Back in May I posted about why peanuts are cool, and this week at the demo garden we finally harvested our little patch. (We might have waited a little longer, but with all the rain forecast it sounded like a good idea. Wet peanuts are not happy peanuts. Or they can be a little too happy and start sprouting.) We had about a half dozen plants that were in somewhat less sun than they would have liked (I am very good at forgetting how much of the garden the Jerusalem artichokes shade when they get going) but still grew well and produced a modest yield, which I was too busy to remember to weigh. But this is some of it.
I shelled all these for roasting. The nuts had between one and four seeds inside; most were in pretty good shape but some were rotting, and one had a wireworm in it – wireworms again! We need to get to the bottom of this (besides potatoes, we’ve also found them in sweet potatoes and I saw possible damage in the yacon we dug up this week as well).
Anyway, here’s what they looked like shelled:
Some seeds were more mature than others: the dark skins mean full maturity and the lighter skins or no skins mean they weren’t quite ripe yet. But they all roasted just fine.
This post at Southern Exposure Seed Exchange details growing, harvesting and cooking instructions. I roasted at 350 for 22 minutes. Roasted peanuts have a lot more flavor than raw ones. Remember that if you plan to store your peanuts for a while, you need to dry them first as described in the SESE post. If you’re going to cook and eat them right away, this isn’t necessary.
As I said in my previous peanut post, I’m counting peanuts as part of the Year of Root Vegetables even though they technically aren’t. But they do grow underground, as many of our visitors to last week’s Harvest Festival were excited to discover.