cuttings back in early October (although the basil now is slowly dying).

From my garden in my refrigerator right now: carrots, leeks, beets (I roasted them a couple of days ago and we will have them in a salad tonight).

Still growing in the garden: leeks, kale, Brussels sprouts.

Potato Leek Soup

Eating from the garden in November – potato leek soup. Leeks, garlic and parsley are home-grown.

Last two cloves of (volunteer) hardneck garlic. Now onto the softnecks.

Leeks and garlic sauteed in butter.

Add potatoes …

… and water , salt and pepper. Simmer for 20 minutes and puree. To be served with chopped parsley, bacon bits and homemade croutons. Yum!


Ready for Winter

Today I spent a couple of hours raking our back yard (I had great help by my son) and clearing out the front yard flower bed and then moved on to the community garden. It is supposed to dip down to the 20s tonight so I thought it would be a good time to get the garden ready for winter. I got a bale of field hay from Agricultural Hall and cleared out the plot: I dug up the dahlia tubers, harvested a nice amount of vegetables (fall greens, arugula, Swiss chard, leeks and some tiny golden beets), weeded and spread the hay.

Still growing are two stalks of Brussels sprouts …

…, two stalks of kale and about a dozen leeks. Ready for winter:


Yesterday was the Head of the Charles Regatta here in Boston and my 16 year old-daughter participated with her high school’s girls varsity Eight. They did great and qualified for next year’s event but the conditions were rough. It was very cold (40s), with a light drizzle at the beginning of their race and the wind was fierce. Our family spent most of the day outside and we all felt this weather called for soup for dinner. So, I made the first butternut squash soup of the season. I like to roast the squash at 425 for about 45 minutes depending on the size (I typically add fresh herbs at this step, this time it was sage and rosemary from my porch kitchen garden). In the meantime, I saute an onion in butter in the Dutch oven. I then add the roasted squash and saute for a couple of minutes, add water (or veggie broth) and simmer for 15 minutes. I then puree it and add a cup of milk and more water to make it the desired consistency and season with salt and pepper. I like to serve it with a spoonful of grated Parmesan on top and fried sage leaves (optional) and with fresh crusty bread on the side (yesterday’s sourdough bread was from Tatte). Yum!

Somehow I managed to not take a picture of the finished product but here are some of the process:

Squash is roasted cut side down at 425 F. (The smaller squash on the side was the one from my garden. It was very tasty.)Post-roasting, nicely caramelized.

Planting Garlic

I planted my garlic today after putting in a few hours of community work in the garden. I planted two rows of hardneck (Red Russian) and 3 rows of softnecks (Transsylvania), 7 cloves per row. This is the earliest ever I planted garlic. Normally I wait until the first week of November. But we already had two nights of light frost and the weather the next two weeks looks good (50s and 60s), so the garlic should be able to set some nice roots before winter is here for good.

Today’s harvest: a couple of carrots, parsley, the last two hot peppers, a tiny butternut squash (the foliage was already damaged by frost), and the last dahlia. I pulled all the tomatoes, eggplants, cucumbers, nasturtiums and beans and semi-cleaned the plot to get it ready for planting garlic. I still need to do more weeding, pull the dahlia tubers and will need to get hay to mulch the plot.

Rainbow chard

Brussels sprouts

Mustard greens and baby kale (and weeds)

Frost Warning

Temperatures tonight are supposed to reach 31 degrees. I harvested most of the rest of my tender vegetables tonight: chard, last (green) tomatoes, two last cucumbers, hot peppers, two small eggplants. Still growing: carrots, radishes, leeks, fall greens, arugula, kale, chard, butternut squash.

The last dahlias of the season (perhaps).

I still need to plant garlic, dig up my dahlia tubers and clean my plot to get it ready for the winter. Hopefully I will get to it this weekend or next week.

City Natives October Harvest

My share today: Ping Tung eggplant, rutabaga, flat parsley, red Russian kale, jalapeno and ghost peppers (not pictured: tons of Thai basil).

I spent some time at City Natives this chilly early fall morning, harvesting most of the produce and cleaning out all the raised vegetable beds. The beds will be demolished and the entire garden will be restructured and rearranged. We hauled in hot peppers, eggplant, rutabagas, red Russian kale and parsley, and there was still a ton of callaloo and hot peppers left in the ground for a later harvest, both of them in the ground-level beds.

Edit (a few days after the harvest): Here is what I did with the vegetables in the kitchen. I cubed and roasted the rutabaga in olive oil in the oven for an hour at 400F, and finished it with a couple of tablespoons of butter and fresh parsley from the back porch. This made a very tasty side dish. I turned the parsley into chimichurri, which was served as a condiment to potato wedges and alongside sauteed chicken breasts. The kale became kale pesto, which was served over fettuccine. I also used the kale pesto as a condiment for sandwiches, which were piled with harissa-roasted green beans and a fried egg. I used the eggplants to make this delicious Chinese eggplant with garlic sauce, which I served over rice. The hot peppers went into a big pot of black bean chili. No complaints from the family.

Late September

Today’s harvest and a butternut squash that is trying to make it.

The hot pepper plant is bearing fruit like crazy, at least two dozen little peppers (they are tiny and really hot and I do not remember the variety) but the plant itself is only about a foot and a half tall. Apparently the cucumber production is far from being over, a handful tomatoes are still ripening, and I have a ton of now bolted basil. Also still growing happily: leeks, carrots, radishes, arugula (albeit with some flea beetle damage but not nearly as bad as in the spring), fall greens, kale, Swiss chard. And said squash.

I need to weed the plot and take out the beans soon as they are winding down.