This time of year is always fun at the farm because there’s so much to harvest in the vegetable garden. I look forward to having a new supply of farm-grown produce to use in cooking and in salads.
Today, I am also bringing a lot of vegetables to our New York City offices for my next Facebook LIVE at 430pm ET. Be sure to join me - I'll be making blistered eggplant with tomatoes, olives and feta cheese from my NEW cookbook, “Martha Stewart’s Vegetables". And, I'll be giving away several copies to select followers and viewers. I am so excited about this new book - it is an indispensable resource for selecting, storing, preparing and cooking your favorite vegetables. It will be in bookstores September 6th, but you can also pre-order your copy today!
My vegetable gardens at my Bedford, New York farm are looking great. Here are photos from yesterday's harvest. Enjoy - and get your questions ready for today's Facebook LIVE!
It’s time for another hefty harvest in the vegetable garden. Our summer crops are doing very well despite the warm days and sporadic rainfall.
Tomatoes are heat loving plants, so all the tomato vines are laden with fruit.
This season’s tomatoes look so beautiful, and so tasty fresh off the vine. During this time, I always have a large tray of them on my kitchen counter.
Tomatoes are an excellent source of beta-carotene, vitamins C and K, calcium, potassium, folate, and of course – lycopene.
We harvested several eggplants. I prefer to pick them when they are smaller – this one is perfect. This year, we also planted a striped Italian eggplant variety.
This one is also a good size. Pick eggplants when they are young and tender. Picking a little early will encourage the plant to grow more, and will help to extend the growing season.
“Eggplant” is the common name in North American and Australian English – the British English call it “aubergine”.
The peppers are coming in nicely. Sweet peppers have a mild, sweet flavor and crisp, juicy flesh.
The globe artichoke, Cynara scolymus, is popular in both Europe and the United States. Artichokes are actually flower buds, which are eaten when they are tender.
Choose those that feel heavy for their size, with compact leaves, and avoid those that seem too large.
When harvesting, use a sharp knife, and cut them from the plant leaving an inch or two of stem. Artichokes have very good keeping qualities and can remain fresh for at least a week.
I love okra, but for some, okra is too slimy when cooked. Okra is very healthy, however – it’s high in fiber, vitamin-C and full of antioxidants, so give it another try! There are many to be picked, both red and green varieties!
Harvest okra when they are still small, about three-inches long. A common mistake is harvesting the pods when they are six to eight inches long, when most will have a woody taste.
This okra, Abelmoschus esculents, is a good size and ready to be harvested.
I prefer small to medium sized cucumbers. Cucumbers, Cucumis sativus, are great for pickling – I try to find time for pickling every year.
This cucumber needs just a little more time to grow.
One of my biggest crops includes the brassicas, such as cabbage. To get the best health benefits from cabbage, it’s good to include all three varieties in the diet – green, red and Savoy.
Savoy cabbages are very distinctive in appearance – they are the ones with the crinkled texture. And, although they don’t look it, the leaves are very tender.
And, don’t forget, cabbage can be eaten cooked and raw. Red or purple cabbage is often used raw for salads and coleslaw.
The kale looks so delicious. Kale can be curly, flat, or even have a bluish tint mixed in with the green.
And I am so pleased with the lettuces – my family loves salad, so we use up quite a bit of fresh lettuce.
Swiss chard always stands out in the garden, with its rich red stalks. This leafy green vegetable is often used in Mediterranean cooking.
There was an abundance of beans. I like to plant my beans in succession, which keeps the garden productive longer.
We planted many red, yellow, and white onions. These are almost ready to harvest.
Onions are ready when the long leaves start to flop over and brown. This signals the plants have stopped growing and are beginning to prepare for storage.
We harvested a tray of onions – red, yellow and white – and soon, there will be lots more.
I often bring vegetables to the office. Today, I am bringing in a good amount of vegetables for my next Facebook LIVE at 430pm ET – please join me!
On the list – hot and sweet peppers in all different colors.
We harvested a big bag of hot peppers.
And a big bag of raw fresh green beans. when picking string beans, they should be tender, long, stiff, but flexible and should give a snap sound when broken.
Here are those beautiful artichokes.
And look at all our colorful eggplants.
Everything is bagged and stored in the refrigerator in my flower room, ready to go to our New York City studio for today’s Facebook LIVE at 430pm ET, when I share recipes from my newest cookbook, “Martha Stewart’s Vegetables” – talk to you then!