Sunday, September 28, 2008

Weekend Herb Blogging #151 - Recap

There's not long to go until Weekend Herb Blogging celebrates its Third Anniversary and in previous years we have voted on our favourite herb and then our favourite vegetable.

Unfortunately I campaigned too late for Potato last year and Tomato somehow managed to win - I'm sure there were some shady dealings going on with lettuce, arugula and cucumber, I mean tomato isn't even a real vegetable.

So just in case we'll be selected our favourite fruit, I thought I might just jump the gun and cover all bases.

votesage© by Haalo votepotato.jpg© by Haalo votemango© by Haalo

Without further ado, time to recap the fascinating entries for this week and you'll find that I have grouped them by their featured ingredient or where more than one ingredient is used, by the dish made.

Assam Laska

In New York, Lesley from Beachlover's Kitchen treats us to Assam Laska - Spicy and Sour Fish Noodle Soup


The distinctive flavour of this Assam Laska comes from Tamarind but as Lesley explains even if you can't make this base from scratch there is a handy alternative to give it that authentic flavour.


Grilled Zucchini Lasagne with Italian Sausage, Tomato and Basil Sauce


WHB founder Kalyn from Kalyn's Kitchen shows us that you don't need pasta to make an utterly delectable lasagne. Here she's used grilled zucchini rounds and layered them with her sausage and marinara basil sauce and a mix of cottage cheese, mozzarella and pecorino.

Bitter melon

In Manilla, Ning from Heart and Hearth makes a Bitterless Bittermelon Salad - Ampalaya Salad


If you've been unsure of bitter melon because of its bitterness than this post is for you. Ning explains her relationship with the flavour and her quest to find an easy way to eliminate that bitter taste. She also gives handy tips on choosing bitter melon. Once you read Ning's method of removing that bitter taste you too can make and enjoy her bitter melon salad.

Burdock Root

In Chicago, Jude from Apple Pie, Patis, and Pâté makes Kinpira Gobo - Stir-Fried Spicy Burdock Root


It's not an "anaemic carrot" - it's Burdock and Jude features this uncommon root in a stir fry using Japanese techniques and flavours - sake, soy and shichimi togarsashi. The finishing touch is a sprinkling of toasted white sesame seeds.

Butternut Pumpkin/Squash

In Mountain View, CA Maggie is The Salad Girl and has made Butternut Squash with Carrots and Basil


The colours of autumn are alive on this plate. Maggie's intriguing dressing for this dish uses apple cider vinegar, garlic, lemon juice, cinnamon, cumin, chilli powder, sesame oil as well as a generous handful of fresh basil leaves. It's tossed through a mix of steamed butternut squash, carrot and garlic.


From Vancouver, js and ts of [eatingclub] Vancouver make Caper Salad


ts draws on inspiration from a fellow blogger to make this Caper Salad - a simple mix of boiled potatoes, capers, garlic, vinegar, red onions, chives, oregano and olive oil, mashed together it's served at room temperature. Just reading the description makes my mouth water.


Cook's Sister!, Jeanne from London prepares Pork Medallions in a Creamy Chanterelle Sauce


Jeanne has been sick with the flu all weekend so I'm sure you'll join me in sending well wishes her way. She's managed to champion through and post about her first experience with Chanterelle mushrooms. I can understand Jeanne's excitement over them - where's my knife and fork when I need them?


Becke is the Columbus Foodie and offers up Crustless Swiss Chard Quiche


This is Becke's first recipe using Chard and reading just how quickly this quiche disappeared, it's no surprise to find that it will be made again. Both the stems and leaves are used along with onion, shredded cheese, eggs and milk.


Pam from Sidewalk Shoes whips up Cilantro Lime Sour Cream


There's an usual ingredient in this flavoured Sour Cream - it's not the cilantro or cumin or lime - you'll just have to check out Pam's post to find out.

Cheryl from Gluten Free Goodness prepares a gluten free and vegan dish of Salsa Mole


A glut of tomatoes led Cheryl to make this salsa mole - a mix of avocado, tomatoes, sweet pepper, shallot, cumin, cayenne, lime and fresh cilantro.

Curry Pastes

Graziana from Erbe in Cucina (Cooking with Herbs) treats us to a trio of Curry Pastes


Graziana not only supplies us with a basic curry paste she also shows just how easy it is to whip up these trio of classic curries - Thai Red, Thai Green and Thai Yellow - it's like a traffic lights of curry!

Dill and Parsley

Fellow Victorian, Pam from The Backyard Pizzeria creates grand final worthy Dill and Parsley Pots


Pam and I can commiserate on the various misfortunes of our respective teams this year but we can all join together to enjoy this delightful dish. A pesto is made using spring onions, pecans, dill, parsley and lemon juice and it's then mashed into persian feta to create these herb spiked cheese pots. Pass the crackers please!

Finger Lime

Sydneysider Anna from Morsels and Musings gives us something to cheer about, Finger Lime Martini


I do adore finger limes but I have nothing but problems trying to find them so I'm over the moon to see Anna's. If finger limes draw a blank for you, then all the answers to this intriguing native fruit can be found in her post.


Dee from Choos and Chews whips up a Lemony Three Mushroom Pasta


There's a plethora of mushroomy goodness in Dee's post but she settles on three - dried porcini, field and button mushrooms to form the heart of her pasta sauce.

From Surrey, Valentina from Trembom - English Version creates an Open Lasagne of Mushroom and Spinach


Valentina not only manages her Spanish site Trembom but also does it all again in her english site. If that isn't enough, Valentina will also be hosting next weeks WHB! For this dish, Valentina takes sheets of lasagne that have been cooked off with a little ras el hanuout and alternatively covers them with mushrooms and spinach - parmesan finishes the dish.


Burcu from Almost Turkish Recipes supplies us with a fascinating Purslane Tomato Salad - Pirpirim/Semizotu Piyazi


Purslane may well be considered a "weed" but I'm sure you'll agree that this salad of purslane, parsley, tomatoes, cucumber, red & green peppers looks utterly irresistible. The dressing uses pomegranate syrup, sumac and paprika along with lemon juice and olive - it's a fabulous combination of spice and perfume.

Red Corn

Food Blogga Susan presents a unique and colourful dish of Red Corn with Cilantro and Cotija Anejo Cheese


They may look like pomegranate seeds but they are red corn kernels. Susan explains the story behind this coloured corn and describes its taste and texture and how it differs from everyday corn. For those of us without access to red corn you'll be happy to know you can substitute traditional corn in this dish.

Red Shiso

In San Jose, we find Nate from the House of Annie and this delightful bowl of Pork and Eggplant Soup with Tomato and Red Shiso


Nate grows his own Red Shiso and I certainly hope the plant will survive the cooler weather especially when it's used in such a comforting soup. I need to find my spoon and dig into this!


From picturesque Lake Garda comes Bri from Briiblog with her Lemon Confit with Rosemary - Limoni confit al Rosmarino


Flavoured with rosemary, juniper berries and chilli, these confit lemons offer an interesting variation on preserved lemons. Make them now and you'll be enjoying them at Christmas.


From San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, Victoria from Flavors of the Sun joins us with a wild Mexican Herb, Yerba de Venado


Yerba may be hard to find but Victoria supplies us with all the information we need to use it. While it finds its way in local dishes it also has medicinal properties as an aide against indigestion. Victoria searches for this herb by scent and she certainly has me yearning to follow and seek out this most elusive herb.

Zucchini Flowers

Maria from Organically Cooked brings us a beautiful Italian inspired dish of Fried Zucchini Flowers - Κολοκυθοανθούς α λα ιταλικά


Maria lives in Crete and grows her very own zucchini - the flowers of which are used for this dish. With an abundance of flowers, she decides not to make the traditional rice stuffed versions but instead whips up a bounty of crispy fried zucchini flowers. Maria offers many serving suggestions that will surely have you dreaming of the Mediterranean.

One more to finish:



My own offering of Chocolate and Beetroot Cakes

I hope you enjoy this recap as much as I have - I don't know what other event offers such an amazing variety of ingredients and recipes. Every week without fail, there's something new to discover.

Remember that next week Valentina will be hosting - send your posts to
valentina (dot) jacome (at) gmail (dot) com

Don't forget to check out the WHB rules and hosting schedule.

If I've missed anyone out or if the details are incorrect or links not working - just shoot me an email or leave a comment and I'll fix it up.


  1. Great recap! Thanks Haalo :)

  2. Thanks for the roundup! Hmm.. What should I post about next?

  3. wow!!!
    haaloo...thanks this was really a fantastic roundup!!
    so happy being part of it!!!
    see you soon.

  4. i'd have to say that yours sounds the most creative - i love zucchini in my chocolate cake, so why not beetroot? great choice

  5. i'm impressed with the great range of unique and interesting ingredients this week!
    thanks for hosting.

  6. Haalo you are too funny. I'm still trying to decide what to do for the three year anniversary, but your vote for potato is duly noted.

    I have to go to school now but will be back to check out any entries I've missed. Thanks again for hosting.

  7. Thanks Magpie!

    Thanks Jude - I'm sure whatever you choose will be wonderful.

    Grazie Brii!

    Thanks Maria - it certainly gets people what's that flavour?

    Thanks Anna - totally agree, it was a fantastic range

    Thanks Kalyn - i willing to put in the hard miles for potato ;)

  8. Haalo - you did an excellent job as host for WHB. Thank you for your hard work!

    If I could suggest for next time, could you link to the recipe from each picture as well as give the link in the text? I clicked on the pictures and Flickr said I did not have permission...

  9. Thanks Nate-n-Annie - i don't think that is necessary as you should visit the corresponding site and see all of the participates photos for their post. I view the photos as a guide only.

  10. Haalo, thanks for the brilliant roundup. Love the layout and your cake!

  11. Nice-looking round-up! So neat and well-organized.

    And wow, I've never heard of/seen finger limes before!

    Perhaps we'll use beets more if it's combined with chocolate. Hehe. =)

  12. Wow, so many great entries this week. I always love it when there are things I haven't heard of, and there were quite a few this time! Great job, thanks so much for hosting.

  13. I agree with you! This is the weekly event where we see and learn many interesting ingredients and dishes! Thanks for a wonderful write up and a fabulous round-up!

  14. Thanks for the informative round-up. I really enjoyed the descriptions and the recipes. Have a great week!

  15. Thanks Dee!

    Thanks ts - that's a theory worth exploring ;)

    Thanks Kalyn - always a pleasure!

    Thanks Ning!

    Thanks Susan - look forward to your turn in a couple of weeks!

  16. Oh, what a lovely roundup, Haalo! And thanks for your wishes for my good health - it must have worked as I'm feeling much better now :)

  17. Thanks Jeanne - glad to hear you're all better now!


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