Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Garden to Table Challenge - Week Eight
The broccoli in my garden is doing a funny thing. It's making broccoli again.
Broccoli loves cool weather. Here in the High Desert, we have a shortage of cool weather for most of our growing season. I figured my broccoli was done as soon as our highs reached 100 degrees, but apparently it was just taking a break. It produced it's big heads early on in the spring, took a nap in the heat of the summer, and is now sprouting little teeny heads. I'm getting enough to add broccoli to our dinners once or twice a week - nothing exceptional, but still, it's fresh broccoli! This is the first year that I've actually grown broccoli plants that produce heads. I'm not sure why, but it's been a difficult plant for me in years past, so I'm happy with anything I can get at this point.
I made this dish the other night - baked tilapia with vegetables. There's nothing exciting about it except for the fact that this is the first time I ever made fish. I've never been a fish eater. I didn't like it once, assumed I'd never like it, and never bothered with trying to cook it. But it was really good! So good, in fact, that I've made it again since these photos were taken last week.
The recipe was simple: lay tilapia filets in a buttered baking dish. Dot with butter, sprinkle with seasoning. (I used citrus herb Mrs. Dash.) The original recipe I found (on allrecipes.com) called for a bag of frozen mixed vegetables, but I substituted what I had on hand from the garden - some broccoli, carrots, and zucchini. The veggies are spread in the baking dish around the fish, covered with foil, and baked for about 20 minutes at 350. I served the fish and veggies alongside some steamed chard, and it was a pretty fantastic dinner.
The garden is definitely slowing down. We should have our first frost in the next couple of weeks. To walk through the garden is sort of depressing, seeing as it looks like a very used garden now. Gone are the pretty, neat little rows of root crops, the lush bean vines and enormous sunflowers. All that's left are the tomatoes and peppers, broccoli and kale, a few other miscellaneous bits, and lots of weeds. Soon I'll be pulling everything out, tilling, and planting the fall garlic and nurturing the greens in the cold frame. How did this summer fly by so fast?