Archive for February, 2010

Winter surprise

February 10, 2010

It is Mid February and i got a terrific Winter surprise. I went out to my snow covered, been through below zero nights, garden and there, under snow and some floating row cover were a few remaining radicchios that were planted in the late summer for fall growth, I fully expected them to be rotten since we had several days and nights that were very cold with almost no snow cover. We also had some days that were above freezing. Usually, when you get fluctuation like that, plants don’t hold in the garden. So, imagine my surprise when i pulled out one head of radicchio that was the size of a vollyball … I kid you not even though I didn’t snap a picture of it. I put it in the fridge to see if it would rot when brought above freezing.

I came home last night to a dinner that my wife had prepared.

It was both beautiful and delicious. It is a recipe I got from the NY Times. One makes a “sauce” out of anchovies fried in olive oil until they dissolve with a splash of vinegar put in at the last minute. This sauce is poured over the raw radicchio when very hot. Toss to wilt the radicchio, add pasta, toss again. Serve with grated cheese.

The head was so big that my wife only used the outer leaves for this dish … these leaves being extremely beautiful in varigations of red, white and many greens. What was left was the head seen below in its traditional red and white. This inner head is as big as the head of a normal 1 year old child. What a gift!

BTW … this is Radicchio di Chioggia from Franchi Seeds via Seeds from Italy

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First Action in 2010

February 4, 2010

I put some onion seeds in starter trays about 10 days ago and now they are mostly up and under my grow lights. Both of my onions are from Stokes, who I still think are the best in North America for hybrid onions and carrots. I am repeating my planting of Red Zeppelin which at the time of writing I still have hanging in my pantry with minimal sprouting and that’s incredible for a red onion. For my cooking onions I am trying Fortress, a late season (120 day) variety that is said to have very good keeping properties.