Monday, April 16, 2007

Weekend Herb Blogging #78 - Recap


It's been a great week and it culminates with this round up - it's been a true pleasure to be hosting and as usual, there's been a fantastic mix of classic, new, unusual and forgotten ingredients from around the world.

I must begin with the creator of Weekend Herb Blogging, Kalyn from Kalyn's Kitchen and this week she continues her exploration of Parsley and offers a flavoursome Carrot, Parsley and Garbanzo (chickpea) Salad with Cumin.


Scott from Real Epicurean who even though is on holidays planned well ahead to submit his post on Herbal Teas. Head over to Scott's post and let him know what your favourite blends are.


Ruth from Once Upon a Feast somehow manages to find time to take part even though she's in the midst of a move to Halifax. She prepares two dishes, one a salad of marinated artichokes hearts and avocado with a Fatoush dressing and the other a wonderfully refreshing dessert of fresh strawberries and blueberries with vanilla yoghurt and mint.


The lovely Myriam from Once upon a Tart offers up a work of art in the form of an Oregano Pain de Champagne. If this bread isn't a perfect example of why we should all get ourselves a bannetone I don't know what is.


Ramya from Cascading Flavours arrives bearing a wonderfully rich Pluot Jam. Pluots are a plum and apricot hybrid and by the look of Ramya's jam it will be well worth seeking out this fruit.


You can find Valentina in two places, her original Trembom and Trembom in English and you can find her luscious Ricotta and Tomato Tart in both places! It's a dish not to be missed in any language. Starting from a recipe by another Australian, Bill Granger, Valentina decided to try a cornmeal pastry base instead of puff pastry to lighten the dish. Topped with ripe red tomatoes, this is a dish perfect for summer.


Pille offers us a taste of Estonia from her blog Nami-Nami. Needing to find a dish that would compliment a Danish style rolled pork belly called Rullepølse she found the perfect solution in Dandelion leaves. Picked fresh from her Grandmothers place and tasting somewhat like wild rocket, Pille tosses them in a simple dressing of extra virgin olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and tarragon leaves. She also helpfully suggest soaking them in cold water for 30 minutes to remove any harshness.


Joanna from Joanna's Food posts about Watercress - a leaf she loves but has been unable to source locally (what is available comes in from America!). Something that I found quite amazing considering how watercress is such a typically English product - what would summer be without watercress sandwiches? Joanna finds a solution in the form of Watercress seeds and I hope she will soon have a plentiful crop of that tangy, peppery leaf.


Susan from The Well-Seasoned Cook presents a wonderful recipe for that bitter Italian leaf, Treviso Radicchio. After separating the leaves of the radicchio they are laid out randomly, drizzled with olive oil and grated parmigiano or grana before being baked for only 10 minutes. The result is best left to Susan's evocative description "edges crackled with cheese, the middle mellow and rich with oil and the wide thick base of stalk still bitter enough to recall its salad days".


Helene hails from Landau, Germany and her blog is Neues aud der Küche - News from the Kitchen. You can find her recipe for Paprikapesto - Pesto of Red Peppers in both German and English. Using the full flavour of roasted red peppers (bell peppers/capsicums), they are combined with pine seeds, garlic, lemon and olive oil to produce an intense pesto. Helene uses it to make a quick pasta sauce that's sure to please.


Cate from Sweetnicks is enjoying her holiday Ham and provides a wonderful accompaniment to those that might be feeling a little jaded. She adapts her own Broth-simmered rice by adding sautéed mushrooms and extra beef broth to amp up that mushroom taste.


We return to Germany with Ulrike from Küchenlatein and during her recent holiday to the North Frisian Islands she finds a local seaweed called Bladder Wrack. Be sure to check out Ulrike's holiday shots and find out more about this most interesting seaweed!


Katie from Thyme for Cooking is extremely happy to have finally found Green Garlic at her market and taking inspiration from her first experience of Green Garlic in Spain, creates meltingly soft Green Garlic Scrambled Eggs with Prosciutto-wrapped Asparagus Tips. Forks are at the ready to dig into this dish!


Next week's host Sher constantly provides the answer to the question, What did you eat? This time she uses a herb that's new for me but used in traditional Mexican recipes, called Epazote - also called Skunk Weed. Sher notes it has an anise-like flavour and since it has anti-flatulent properties she like to use it with beans. Now due to an incident we might all relate too she needed to make something that was quick but satisfying and could be made literally while standing on one leg, the result is her delicious Eggs with Epazote and Frijoles.


Newly-wed Anna from Morsels and Musings finds her way into my heart with her Patatosalad Kyrpriaka - Cypriot Potato Salad. Though my love for potatoes doesn't extend to eating them raw, a fight may ensue over this Tessa Kiros inspired salad. How could you not enjoy this mix of potatoes, red onion, capers, parsley, lemon juice, olives, extra virgin olive oil topped with chopped boiled eggs.


Cucina Bella is Sarah's blog and as she didn't want to bother with her Kitchen Aid she decided to hand knead her favourite focaccia dough and discovers there is indeed a difference in the final outcome. Sarah presents her Easter selection of three focaccias - Kalamata Olives, Asiago Cheese and Thyme; Asiago and Romano with a sprinkle of crushed Red Pepper and the favoured Sun-dried Tomato, Romano and Rosemary. I think we'll need to have at least a piece of each and probably two...okay, maybe three just to make sure.


It's always great to see what Burcu from Almost Turkish Recipes has made as she always provides us with a fragrant taste of her homeland. This time she uses Green Lentils to present a dish from her grandparents region of Eastern Thrace - Yeşil Mercimek.


Last week's host the lovely Anh from Food Lover's Journey presents a dreamingly delicious offering using Tara Root. When choosing Taro, Anh helpfully informs us to seek out the smaller ones as they have a sweeter and more delicate texture. Anh makes an impressive dish based on one found at a local restaurant here in Melbourne - steamed taro is flavoured with Chinese fermented bean curd and then stuffed into eggplant slices which are then coated in a besan batter before finally being deep-fried!


Staying in Australia but heading up to Sydney, we find Y and her blog Lemonpi and she recounts a cautionary tale of the $50 tomato. With such a prized possession the problem becomes what to do with it and Y offers up a few worthy suggestions. You might be asking why did the tomato cost so much - ah, head to the post and find out!


Vani's blog is called Batasari, which in her native tongue means Traveller and she presents a traditional healing soup called Miriyala Chaaru - Andhra Pepper Rasam. This is a south Indian soup made from a variety of spices which include cumin, fenugreek, black mustard seeds, and turmeric along with cilantro (coriander), garlic and curry leaves. The rasam broth is based on Tamarind. Do head over to find out how all these flavours come together in a most intriguing soup.


Veggie Friendly is Sydneysider Kate's blog and this is her first post for Weekend Herb Blogging and I do hope she'll find time to take part again. Kate uses her favourite vegetable, the eggplant to make that wondrously smoky and creamy dish that no-one can resist, Baba Ghanoush. Kate also offers excellent hints on the use of Tahini and ideas for variations to this dip.


Sridevi from Sreelu's Tasty Travels selects mint as the focus of her post and makes the most charming Mint Tea Sandwich with Roasted Garlic and Sun-dried Tomato Cream Cheese. She first whips up a Mint Chutney using mint, coriander, chillies, black salt and lemon juice and then teems it with a Roasted Garlic and Sun-dried Tomato Cream Cheese to create a full-flavoured three slice sandwich using toasted whole wheat bread.

Big Cook, Tiny Kitchen is Ashley's blog and she is another who has had a most hectic week but has managed, even with the one and a half hours of chopping to make this colourful and tasty Asian Coleslaw. In the dressing she uses a combination of rice wine vinegar, vegetable oil, creamy peanut butter, soy sauce, brown sugar, fresh ginger and garlic and for the salad she mixes up green, red and Napa cabbages along with red bell peppers, carrots, green onions and fresh cilantro (coriander)! The end result scores an A+!


In Singapore we find Angie at My Kitchen:My Laboratory where she presents a fruit well loved by this blog, the Seckel Pear. Adapting a Donna Hay recipe Angie poaches the pears in her very own mix of Muscat and natural Red Grape Juice that has been spiced with cinnamon stick and clove - the pears developing a delicate pink blush as they poach.


Anna from Anna's Cool Finds shares with us a dish created for a Supper Club date. Anna does say it's an "unusual salad flavour combination" but I think you'll be intrigued and impressed by her Spicy Spinach Salad with Chocolate Dressing! The salad is made with Organic baby spinach, orange serrano peppers, organic strawberries and sliced almonds and for the dressing, well, head over and read the details for yourself!


Nick's blog is The Tracing Paper and he lives in England and works for the East Anglia Food Link which helps to promote and develop local and sustainable food supply chains. It's very fitting that his post revolves around a forgotten vegetable known as Alexanders. Nick describes them as a little like celery and parsley but that they fell out of common usage with the introduction of new celery varieties in the 19th century. For a full background do read Nick's well researched and informative post.


Brigitte is from Küchendunst aus Singapur and her focus is on lovely Rosemary and she uses it to make Rosemary Lamb Kebabs with Roasted Cumin Potatoes and Walnut Lambs Lettuce. Lamb loins are trimmed and marinated then skewered - you can use rosemary stalks to do this and then they are simply grilled until just browned. If that isn't enough to tempt you, then make sure you pay particular attention to her potatoes - the magic ingredient of goose fat is used to ensure they are full of flavour and extra crispy.


Superspark's Emily is from Southern California and finds a delicious solution for her large bag of Spinach. Inspired by Mark Bittman's article in the New York Times, Emily whips up a heavenly stack of Swedish-inspired Spinach Pancakes. I think you'll agree these would be perfect at any time of the day!


Multi-talented Patricia from Technicolour Kitchen offers a different spin on Risotto with her Baked Zucchini and Bacon Risotto. Adapting a method from Donna Hay and although initially feeling a little unsure that it would work, Patricia happily reports back with complete success - the proof is definitely in the picture!


Finally, it's my own offering of Roasted Swiss Brown Mushrooms with Chèvre and Lemon Thyme


What can I say to sum up - the variety on offer perfectly illustrates why Weekend Herb Blogging is such a great event - we travelled near and far and had the most amazing mix of ingredients, some traditional some modern but all uniquely different.

I hope you all return next week where Sher will be hosting - don't forget you can find all the details on Weekend Herb Blogging at Kalyn's Kitchen.

If I have left anyone out or there are problems with any of the links please just let me know and I'll see to it right away.

Many thanks go to all of you who have taken part and I hope you've enjoyed this journey as much as I have.

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  1. Wow, what an amazing array of interesting recipes again. I just keep thinking it can't possibly go on like this week after week, and somehow it does. I *must* go to bed now, but I'll be back tomorrow to see the ones I've missed. Thanks again for hosting (and doing photos for so many entries!)

  2. That's amazing, so many delicious recipes and such a variety. A wonderful round-up and a lovely presentation, thank you.
    I hope I will ever find some time to try out some of those delicious recipes I found week by week in this wonderful event.

  3. great roundup. it must have taken you aaaaaages to do!

  4. What a delicious, mouth watering round up!! And an extraordinary presentation. Thanks for doing the job for us!! :)

  5. Well done!
    This can keep me happy in the kitchen for a bit.

  6. Thanks Kalyn - it really was a treat to do.

    Thanks Brigitte - the thanks go to all that take part!

    Thanks Myriam - when it's enjoyable you never look at how long it takes!

    Thanks Helene, my pleasure!

    Thanks Anna!

    Thanks Katie!

  7. Great round up - a couple of new faces on here this week. Great stuff.

  8. Thanks for this great round-up, Haalo!

  9. Thanks and Happy birthday

  10. Thank you, Haalo, for this beautiful and thoughtful presentation. Sometimes I think I have such eclectic and adventurous tastes, and then I see so many nifty new recipes that I need to further explore.

  11. Haalo, I knew this was going to be an amazing round up.
    What a lovely post, you are so generous and kind, my dear. I'm proud to be a part of this.
    Thank you for the wonderful comment, coming from a cook like you I feel so flattered!

  12. Wonderful recap! As usual, everything looks delicious.


  13. Wonderful re-cap! I like that you included the photos for everything. It all looks SO GOOD!

  14. Great recap! Lots of reading to do....Thanks! :)

  15. What a fabulous job of hosting this week's WHB - great commentary.

    So many wonderful dishes - all I have to do now is find some time to really read and try out all those entries!

    Thanks for hosting.

  16. Thanks Scott!

    Thanks Angie!

    Thank you Ramya!

    Thanks Susan - inspiration is one of those gifts that we can never have too much of.

    Thanks Patricia - every word is true you should be very proud of your talents!

    Thanks Paz - there's such a great variety!

    Thanks Christa - it's nice to see how wonderful everything looked.

    Thanks Ruth - I think at this rate I'll be cooking until I'm 162!


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