Sunday, May 11, 2008

Weekend Herb Blogging Roundup for May 5 - 11, 2008

Weekend Herb Blogging is a weekly event created by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen and features interesting recipes made with herbs, plants, vegetables, or flowers. For those who want to take part in Weekend Herb Blogging, here are the rules.

The responsibility for summing up each week’s submissions jumps from blogger to blogger; this week it’s my turn. Fifty people from across the globe submitted an interesting and eclectic group of recipes. I enjoyed reading them all.

The entries are described in the order they were received. If anyone finds an error, please let me know and I’ll fix it right away. Next week’s host is Gay from
A Scientist in the Kitchen.

Thai-Style Red Curry with Chicken
Alexandria, Virginia, USA
While readying her garden for spring, Cheryl of
Gluten Free Goodness found a volunteer Vietnamese basil plant growing in a patio crack. Cheryl used the basil to garnish and give flavor to Thai-Style Red Curry with Chicken.

Trio of Preserved Tomatoes
Manila, Philippines

Chicha Jo, of
80 Breakfasts, bought a passel of organic red and green tomatoes that had been “grown using local community labor at fair wages.” In an epic cook-a-thon, she made Pickled Green Tomatoes to serve with fish or burgers, Red Tomato Chutney, a versatile condiment, and Oven-Roasted Tomatoes, which she’s already used in salad, pasta, and a tart.

Farro with Mushrooms, Thyme, and Balsamic Vinegar
Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Kalyn, of
Kalyn’s Kitchen (and creator of Weekend Herb Blogging), has trouble finding time to cook out of all her accumulated cookbooks. Luckily for us, Kalyn dove into one of her books and made Farro with Mushrooms, Thyme, and Balsamic Vinegar. Kalyn also gives tips for using farro, an ancient Mediterranean high-protein grain.

Spanish Omelet with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
Mill Valley, California, USA

Anna of
Anna’s Cool Finds shows off her shopping skills, and demonstrates why her blog is aptly named, with a wonderful Spanish Omelet and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce served with ocean friendly Canadian lobster tail. Anna says the quick and easy pepper sauce, made with pantry staples, can also be used to enliven roast meats.

Palek Paneer (Spiced Spinach and Cheese)
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Elizabeth of
Blog from OUR Kitchen made her favorite vegetable: an Indian spinach and cheese dish called Palek Paneer. This is so good it converted Elizabeth from a spinach hater to a spinach lover. Palek Paneer can be made well ahead, and is nicely seasoned with ginger, cumin, mustard seed, and garlic.

Matar Paneer (Spiced Peas and Cheese)
London, Ontario, Canada
Lisa of
Lisa’s Kitchen made spiced peas and cheese from the Punjab region of India and Pakistan called Matar Paneer. When you eat this, Lisa says the warm paneer cheese melts in your mouth and nicely balances the spicy tomato sauce.

Fresh Cardamom and Rocket (Arugula) Salad
Athens, Greece
Ivy of
Kopiaste went to a farmer’s market and discovered fresh cardamom greens. The seller told Ivy to use it in salads, but warned her fresh cardamom is a male aphrodisiac. (The Greek verb kardamono/καρδαμώνω means “to become invigorated.”) Ivy made a delicious Fresh Cardamom and Rocket (Arugula) Salad that included cherry tomatoes, green onions, dried figs, and fresh strawberries.

Black Bean Chili-Soup
Missouri, USA

Susan of
Farmgirl Fare made an easy, healthy, and delicious Black Bean Chili-Soup packed with herbs and vegetables. The soup can be made ahead or frozen for use on days when finding time to cook is impossible. For maximum flavor, Susan advises to buy whole spices and grind them at home; I whole-heartedly agree.

Foxtail Millet with Dal and Fenugreek Leaves

Srivalli of
Cooking 4 All Seasons cooks foxtail millet instead of rice and serves it with Dal and Fresh Fenugreek Leaves. Her fascinating post explains the variety of ways that fenugreek is used as food: seeds, fresh greens, and dried greens. (The word fenugreek comes from the Latin for “Greek hay;” in Greece it’s called Trigoniskos – Τριγωνίσκος.)

Ricotta Cheese Spread with Herbs
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

KC of
Kits Chow loves Boursin cheese but hasn’t been eating it since starting the South Beach diet. To ease her longing, KC created a lovely Ricotta Cheese Spread with Herbs seasoned with cilantro, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, and lemon zest.

Minty Watermelon Shake

Gay of
A Scientist in the Kitchen blends watermelon and fresh mint to make a wonderfully refreshing Minty Watermelon Shake: the perfect drink for a sunny day.

Red Quinoa Stuffed Peppers
Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

Natalie of
Gluten Free Mommy loves quinoa and says it’s easiest to make in a rice cooker. For Red Quinoa Stuffed Peppers, Natalie bakes peppers with red quinoa, kale, tomato, and herb stuffing, and serves them with mashed avocado and lime.

Herbed Parsnip Soup
Greenwich Village, New York, USA

The Chocolate Lady says that parsnips are at their sweetest and most intense in early spring. For the last days of Passover, she made Herbed Parsnip Soup, a comforting soup guaranteed to sooth even the most harried among us.

Split Pea Soup
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Johanna of
Green Gourmet Giraffe was inspired by medieval recipes for pease pudding to make vegetarian Split Pea Soup. She uses smoked paprika instead of ham to round out the soup’s flavor. For food history buffs, Johanna describes pea soup’s importance in years past.

Oregano Crusted Wavy Pork Skewers
Belgrade, Serbia

Marija of
Palachinka layers thin pork slices with zucchini and smoked cheese, skewers them, and coats them with oregano flavored bread crumbs to make Oregano Crusted Wavy Pork Skewers. Marija cooks interesting Serbian food; when you’re done reading about pork skewers, check out the rest of her wonderful blog.

Liver in Onion and White Wine Sauce
Croatia (Dalmatia) via the UK
Maninas of the wonderful
Food Matters blog shares her mother’s recipe for Liver in Onion and White Wine Sauce. Sweet carrots and onions combine with white wine, garlic, and parsley to make a typically Croatian sauce. When served over buttery soft mashed potatoes, Maninas' liver dish is heavenly.

Carpaccio with Dandelion Salad and Truffle Oil
Anchorage, Alaska, USA

Laurie of
Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska (yep, that’s me) used the first, sweet dandelions of the year to make Carpaccio with Dandelion Salad and Truffle Oil. I also give some basic rules to follow when foraging for wild greens.

Tamarind Rice
Los Angeles, California, USA
Divya Vikram of
Dil Se says Tamarind Rice is the ultimate comfort food and can be prepared in minutes. She mixes cooked rice with lots of Indian spices, chili, and garlic. Tamarind Rice can be made with pantry staples, so is a handy dish for days when you don’t have time to go shopping.

Dhokla Sandwiches
California, USA

For days when she wants something attractive, delicious, and low-calorie, Mansi of
Fun and Food makes Dhokla Sandwiches filled with cilantro chutney. The bottom layer is a steamed chickpea flour cake and the top layer a steamed chili and cilantro cake. Dhokla Sandwiches are perfect finger food that can be served with your choice of dipping sauce.

Bottle Gourd Curry (Bolu Kodhel)
India via the UK

Sia of
Monsoon Spice came home after a long flight from India and needed simple comfort food. She made her amah’s mother’s recipe for Bottle Gourd Curry which mixes silky bottle gourd with spicy sambar powder and sweet jaggery. (Use the links if you need help understanding what, for me, are exotic ingredients.)

Parsley Pesto with Walnuts
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Peter of
Souvlaki for the Soul makes Parsley Pesto with Walnuts and serves it on toasted pita bread and also tossed with pasta. Peter says it’s delicious and highly addictive. For anyone interested in food photography, Peter’s blog is a must; he consistently takes some of the best and most innovative photographs available in the food blogosphere.

Yellow Rice & Black Bean Salad
Lima, Peru

Last Friday, Gretchen of
Canela & Comino woke up to a wind storm; winter is arriving in Peru. Gretchen, however, is still pretending it’s summer so made a healthy Yellow Rice and Black Bean Salad.

Millet and Red Pepper Pilaf
Ontario, Canada

Ricki of
Diet, Dessert and Dogs used her knowledge of gluten free grains to whip up a 20-minute Millet and Red Pepper Pilaf. Curry and coconut milk add Asian undertones, and complement the sweet red peppers. Pretty to look at, pleasingly aromatic, and ready in a flash, Ricki’s millet pilaf is a wonderful side dish.

Mom’s Stuffed Artichokes
San Diego, California, USA

Susan of
Food Blogga first helped her mom make vegetarian stuffed artichokes when she was 6. After moving to California, the artichoke-lovers’ promised land, Susan called her mom for advice on how to make them by herself. Over the years, Susan has perfected her Mom’s Stuffed Artichokes and now shares the recipe with us.

Roasted Tomatoes with Fresh Chives
Soddy Daisy, Tennessee, USA
Pam of
Sidewalk Shoes is blessed with too many chives in her garden. One way she uses them is in quick and easy Roasted Tomatoes with Fresh Chives. Pam says roasting sweetens and deepens the flavor of even off-season tomatoes.

Lamb Shanks in Port Sauce
Victoria, Australia

Autumn has arrived in Australia, and Pam of
The Backyard Pizzeria turns to her favorite cut of meat to make the perfect fall dish: Lamb Shanks in Port Sauce. Pam cleverly uses a pressure cooker to turn this normally slow-cooked dish into one that is tender and succulent in only an hour.

Black Bean Chicken Chili
Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

Mandira of
Ahaar had some leftover chicken and used it to make Black Bean Chicken Chili. Green peppers and carrots give substance to the chili, which is warmly spiced with cumin and chili powder.

Sourdough Rosemary Olive Oil Bread
Arcata, California, USA

Tommi of
Brown Interior makes her first WHB entry a great one with La Brea Bakery’s recipe for Sourdough Rosemary Olive Oil Bread. Tommi’s loaves have a beautiful tender crumb from the added olive oil, which also makes the crust thin and crispy.

Pineapple Sage

Linda of
Snowys grows Pineapple Sage as an ornamental perennial and provides links for Pineapple Sage Pound Cake and Pineapple Sage Tea. The gorgeous red flowers can also add a tasty accent to fruit salads.

Portuguese Chicken
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Australians are obsessed with
Portuguese Chicken for good reason, says Anna of Morsels & Musings. The spicy chicken is seasoned with Piri Piri (African Birdseye) Peppers which, at 175,000 Scoville units, are hotter than Thai and Pequin peppers but not as hot as Habaneros or Scotch Bonnets. To cool down your mouth, Anna throws in a bonus recipe for Coriander Soup.

Gingko Nut and Mushroom Custards
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Lucy of
Nourish Me searched out gingko nuts at an Asian grocery and used their pungent flesh to make Gingko Nut and Mushroom Custards. Seasoned with shiitake mushrooms and smoked tofu, Lucy says the barely set, quivering custards are a welcome restorative. Speaking of restoratives, Lucy’s lyrical writing and striking photographs make Nourish Me one of mine.

Roasted Garlic Oil
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Kevin of
Closet Cooking claims he used to make boring meals, but you’ll never believe it if you read his prolific postings. This week, Kevin enters an easy recipe for Roasted Garlic Oil. Making the oil leaves you with a bonus bowl of roasted garlic that can be tossed with pasta, spread on toast, slipped under chicken skin, or used in a myriad of other ways; just don’t throw it away.

Asparagus Chèvre Quiche
Les Pineaux, Vendée, France

Katie of
Thyme for Cooking dreams of eating Asparagus Chèvre Quiche in the Monet-designed gardens of Giverny and takes us along to this floral paradise. Katie's spendid quiche has an interesting brown rice crust and also includes prosciutto, tomatoes, and basil.

Braised Peas with Pancetta and Onions
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Haalo of
Cook Almost Anything brings us her mom’s recipe for Braised Peas with Pancetta and Onion. Fresh peas are combined with slowly braised onions, garlic, and pancetta in a glorious side dish. Haalo says she never has leftovers when she makes this; it’s that good.

Spring Lamb Stew
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Tammy of
Food on the Food braises spring lamb until it’s fork-tender and mixes it with fresh asparagus, peas, tarragon, and chervil to make Amanda Hesser’s Spring Lamb Stew from The Cook and the Gardener. If you haven’t seen WHB first-timer Tammy’s blog, I recommend it – she’s a humorist as well as an excellent cook.

Dolmadakia (Stuffed Grape Leaves and Zucchini Flowers)
Hania, Crete, Greece

Organically Cooked is one of my favorite Greek food blogs. Its author, Maria, is a born storyteller and purveyor of healthy, tasty, and traditional Cretan foods. For her first time participating in WHB, Maria makes rice-stuffed Dolmadakia (Stuffed Grape Leaves and Zucchini Flowers). Maria cleverly uses Dolmadakia as caps for oven-baked Stuffed Tomatoes.

Pasta with Pink Peppercorns
Chennai, India

Arundathi of
My Food Blog approached pink peppercorns with trepidation after learning they can be toxic if eaten in large quantities. However, when she made Pasta with Pink Peppercorns with exactly 5 peppercorns, Arundathi discovered they added a delicate and wonderful flavor to her vegetarian pasta recipe.

Chinois Pancakes
New York, USA

Siri of
Siri’s Corner continues her series of vegetarian Wolfgang Puck recipes with her post on Chinois Pancakes. Though the pancakes were originally designed to accompany Puck’s Chinese Duck with Plum Sauce, Siri says they can be served with just about anything. The savory pancakes, seasoned with garlic, ginger, and green onions look like beautiful lace.

Zoe’s Green Beans (Fasolakia tis Zoes)
California, USA

Green beans braised in tomato sauce are a classic of the Greek table, and for good reason: they taste wonderful. At
Mama’s Taverna, clever Lulu gives us a taste of the debates that rage in Greece over the correct way to make Fasolakia (and every other classic dish), as well as a recipe and step-by-step photographic instructions.

Creamy Quinoa with Banana, Cassia, and Almonds
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

With fall’s arrival in Melbourne, Another Outspoken Female from
Confessions of a Food Nazi is drawn to hot breakfasts. Creamy Quinoa with Banana, Cassia, and Almonds hits just the right spot. Ms. Outspoken hand-grates cassia bark for seasoning, and prefers its spicier flavor to that of milder true cinnamon.

Mushroom Balls
Davis, California, USA

Sher of
What Did You Eat? loves meatballs, but decided it was time to make something that would let her vegetarian friends “experience the joy of popping a savory orb into their mouths.” She serves her delicious gluten-free Mushroom Balls with spiced red sauce and says they look meaty, but taste like concentrated mushrooms.

Cheese, Olive, and Buttermilk Herb Bread
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

When Y of
Lemonpi was young, she made her brother hot breakfasts showcasing cheese, one of his favorite foods. In honor of those long ago days, Y recently made her brother Cheese, Olive, and Buttermilk Herb Bread. With oodles of herbs and two kinds of cheese, Y’s beautiful bread is best served warm.

Tapenade (Olive Spread)
Northern Germany
Ulrike of
Küchenlatein used thyme and rosemary from her garden to make a Provençal olive spread called Tapenade. Anchovies and capers add to Tapenade’s flavor, which is best served on freshly baked bread.

French Beans with Spicy Dried Shrimp

For busy nights when Wiffy of
Noob Cook wants flavorful food in a hurry, she makes French Beans with Spicy Dried Shrimp. Green beans are cut in 1/2” lengths, seasoned with chili, garlic, and dried shrimp, stir-fried for 5 minutes, and served with steamed rice.

Spareribs with Bitter Gourd Soup

Soli Deo Gloria of
Hearth and Home learned to remove the bitterness from bitter gourds by making Spareribs with Bitter Gourd Soup. Since bitter gourd is such a healthy vegetable, Ms. Gloria was happy to find a way to make it that even children like.

Picnic by the Loire

Ronell of
My French Kitchen kindly takes us along for a Picnic by the Loire River. She packs a hamper with beautiful herbs and vegetables (and vinaigrette on the side), and adds cheese, bread, wine, and ice cream for dessert. If wishes were horses, I’d join her on the riverbank. Since they aren’t, I’ll bask in Ronell’s lovely pictures and be inspired by her good time.

Oregano Ravioli
Ontario, Canada

Natashya of
Living in the Kitchen with Puppies shows genius by making Oregano Ravioli for her maiden voyage with WHB. She works fresh oregano directly into pasta dough and stuffs the ravioli with cheese filling. Natashya serves her ravishing ravioli with grilled chicken.

Wild Garlic Chutney
Cleveland, Ohio, USA

Maybelle’s Mom of
Feeding Maybelle is enjoying the rewards of foraging for wild plants (a woman after my own heart). She used the spoils from a recent expedition to make Wild Garlic Chutney and ate it spread on buttered toast. The chutney is a terrific example of the wonderful food that can be made with wild gleanings.

Greek Mushroom Filo Cups
New York, USA

“Musky, woodsy, just enough crunch” is how Susan of
The Well-Seasoned Cook describes her Greek Mushroom Filo Cups. Susan’s knack for evocative food descriptions and tasty recipes makes her blog one of my favorites. The mushroom cups, seasoned with coriander seed and fresh thyme, were a superb accompaniment for Susan’s late afternoon apéritif.

Chicory, Potato, and Dolcelatte Salad
United Kingdom

Scott of
Real Epicurean mixes hot potatoes with gorgonzola (dolcelatte), mustard dressing, and fresh Belgian endive (chicory) for a lovely Chicory, Potato, and Dolcelatte Salad. Lemon juice and a sprinkling of walnuts finish this luscious salad.


sher said...

Wow! Beautiful round-up! Thanks for hosting this week!

gay said...

I agree, wonderful round-up this week.

Peter G said...

Thanks for hosting Laurie and for your very kind words. It's been fun looking at all the entries and discovering new recipes. All the best...cheers!

Marija said...

Great roundup this week Laurie! So many beautiful entries!

Lucy said...

Great stuff!

I am, as always, amazed by the depth and breadth of the entries.

So many new trails to follow!

ostwestwind said...

What a wonderful roundup. Again so many delicious dishes to try. Thanks for putting it so well together.

Ulrike from Küchenlatein

noobcook said...

Thanks for posting the round up! :)

Srivalli said...

50?? many wonderful entries to go throug...Great round up laurie..thanks for your kind words !

katiez said...

Big job....Great job!
Looking at all those beautiful photos and recipes.....makes me feel so inadequate... and really, really hungry!


so much food - i felt i was at a celebration dinner!

maybelles mom said...

Great round up and thanks for the hard work .

Natashya said...

I am amazed at all the beautiful and bountiful dishes. It is an honour to cook with you.

Anonymous said...

I apologize Laurie, I left my comment for the round up on a completely wrong here goes again.
Thanks for a great job!

Peter M said...

Laurie, Bravo and good job on hosting and putting together the round-up. Of all the WHB's, I think this way of showcasing everyone's dishes is best (note to others hosting).

Kalyn said...

Beautiful job! I am heading off to work but I'll enjoy reading the ones I've missed later tonight. Thanks again for hosting.

Gretchen Noelle said...

Some of these look really, really delicious! I cannot wait to read more carefully later tonight. Yum! This may help me plan my shopping list for this week! Thanks for a great round up!

ejm said...

Very nice roundup, Laurie.

ejm said...

Yikes... I didn't mean to hit "publish" quite yet! As I was saying...

Very nice round up. I like the way you put the names of the dishes in bold.


Lulu said...

Wow! Nice descriptions of all the sites and recipes. You made me want to read all 50 blogs! (You must have been up all night!)

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Laurie! Great round-up! Loved the little stories about each entry!

Scott at Real Epicurean said...

Fantastic job. That's a lot of entries!

Lisa said...

Excellent roundup Laurie! That must have taken you a while to put together!

manju said...

What a delicious trail to follow! I can't wait to actually grow herbs again so I can throw my hat into this ring!

Ivy said...

Thanks Laurie for hosting. So many good recipes gathered together. Hope to visit and read them thoroughly.

the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

Beautifully done, Laurie,

Thanks for putting the roundup together so well. This week brought so many tempting choices. The green beans and mushroom balls are high on my to-be-tried list.

Susan from Food Blogga said...

Wow! 50 entries is a lot of work, Laurie, and you did it a lovely job. I really enjoyed reading your personalized write-ups and am going to visit a few of these blogs right now! Many thanks, Susan

Kevin said...

Great roundup!! There are a lot of tasty looking dishes in it.

MyThreeDaughters said...

The roundup is lovely thank you. Your comment about pineapple sage was interesting.

I love black beans!

Thanks for your help. Linda. (In Victoria)

Johanna said...

thanks for a great round-up - what a wealth of new ideas and ingredients to explore!

Siri said...

50 entrees in one single week is amazing number Laurie and I must say, lovely roundup!!


Sia said...

wow, so many colourful entries. thanks laurie for this wonderful round-up :)

Suganya said...

I have bookmarked many recipes from this roundup, Laurie. Thanks.

Farmgirl Susan said...

What a deliciously wonderful roundup! Thanks for being such a fantastic WHB host, Laurie! : )

Laurie Constantino said...

I'm so glad everyone liked the roundup - thanks so much for all the nice words. I really enjoyed hosting because it made me focus on each and every delicious recipe. I'm fond of round-ups with pictures - I find them to be so much more inspirational than the ones without - it was worth the extra time to put the pictures in. Thanks to one and all for participating in WHB - it's a really great event.