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Here in Phoenix, you can plant and harvest all year practically, except in the extreme heat of July and August when barely anything or anyone lives. Generally I get started on my garden in February, which is typically pushing it. This year, or actually last year, I decided to give my garden a go in November! I've meant to try planting in the Fall for years, but never did it. Now, I am never going back!
In my planter box I put in beets, spinach and I wintered over my strawberries which actually shot out runners and created more plants. A couple of nights we had freezing temperatures and I covered my strawberries with sheets to protect them. They did great and are currently blooming and producing berries! I can hardly wait for my larger strawberry harvest this year!
I also planted peas in containers and my husband built me an arbor for them to climb up and over. I have dreams of creating a hide-a-way for my grandchildren. Unfortunately, my peas haven't done so well. I'm not sure why, but I'm going to find out.
The beets and the spinach have been so successful! All of the rain we've had this year helped everything to shoot up and grow so quickly! The more beet tops and spinach I pick, the more it seems to grow back. We've had salad after salad just from the spinach and beet tops! We've had bowls full of pickled beets! If you think that you aren't a fan of the healthy beet, check out this post that I did to help you out so that you can become converted to beets like I have!
I have found that it is hard to preserve beet tops for long. They wilt pretty quickly, in my experience. I can't use them fast enough! I started thinking about more ways to use them while I have them because I hate to let all of the nutritional goodness go to waste.
Beet tops have a mild flavor and are full of vitamins. Depending on the variety you grow, the leaves will be slightly different. Red ones have the lovely red veining, golden ones may have a bit of orange veining and lighter green leaves. There are also white ones and candy cane varieties. So, if you pick beet tops for a salad, they will naturally give the salad a good variety of color. Adding the spinach to the mix is a bonus!
Here is what happened! Someone started talking about quiche one day and a light bulb turned on! How about a beet top and spinach quiche?
A quiche can be delicious if prepared with the right amount of ingredients and if I'm going to eat a slice of pie filled with eggs and cheese, I may as well go all out and add a few more ingredients to put it way over the top! In my quiche, I used eggs, half 'n half, 2 kinds of cheese, smoked salmon(!), beet tops and spinach. It is unusual to find a quiche that uses fresh spinach in the recipe, but this really works. I believe that "the secret ingredient" of mayonnaise really helps this quiche to set. After all, mayo is mainly eggs! I used too large of a pie dish for this recipe, but it still worked out. If I use this pie dish the next time, I think I will add an extra egg and some more half 'n half.
The recipe comes together very easily. Just mix everything in a bowl and pour it in the pie dish. I rough chopped my greens because I wanted nice big pieces in my quiche. You can chop them smaller if you would like.
Here is the recipe! You can always purchase beets with their tops and spinach in the grocery store if the gardening part gets you down. Enjoy!
Other garden produce recipes you will love:
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Creators of Hot Cocoa Bombs! (copyrighted)
Helen Reynolds: Mother of six children , grandmother to eleven! I love to cook, craft and create things and I especially love doing that with my family, So, when my lawyer daughter, Lindsey, my artist daughter, Madalynn, and I came up with the idea of Hot Cocoa Bombs, this blog was born. Then, one more daughter, with her technical and science skills, plus creativity has joined in to round us out! Read more about us here!