Blog Archives

Sweet Potatoes with Pecan Gremolata

sweet potato gremolata

1 large sweet potato (about 1 lb)
3 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup Pecan Gremolata Garnish:
fresh parsley sprigs

1. Wash your hands and work area.
2. Peel sweet potato, and cut lengthwise into 1/8-inch thick slices using a mandolin. Stack 4-6 potato slices on a cutting board; cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch-wide strips. Repeat procedure with remaining slices.
3. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add potato strips, and sauté 6 to 8 minutes or until al dente. (Don’t overcook strips or they will fall apart.) Add 1/2 cup Pecan Gremolata, and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.
4. Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours.

Pecan Gremolata (makes about 1 cup)
Stir together:
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley;
1/3 cup finely chopped toasted pecans;
1 Tbsp lemon zest; 2 garlic cloves, minced;
and 1/4 tsp table salt in a small bowl.

Friday PhotoEssay

We are almost at the end of October! I think that next Friday (November 1st) I will do a long post showing the “Whole Garden” pictures from May through October. I think it will be pretty neat to see the garden change over the whole season, because sometimes the difference isn’t very noticeable from week to week.

As you can see, the sweet potatoes are gone. From this picture, you can’t really see the open places where many of the flowers were removed as well.

Speaking of digging sweet potatoes – here is the dig in progress. It’s a little bit different than using the tractor and harvest machine down at the Pair Center! It looks like we managed to grow some nice sweet potatoes.

The sweet potato harvest looks good, although not particularly spectacular. I am wondering if we should have planted more slips, if we needed to fertilize/water more, or if this is actually a reasonable harvest from a 16 sq. ft. area? Now that I think about it, it may very well be reasonable.

This was supposed to be part of the fall salad greens planting, and while I suppose you could still use them for a salad, they are much more the size of braising or cooking greens now. The colors were pretty this morning in the sun.

Speaking of greens, the spinach plant that survived from the first planting has some huge leaves! They are pretty pointy, which I’m not usually a fan of (sign of bolting), but the flavor was very sweet and good on this leaf. Yes, I picked it, took a picture, and then ate it.

The turnips and fall radishes keep growing and growing. Some of them are nearing harvest stage, while others are lingering at a smaller size. Mmm….turnips!

Have a great weekend!

Next Caterpillar Onslaught

Just when I thought we had the cabbageworms under control, another caterpillar comes along and attacks another plant. This time it’s the sweet potatoes!

The sweet potatoes right by the door have taken on a rather holey appearance over the weekend. **Sighs** Now what?!?

The culprit was pretty easy to find. I turned over the first leaf that looked promising and saw this…

They look a lot like tussock moth caterpillars, very similar to some that we had on the sunflowers earlier this summer. Sweet potatoes are supposed to be relatively trouble free, so this is a little surprising. After doing a little research, it sounds like you aren’t supposed to worry about late-season leaf eating pests on sweet potatoes until they are 30% or more defoliated. I don’t think we’re quite there yet, but we may treat anyway. The Dipel (Bt) would most likely be effective here as well. I’ll keep you posted.

Friday PhotoEssay

Oh my goodness, rain! We had 6.5 inches of rain last week, another 2.65 inches early this week, and another 0.3-0.4 just this morning. Things are getting a little soggy around here, and we’re starting to see some diseases that are spread by rain, including some less common ones. I checked the US Drought Monitor this morning, and even with all the rain we are still considered to be in Moderate Drought here in Sedgwick County. Of course, western Kansas is still in severe to exceptional drought!

Here’s the garden after our morning shower today. The buckwheat has doubled in size again this week and the sweet potatoes are starting to go a little bit crazy!

The ‘Limmony’ tomato was this deep gold color by Tuesday. Isn’t it gorgeous?

We harvested the carrots from the Kids’ Snack Garden this week so the spot can have a little rest before we plant something for this fall. The orange carrots are a variety called ‘Mokum,’ and they were pretty nice carrots!

The buckwheat is starting to bud and flower. We actually terminated the buckwheat in Bed 2 to prepare for planting the broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage in another week. I’ll share that with you in a separate post next week, I hope. The remaining buckwheat will grow for another week or two before we turn it under.

Look at those sweet potatoes grow! I know that last week I was looking at this garden and wondering why the plants were taking so much time to fill in the last center part of the bed. Well…they took care of that pretty quick! Now to see how crazy the vines get outside the bed…

The amount of rain we’ve had isn’t always ideal. This poor Asian melon was ripening nicely, but when I checked it this morning it had cracked badly. It was not a fan of the rain, apparently.

Speaking of melons, the big watermelon fell off the vine on Tuesday when we were working with them. Ugh! I cut into it, and obviously the seedlessness worked out, but the ripeness didn’t. I didn’t think it was ripe yet, and clearly I was right on that count. The rest of our melons got some additional support this week…

It would seem that even the small watermelons are not as well adapted to growing on the trellises and cantaloupes and winter squashes. We’ve got the other watermelons all tied up with some extra support for the time being.

Have a great weekend!

Planting Sweet Potatoes

We received our Sweet Potato slips last Thursday, and I stuck them in right away. We were planning to plant 2 varieties in the raised bed: ‘O’Henry’ and ‘Beauregard.’ We also received some NC Japanese that I wasn’t planning on. I stuck a couple of those slips in the area where we tried to plant rhubarb, just to have something to take that space this year.

As I showed you last Friday, this is how we got the slips. They are good and healthy! These “slips” are shoots that were cut off of sprouted sweet potatoes from last year. Each slip will quickly root and grow into a large plant.

This is the hole I dug in Bed 9, where there was straw mulch on top of the Raised Bed Mix. It was nice and moist!

This is the hole in Bed 10 which is much sandier soil mix. You can see the darker soil right by the emitter that I had turned on, but you can also see that the soil is very dry otherwise. It is clear to see the benefits of mulch and more organic matter in a sandy soil.

Okay, enough of the digression about the different soils and how dry they were.

Here’s one of the planted slips. I gave it an extra drink of water after planting. It is still looking pretty good, despite the heat. A couple hours later it was all flopped over and wilted.

I planted two slips of both varieties in this bed, roughly in each corner near an emitter. I planted the two NC Japanese slips in the bed with the horseradish. We probably could have gotten away with only planting 2 or 3 slips in this space. It will be fun to see how filled up with sweet potatoes this bed is by the end of the summer!

Now it’s Monday, and the plants were no longer wilted. They were nice and straight, but still not looking great. On closer inspection, one plant is basically a twig. This one had a whole cadre of roly polys on the leaf. UGH! I know it rained last night, but this is ridiculous. Once the vines take off and start growing it won’t be a concern. For now, I hit them directly with a little neem oil/pyrethrin spray.

We’ll keep an eye on them, but I think they will take off by next week.