Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Garden Chores Before Frost

Here in MA we're awaiting the first frost, and I've turned on our heat. I'm so glad that I finished a few important garden chores in the last few days. I harvested the tomatillos that have been growing slowly since the spring. There were a few big ripe ones and dozens of smaller ones.

Tomatillos on the plant. They are a relative of the ground cherry not the tomato.
My harvest with the husks removed.

I was very excited to can a Salsa Verde (from Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff) for green enchiladas. In the past I've purchased ingredients for the dish. Now not only will I have my own canned version, but this is one of the rare canning projects where I used my own produce rather than produce purchased from other farmers. The only other one I can think of is raspberry jelly.

Anyway, I was so excited I forgot to take photos through most of the process. But here's a description. After removing the husks, I put about 3 lbs tomatillos along with 4 jalapenos, a chunked onion, and peeled cloves of a head of garlic into a 500 degree F oven for 30 minutes. Everything came out collapsed, blackened in parts and a bit juicy. After the vegetables cooled, I put them in a pot along with 2/3 cup lime juice, one cup fresh cilantro and 1 tbsp salt. I mixed all that with my immersion blender, brought it back to a boil, put it in jars, and processed it in a hot water bath.

The result: 4 1/2 cups Salsa Verde.

The finished salsa has a very rich flavor from the roasting. It's also tangy from the lime juice and a little spicy. It should be perfect in the green enchilladas. It was great as a condiment on a spinach and broccoli frittata we had the other night too. That was a yummy way to use up the amount that didn't fit in the jars.

The other last garden chore before frost was to create a little window sill herb garden. I potted some thyme, parsley and sage from the garden in fresh soil. The pots will sit in a fish poaching pot I inherited from my grandmother's kitchen. In more than 20 years, I have NEVER used it to poach a fish. I'm glad I finally found a use for it.


Meryl said...

Perfect timing! We have a bunch of these from our CSA and I've been trying to decide what to do with them.

Andrea said...

Thanks Meryl. There's a nice soup recipe with black beans in Alice Waters Chez Panisse Vegetables that sounds good too.

RG said...

As your Mother who doesn't cook !!! I am constantly amazed by your skills in the food arena....
Also - so glad you found a good use for the "Fish Poaching Pan"

My Simple Life said...

hello andrea,
the green tomatoes ripen in my kitchen

Karen L R said...

Do you have much luck with growing herbs indoors? I have tried to a few times, and don'y have much luck. Any tips?

Andrea said...

This is my first time. I'll update. Right now the parsley is getting leggy and the thyme and sage are too dry.