It’s been a while since I posted a Harvest Monday piece, mainly because about all we were harvesting from Plot #59 from February through until early May was the last of last year’s leeks. But finally, I have something new to report.
As seasonal delicacies go, you can’t get much more seasonal than garlic scapes. In case you’re unfamiliar, they’re the flower stems and heads of garlic plants. The spell of hot weather recently has encouraged our garlic crop to bolt and set flower. That diverts energy from bulb development though, so it’s generally a good idea to remove the flower stems before the flowers open. Unless, of course, you want the flowers to open and feed the bees for a while, in which case feel free to leave them, but your garlic bulbs will be smaller as a result.
Anyhow, I’ve de-scaped our softneck garlic, chopped it into 5cm or so lengths and we’ve been eating garlic-butter sautéed asparagus with the past couple of evenings’ salads (and we’ve still got the elephant garlic scapes to come, too). They’re absolutely delicious. Once they’re cooked, the scapes’ garlic flavour is noticeable but quite mild. I did try nibbling on a raw piece and I have to say I can’t recommend it as a salad vegetable, unless you’re a fan of very strongly concentrated garlic flavour.
If you’ve got a garlic crop coming along and don’t want it to flower, then do trim off the scapes and give them a try.
Well, actually, we’ve been picking rhubarb since early May (as I mentioned in my May update). And so much rhubarb, too! The warm, wet spell in mid-May sent our eight crowns into overdrive and we ended up with masses of stems. Here’s the first harvest:
The stalks we’ve harvested have only gotten longer and thicker since then. We’ve mostly stewed it and enjoyed it with custard (as you do) or in a crumble, with custard (as you really oughtta). Some has been frozen for later in the year, some has been given away, lots more is still to come.
Harvest Monday is a GYO meme hosted by Dave at Our Happy Acres.
8 replies on “Harvest Monday for June 6th 2016”
Beautiful scapes! And the garlicky asparagus sounds delicious.
Thanks, Michelle! And yes, the asparagus was lovely. It was actually suggested to me by the woman on the checkout in Tesco just last week: “You haven’t lived until you’ve tried asparagus in garlic butter.”
Beautiful scapes! I’m still waiting for mine to appear – they are such a treat every spring.
Hi Margaret – we’ve had a very hot dry spell here in Manchester (no, seriously) and I think that’s what’s brought them on. Plus, the garlic was all planted last September and has over-wintered, so it’s quite far along by now.
Garlic scapes and asparagus are one of my favorite combos too. With 8 plants I bet you have gotten a lot of rhubarb! I’m still trying to get my two plants going, but I have hopes they will take off.
Hi Dave – Yep, we’ve got a definite rhubarb glut on our hands at the moment. I’m thinking of investing in a dehydrator just so I can save some room in our over-loaded freezer.
Have you tried giving your plants a dose of fertiliser? They’re all stem and leaf, so something Nitrogen-rich like nettle feed would do the trick.
It’s the first year I’ve had garlic scapes and their delicious. The stems on your rhubarb are amazingly thick and healthy. It looks like you’re having a great spring.
Thanks Phuong, it’s looking good so far. We’ve got berries waiting in the wings and broad beans, peas and Swiss chard up next, all being well.