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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Garlic and Shallot Harvest

My new garlic drying screen

At long last, I harvested the rest of my garlic and all of my french red shallots. I planted both soft and hard neck garlic last fall - and promptly forgot which bed got which type! I always regret not labeling, but often it is late when I finish planting and I decide I will make a label later.... and then don't. It became clear which was which this June as the hard neck garlic shot up scapes, which are not found on soft neck garlic varieties. My soft neck were ready for harvest 2 weeks ago, so I pulled them up and stored them in a wire basket to dry, since we hadn't yet made the drying screen.

The shallots were ready for harvest this week, and they look great. The hardnecks weren't quite there, but I pulled them anyway (hence too much green in the photo) because I wanted to do it all at once, and was hoping to use some of the bed space for a final sowing of beans. 

Jonathan made me this terrific box with screen to hang in  the shed to help dry out and harden the garlic and onions after harvest. It gets good circulation, although I worry about the excessive Maryland humidity. I am hoping to hang the herbs for drying next to them - we are reorganizing the shed to give me room (anyone want to take bets on how long before it is strictly a potting shed?). 

Meanwhile, I used the garlic scapes in a wonderful finger food at a political fundraiser last weekend. I made little Parmesan rounds - very tasty cracker - and topped them with garlic scape pesto, goat cheese from Firefly Farms, and then because I thought they looked dull, a petal from a red monarda flower (Jacob's Kline). They were great! I also made little meringue cookies, which I "glued" together at the bottoms with whipped cream in which were added crushed raspberries from the garden (I used red, yellow, and black but all red would have been the most attractive), and a marinated chicken cubes wrapped with a sage leaf from the garden and prosciutto and grilled, served with a red pepper garlic aoli made with the first soft neck I harvested. 

I will save some heads for planting again this fall - I can keep this up for years!

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