Sunday, June 29, 2008

Sharpening the Focus of Weekend Herb Blogging and Recap of Entries for Week 139

Earlier today I posted some new rules for Weekend Herb Blogging, something I'd been thinking about for a while and finally decided it was time for. Those rules go into effect on July 20, so hopefully everyone has a chance to read them before that time. I appreciate the nice responses to the rules so far. Amazingly enough, even though I was obsessing over rules and writing a couple of other pieces, I've managed to get the recap for this week done on Sunday, so let's just get right to the food!


Assorted Herbs
There are herbs galore in this entry of Potato Salad with Labneh and Herbs from Pam at The Backyard Pizzeria. Pam strains Greek yogurt to make Labneh, which she then marinates in chilies and herbs, then uses the labneh in potato salad, with even more herbs.


Basil
Erbe in Cucina is an Italian blog specializing in herbs, and Graziana has posts featuring many types of different herbs. Her recipe this week is for Broken Pizza, almost a combination of salad and pizza and featuring basil as well as oregano.

Basil (Purple)
When Susan from Farmgirl Fare had a friend give her some purple basil, last year she was suspicious about how she'd like it. Now fast forward one year later and she's making it into Purple Basil Pesto, which is being used to make delicious looking pizza and white bean dip! Now I want some purple basil!

Betel Leaves
A fascinating post from Wandering Chopsticks, who discusses the different types of betel leaves, and then shares a delicious-sounding recipe for Mieng Kham or Thai Leaf-Wrapped Snack. If you can't find betel leaves, you can also make this with butter lettuce or spinach leaves.

Capers
I'm filing this entry under capers, although there is also lots of lovely parsley and fresh dill in the recipe for Farfalle with Smoked Trout and Capers posted by Natashya from Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. There's also some information here about capers if you haven't cooked with them.

Cherries
Sher from What Did You Eat has a classic old ice cream maker that has served her well, and this time she's using it to make absolutely amazing sounding Sweet Cherry Ice Cream, with vanilla for extra flavor. Sher is saluting vanilla, but since the ice cream is made from cherries she picked herself and saved in the freezer (!) I'm filing this under cherries.
Chives
When Pam from Sidewalk Shoes checked her fridge and found she had leftover grilled chicken, she visited her herb garden for some chives, rounded up garlic and mayo and made a delightful sounding Garlic Chive Mayo, perfect as a dip for the chicken.

Cilantro
I'm trying to learn about Indian cooking, so Sia from Monsoon Spice will have to decide whether my Americanized description of her absolutely delicious looking Kothimbir Vadi captures this dish, which I'd describe as a type of savory baked, then fried, snack made using cilantro and chickpea flour. Go and see the magnificent photos for yourself, and read about how healing herbs are incorporated into Indian cooking.

Cilantro
Andrea from Andrea's Recipes is really speaking my language with her recipe for delicious-sounding Cilantro Slaw. Cilantro and cabbage, two of my favorites in one dish, and this looks perfect for hot weather with no mayo in the slaw.

Coconut
The Almond, Coconut, and Honey Brioche from Dhanggit's Kitchen looks delicious. Dhanggit tells us she is in a baking mood due to the Festival of Music in her town in France.

Curry Leaves
For a while now I've been anxious to try curry leaves, and now here is Curry Leaves Chutney from Dil Se to tempt me once again to use this interesting ingredient. I know this plant is used a lot in India, but I'm wondering if it's grown in the U.S., anyone know?

Edamame (soybeans)
Chris from Mele Cotte was a bit skeptical at first about Edamame, but now she's a convert. She's used them this time with eggs in an Edamame Pepper Scramble that's tasty and full or protein too.
Fennel
Maggie from Magpie has a new twist on an old favorite with her tasty-sounding Fennel Bulgur Waldorf Salad. I have fennel in my garden this year, so I love getting ideas for how to use it.

Fenugreek Leaves
I wish I could have a taste of the Green Peas and Fenugreek Leaves Curry made by Jayashree at My Experiments with Food, since I've never tasted fresh fenugreek leaves, and the photo looks delicious.

Garlic Scapes
If you're lucky enough to encounter some garlic scapes at your Farmers Market, you must check this delightful and infomative post from Apple Pie, Patis, and Pate on Garlic Scapes 12 Ways. There are some tasty ideas for this interesting plant ingredient.

Garlic Scapes
More about garlic scapes, this time from Cheryl at Gluten Free Goodness who has two kinds of garlic in her garden and is putting them to good use with a great-sounding recipe for Garlic Scapes Pesto.
Garlic Scapes
Another delightful entry with garlic scapes comes from The Cabinet of Prof. Kitty who has made a delightful dish called Golden Tofu, Baby Bok Choy and Scape Confetti. I had already decided this sounded good, even before I saw the cilantro garnish!

Green Onions
Natalie from Gluten Free Mommy has learned to recreate the flavor of Sesame Chicken like her favorite Chinese restaurant makes it, and she finishes it off with green onions, and a great tip for getting more green onions from the roots you might throw in the garbage.

Kumquats
Maybelle's Mom at Feeding Maybelle has some leftover pie crust, so she decided to turn it into delightful looking Mini Kumquat-Blackberry Pies. I'm filing this under kumquats mostly so you can discover her link for kumquat-star anise marmalade. (My sincere apologies to MM for initially leaving her out of the recap!)

Lavender
Lavender is a beautiful plant which also has culinary uses and Gwen from Intoxicated Zodiac has used it to flavor a delightful cocktail she's calling Lavender Bees Knees.

Mango
There are a lot of delicious ways to eat mango, but the Pickle with Mango and Amaranth Leaves from Srivalli at Cooking 4 All Seasons is one of the most intriguing uses for mango that I've seen for a long time.

Mint
If it's hot where you are, Astrid from Paulchen's Food Blog is offering something to help you cool off with her version of Very Berry Lassi with Choc-Mint. There is some good information about mint here too.

Mint
It's the blend of sour, sweet, and spicy flavors that makes Thai food so distinctive and the Thai Cucumber Salad from Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants sounds fantastic. Then to make the salad even more flavorful, Jerry's usings lots of fresh mint and peanuts; I want some of this!

Nectarines
Sue from Coffee and Cornbread has roasted some nectarines and used them to make Roasted Nectarine and Crab Apple Ice Cream. Don't you think that sounds good?

Oregano
Even though the sound of Bacon and Oregano Homemade Pasta already sounds pretty intriguing, you must also read this post from Patricia at Technicolor Kitchen to hear how much fun she had making the pasta with her husband.

Oregano
I admit I hadn't thought about the idea of using oregano with salmon, but as soon as I saw the photos of Oregano Salmon at Beachlover's Kitchen, I knew this would taste good together. She's using oregano from her garden too, which is always a plus.

Oregano
At Chez Us, the bloggers were tired and wanted a simple meal so they used some summer squash with fresh garden oregano to come up with Summer Squash with Oregano and Chilies. I love summer squash, so this sounds great to me.

Parsley
I love sauces that are thick with herbs, and I think you'd have to agree that this Steak with Chimichurri Sauce from Closet Cooking looks just delicious. If you're not familiar with Chimichurri Sauce, check the recipe.

Parsnip / Truffles
Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once always comes up with something creative and delicious looking for Weekend Herb Blogging, and this week she's used parsnip to make a Creamy Parsnip Soup. Then, for the surprise ending she's topped the soup with very finely grated truffle chocolate. Read more at Haalo's blog about this unique ingredient, which isn't what you might be thinking.

Radish Greens / Swiss Chard
My own entry this week was Spicy Stir-Fried Radish Greens and/or Swiss Chard. I made this with tender radish greens from my garden mixed about half-and-half with chard leaves, but you can use all chard if you don't have any radish greens.

Red Rice
There are two interesting ingredients in this dish of Red Rice and Dried Scallop Congee from Heart and Hearth in the Phillipines, and if you don't know what congee is, you can find that out too in this post.

Romaine Lettuce
I've long been interested in the idea of cooked romaine lettuce, so I was completely charmed by the sound of Braised Romaine and Peas from [eating club] Vancouver. It's also exciting that this is the very first time entering a blog event for this blogging couple, so everyone go leave them nice comments!

Spinach
Rachel from The Crispy Cook is having trouble with garden pests, but luckily she still has some spinach, which she's combined with asparagus and fresh garden peas to create Three Spring Sisters Pasta.

Spring Onions
I learn so much from my fellow bloggers, and now Tigerfish from Teczcape - an Escape to Food is teaching me that Spring Onions, Green Onions, and Scallions Are Not the Same. This informative post is a must-read.

Spruce Tips ( or Pine Tips or Fir Tips)
I hope you haven't been missing out on the posts about foraging for wild food being done by Laurie from Mediterranean Cooking in Alaska, because they've been fascinating. This week she's been harvesting the delicate new growth at the end of the branches of Spruce trees, and brings us a truly amazing post on How to Harvest Spruce Tips with Recipes for Using Spruce Tips. A great read, whether or not you have any spruce trees where you live.

Strawberries
Recently the Chocolate Lady from In Mol Araan made a delicious Port Wine Chocolate Cake. When she found she had strawberries and egg yolks to spare, she used them to make a quite decadent looking Port Wine and Strawberry Buttercream as a frosting for the cake. It does look quite spectacular, doesn't it?

Sumac
Even though Anna from Morsels and Musings has focused on parsley in her well-researched post, I decided to file her Scallops with Sumac and Pomegranate Molasses under Sumac, mainly because I bet there are people who haven't run into this unsual ingredient. If that's you, click over to Anna's blog and read about about Sumac.

Winter Melon
If you're someone like me who has only a faint idea of what winter melon is, you must read this entry from Kits Chow about the Winter Melon Soup she's created. There are also wonderful photos of the process of hollowing out the melon, filling with soup broth, steaming, and adding other soup ingredients.

Zucchini
From Organically Cooked in Crete garden zucchini are used with tomatoes and garden critters to create Snails in Tomato Stew, and you must see the video to believe that most of the family members are eating it.

Zucchini
It's zucchini season even in France, where Jennifer from Like to Cook has made a delightful sounding Zucchini Frittata, which she says is great cold for lunch the next day.

Zucchini
More Zucchini from France, this time from Katie at Thyme for Cooking, who's moving and getting a new stove, with advice from her blog readers! Even though she's packing Katie found time to post about Sauteed Courgette (Zucchini) with Balsamic Vinegar. She's used fresh parsley and basil in this dish to make it extra tasty.

That's 40 entries for this week, and some really great reads among them. Personally I love learning about new uses for interesting ingredients through Weekend Herb Blogging. Thanks to everyone for the entries. (And don't forget to read the new rules for Weekend Herb Blogging if you haven't seen them.)
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17 comments:

magpie said...

Everything looks so good! Thanks for a great round-up :)

Chris said...

Yum! Wonderful round up. I have bookmarked the new rules! Perfect timing, as I just got my herb garden going this week....late, I know!

the chocolate lady מרת שאקאלאד said...

Wow, beautifully done Kalyn.

I had no idea you could harvest and eat spruce tips! Spruce tips! Bless my soul!

MEDITERRANEAN KIWI said...

this post exudes a summer fragrance...
dried curry leaves were available in my last visit to NZ, where i bought some, and they add a tangy taste to stews

Lore said...

Yummy round-up! What appeal to me the most are: the broken pizza, the garlic chive mayo and that golden-brown zucchini frittata. Can I eat them all for breakfast?

Paz said...

I just posted a comment but got a message that it didn't go through. So, I'm trying again. If you have a double posting from me, I apologize. Just wanted to say that it's always fun to see the lineup of WHB entries. Everyone always presents something interesting and delicious-looking. Also like the new, enhanced rules. They'll enhance WHB even more.

Best,
Paz

Christy said...

Curry plants do grow in the US. I've got one that's about 5 feet tall right out my breakfast nook window. I'm in Florida though and they definitely need the Florida climate. My family in NY has had no luck with them! If you're in a warm part of the country, you might find a plant at an Indian grocery store. I've never seen them at a traditional nursery and definitely not at Home Depot or Lowes.

Kalyn said...

Thanks for the nice thoughts everyone. I did think the spruce tips were such an interesting entry, and I appreciate the tips about curry leaves. Salt Lake actually has a really good Indian market (probably a few, but one I've visited) and I'll look there.

katiez said...

My comment did the 'error' bit, so....
Wonderful recipes, as usual... Lot's to try; some I can only think about ;-(
I'm really going to miss my established herb garden... this fall and winter, and esp. next spring. But it will be such fun to plan a new one. I'll have to look for strange/new/exotic herbs to add!

Kalyn said...

Katie, I just did a post which got the "error" message and now it's weird and I can't see anything wrong. So annoying!

How fun to be having a new herb garden to experiment with, but I can see it will be hard to miss the herbs this year. I don't know how cold it gets where you're moving, but maybe you can plant some quick-growing herbs now.

Patricia Scarpin said...

There are so many delicious recipes here, Kalyn - my to try list has just gotten longer. :)

Thank you for a wonderful round up!

Sia said...

lovely round-up Kayln. inspired by ur WHB i have started growing herbs at home :) keeping my fingers crossed as i dont have much needed green fingers when it comes to gardening:)

Srivalli said...

Beautiful round up Kalyn..thank you for hosting!

coffeepot said...

Gosh what a great roundup. Thanks again Kalyn.

swirlingnotions said...

Oh my goodness! My mouth is watering big time . . . every week I say it's the best roundup yet!

Jayashree said...

Lovely round-up, Kalyn....thank you. Curry leaves do grow in the US...I had a curry leaf plant while I lived in Florida......

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

Thank you for hosting this week's WHB. I'm learning a lot from all the other entries: such interesting dishes that I have yet to try.

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