Sunday, March 12, 2006

Weekend Herb Blogging #23 Recap
Counting Down to Spring!

It's time again for another recap of the Weekend Herb Blogging posts people have been sending in this week. Once again food bloggers around the world have written about interesting herbs, plants, veggies, or flowers and sent the links to share for Weekend Herb Blogging. If you're not familiar with Weekend Herb Blogging, (which isn't just about herbs, and isn't just for the weekend), you can read how this all got started or how to participate in the Weekend Herb Blogging Archives.


Osaka Shi, Osaka Fu, Japan

The first herb blogger this week started early, with a fascinating post about a Japanese fruit called yuzu, a citrus fruit which is one of the main flavors in Ponzu Sauce. The Crazy Gaijin from Cooking in Japan sent a very informative post about yuzu, with lots of recipe links and places to get more information about this interesting fruit. (See, first post, and I learned something already!)

California, U.S.A.

Next was a new participant, Spicehut from Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice. She wrote about the nutritional value of spinach and shared yummy sounding recipes for Spinach Pulao and Paprika Potatoes. (Didn't know what Pulao was, so I learned something else!)

Davis, California, U.S.A.

Tomatoes and basil were the plant foods that Sher from What Did You Eat choose for WHB this week. She used them in an interesting way in her interpretation of Seared Tuna with Tomatoes and Basil, a recipe that looked fabulous to me!

Kronshagen, Schleswig-Holstein, Germany

Ulrike from Kuchenlatein was also focusing on basil in her interesting post called Basil In and On Bread. She baked a wonderful sounding Pesto Parmesan Bread and then pairs it with tomatoes, more basil, and fresh mozarella.

South of France Near the Spanish Border

Our next new herb blogger is an American from Seattle, currently living in France, near Spain, where it sounds like she gets the best food from both countries (are you jealous yet?) Riana writes the fun blog Garlic Breath, and she tells us about French Tarragon, called "the King of Herbs" in France.

Pistoia, Tuscany, Italy


Ilva from Lucullian Delights sends another post with her amazing photos, first of some thyme sprigs, and then of her finished dish, Carote Brasate con Timo. If your Italian is as rusty as mine, that's Carrots Braised with Thyme, and it does look delicious!

Fairfield, Connecticut, U.S.A.

A wonderful post about vanilla beans, with amazing photos of the beans and the vanilla plant was sent by Gini from Salt and Pepper, another new herb blogger. She shares some vanilla memories from childhood, and also a recipe for Pistachio Cake which uses the vanilla bean.

Texas, U.S.A.

Heather from Heather's Space has been preparing her new garden for a while now, and this week she's focusing on strawberry beds, which she is having fun photographing with her new camera. She also shares a recipe for Strawberry shortcake, sure to please the fussiest kids.

Melbourne, Australia

At Tomato, Ed is photographing grapes and contemplating making vinegar, but he wonders just exactly how it's done. Any experienced vinegar makers out there, head over to Tomato and leave Ed a comment.

New Jersey, U.S.A.


Next Ramya from Cooking Within My Grasp writes about Mung Bean Sprouts. She uses her sprouts to make a delicious sounding side dish which combines them with edamame, garlic, ginger, curry powder, lemon, and cilantro.

Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.A.

From a new blog called See, Sip, Taste, Hear, another new herb blogger, Collin, sends us a nice photo of some healthy looking thyme. He is contemplating planting seeds and reminiscing about the great food he got from his garden last year, something a lot of us in the U.S. are doing at this time of the year!

Istanbul, Turkey

A fantastic sounding Foccaccia with Garlic and Herbs was the subject this week for Isil from Veggie Way. Isil adapted a recipe from herb blogging regular Ilva to make a whole wheat version of this tasty bread.

Sandy Hook, Connecticut, U.S.A.

Sarah from Cucina Bella writes about mint this week, sharing mint memories, the uses of mint, and recipes for mint. She also gives one of her own recipes, an interesting sounding Basil Mint Not Pesto Sauce.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


From Blog From Our Kitchen, EJM is writing about her Sweet Bay Tree (Laurus Noblis) which she has nurtured for a few years now. She gives lots of interesting uses for the fresh bay leaves, and includes a recipe for her version of Old Bay Seasoning.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Once again, two Canadians in a row. At Once Upon a Feast, Ruth is thinking of Shrimp, Garlic and Parsley and has a dish in mind featuring that combination, as well as a lot of good seafood memories from childhood. Her posting has been interrupted for a dinner with a very important six year old, but she will finish the recipe tomorrow, probably before most of you see this anyway! (Hey, we aim to be flexible, and Ruth has been such a dedicated herb blogger she can pretty much do whatever she wants around here!)

Farmgirl's Farm, Missouri. U.S.A.
Farmgirl Susan sends a truly wonderful post about how to make and use compost, a product made from plants, and certainly of interest to the many gardeners who read Weekend Herb Blogging. I was especially interested since my good neighbors Russ and Brooke gave me a composter last fall, which I've been looking forward to using a lot more when it gets a bit warmer.

Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.A.
My own post this week was about arugula, one of my very favorite greens, and something I used to make Spagetti with Italian Sausage and Arugula, which is on its way to being one of my favorite dishes. It was delicious when I made it, delicious after being in the fridge for a few days, and I have another serving in the freezer for later! I think arugula may be the perfect food.
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8 comments:

  1. Kalyn
    I thought your pasta with the sausage and arugula sounded like a winner and one I plan to make this week. I went to the store and got the turkey sausage, grabbed the Dreamfields pasta and then proceeded to forget which green was in the dish. I took a guess and thought perhaps Kale. I picked up my bunch of Kale and headed home. THEN I looked at the recipe...oops, that would be arugula. Do you think Kale would work in this dish, or should I grab some arugula to make it properly?

    Karen

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  2. Tastewise, I think Kale would be fine here, as long as you like Kale. But I think you would need to cut the kale in ribbons (maybe cut the ribbons in half) and then boil it for a short time before you use it in the dish. Other greens like collards, mustard greens, or broccoli rabe would also work, but they would need to be pre-boiled too. Let me know how it turns out. (Bean soup with kale is on my list of recipes to try. Unfortunately it's a very long list!)

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  3. Kalyn,

    Thanks for the very interesting & diverse roundup ! You have covered the entire globe with Japan, India, Italy, France, Germany, Canada, USA, Turkey, Australia & the various regions of USA. I am happy you included my recipe :).

    Sonali

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  4. We had sausage/bean/kale/rice soup on the weekend. It was phenomenal.

    Karen, kale would probably work fine. You could parboil it as Kalyn suggested, or you could chop it and add it to the pan after you have sauteed the garlic. Throw in a little of the pasta water, put a lid overtop and cook the kale that way. This is how we prepare broccoli or broccolirabe when we make a similar dish.

    -Elizabeth

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  5. EJM, that sounds like a good way to cook the greens if you're using something that needs more cooking. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  6. Kalyn
    I tried this recipe last night with my Kale. As suggested, I boiled it briefly until it was a nice dark green. And the kale tasted great! The recipe - ehh - I guess I'm more of a sausage person in my mind. But all is not lost - I have a similar recipe I've been making like this for years with chicken, spinach and pasta. I just substitute chicken stock for the pasta water. But, what I learned with this recipe is the way the lemon juice brightens up the flavor. So now I have an enhancement to my old recipe! Thanks!

    Karen

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  7. Karen, did you use the turkey Italian Sausage? Just wondering, since it's quite a bit "lighter" tasting. But your adaptation of the recipe sounds good too.

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  8. Kalyn
    Yup, I used the turkey italian sausage. As I said, I loved the idea of the dish, but perhaps my brain is now hardwired after years of "healthy" eating to just rebel against any and all sausage! ha ha!

    Karen

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