Weekend Herb Blogging #44 - The Recap

Monday, August 07, 2006

I am delighted to welcome Weekend Herb Blogging to Washington, D.C. Thank you, Kalyn, for giving me the honor to be this week's guest host.

What I enjoy most about this weekly blogging event is the way it brings people together from all parts of the world to share a common interest in using fresh herbs, vegetables, flowers and fruits -- and above all, for celebrating the love of good, homemade food. Each edition of WHB takes me on a virtual global vacation of sorts -- to discover new places and culinary creations. This week we have five continents, seven countries, and ten states of the USA represented at the table.

So join us at this virtual international café and see what we have on the menu. There is something for everyone, and enough for a feast!

Featured Ingredient: Purslane
Location: Utah, USA

We begin our culinary adventure at Kalyn's Kitchen, where Kalyn has cooked up something unique using an ingredient that many people think of as a weed: purslane. For the first time, she tried this nutritious plant in a recipe called Chopped Middle Eastern Salad with Purslane. Combined with a refreshing blend of mint and parsley, she said this succulent plant has a flavor similar to spinach or chard. With a wonderful recipe like this, why not put your own garden's fast-growing purslane to good use? Thank you, Kalyn, for inspiring us to try something new.

Featured Ingredient: Samphire
Location: Istanbul, Turkey

Another new treat for our taste buds is Samphire Salad from Isil at Veggie Way. She introduces us to this naturally-salty and nutritious herb that grows wildly on the shores of the Aegean coast. Bathed in a pomegranate syrup, this salad sounds unusual and refreshing!

Featured Ingredient: Garlic chives
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Dan of SaltShaker will heat up our palates now with his Five-Spice Veal Sausage Patties. The uncommonly-seen garlic chives and a bit of rosé champagne give these meaty bites a special touch. Each patty can be dipped into a spicy, golden sauce made with peaches. Maravilloso!

Featured Ingredient: Carrots
Location: New York, USA

Are you craving something crunchy? Then let's join The Cooking Adventures of Chef Paz, where Paz has served up a doubly-crunchy Carrot and Peanut Salad. It's simple to make and cool to the taste -- an ideal salad for the sweltering days of summer. You'll get great health benefits from the carrots, too. Crunch! Crunch!

Featured Ingredients: Rosemary, sage, thyme and spices
Location: Toronto, Canada

Ruth at Once Upon a Feast chooses a mouthwatering mix of sage, thyme, rosemary, and five different spices to make her Tuscan Style Ribs with Balsamic Glaze. Ruth has a passion for using locally-grown ingredients in her cooking. She paired the ribs with a wonderful-looking salad and fresh corn on the cob from a local farm. A perfect summer meal!

I jokingly said to Ruth that she's cooking enough to have us all over for dinner this week. In a second entry for Weekend Herb Blogging, she features Some Delicious South Beach Diet-Friendly Dinners, including Saffron Shrimp. I'll take a serving of that, please, with a nice icy glass of sangria!

Featured Ingredients: Saffron, bay leaf and fresh thyme
Location: California, USA

If you like saffron, you're in luck today because Sher from What Did You Eat? brings us another dish that features this very special spice, which is derived from crocus flowers. Her Zuni Cafe Chicken Bouillabaisse is a gorgeous golden color and looks magnificent resting atop a thick slice of bread slathered with "intensely garlicky" homemade aioli. She says it's one of the best dishes she's ever made, and I'll bet she'd like to invite George Clooney to try some!

Featured Ingredients: Arugula, spinach and radicchio
Location: New Hampshire: USA

If we happen to find ourselves Up a Creek Without a PatL, Pat herself will make sure we don't go hungry. She has prepared a Spinach, Arugula, and Radicchio Salad with Gorgonzola and Sugared Pecans. As the days grow cooler, this will be a great way to use a fall crop of these leafy greens. May I have an extra handful of those pecans with mine, please?

Featured Ingredient: Sage
Location: Vancouver, Canada

At Daily Unadventures in Cooking, Katerina has been looking for an ideal way to use the fresh sage she has been growing in a pot on her front porch. She found a great solution: Butternut Squash Ravioli with Sage Brown Butter Sauce. What makes this dish particularly special is that she made the pasta from scratch, and she shares helpful tips on what she learned in the process. The result is a fragrant, buttery-good comfort dish.

Featured Ingredients: Grape tomatoes, eggplant, savory and thyme
Location: California, USA

Beginner gardeners can probably relate to the story posted by Surfindaave, The Serendipitous Chef. His tomato plant yielded only 13 tiny tomatoes. But with a few extras he bought from the store, he cooked up a Summer Savory Tomato Risotto with Roasted Eggplant. Graced with leaves of fresh thyme, savory and parsley, it looks like a wonderful celebration of summer flavors and aromas.

Featured Ingredient: Sweet corn
Location: Iowa

If it's getting too hot in the kitchen, let's step outside for a moment and see what's cooking on the grill. Genie, The Inadvertent Gardener, has prepared a vegetable that Iowa is famous for -- sweet corn. Her Maple-Lime Glazed Sweet Corn is a different take on the usual buttered and salted variety. Flavored with real maple syrup and hints of hot sauce... you can give your salt shaker a rest when you eat this one!

Featured Ingredient: Yellow squash
Location: Washington, USA

Chrispy at Experimentation of Taste shares what she makes with the produce she receives each week from a farm share. [To learn about Community-Supported Agriculture (CSA) and farm shares, go here.] This week, she was happy to find that her share included a familiar vegetable: yellow squash, which she combined with purple basil and variegated oregano. She provides lots of helpful tips for storing and using this vegetable -- great information for gardeners who have more squash than they know what to do with!

Featured Ingredient: Friggitelli peppers
Location: Tuscany, Italy

The talented Ilva at Lucullian Delights is also making it easy for us to eat our vegetables this week. Take a look at her fabulous Frigitelli Filled with Quinoa, Zucchini and Parmesan. These peppers, she says, taste very similar to the sweet bell variety. And with that creamy quinoa mixture tucked carefully inside, she makes them look like a work of fine art.

Featured Ingredient: Yard-long beans
Location: North Carolina, USA

Another unique vegetable dish comes from In Our Kitchen, where JMom is using the yard-long beans and chili peppers she grew in her garden. Her spicy dish, called Gising-Gising, will surely wake up our taste buds. Visit her post to learn what this recipe means when translated to the Filipino language. What a delight!

Featured Ingredients: Basil and peaches
Location: Nantes, France

If those beans were too spicy for you, don't worry. Virginie at Absolutely Green is pouring us a cold, colorful glass of Peach & Basil Juice. For those of us who are watching our calories and carbs, she experiments with ways to make this a "light" drink. One of the ingredients she tries is stevia, a naturally-sweet herb. With whatever sweetener you choose, you have summer in a glass!

Featured Ingredients: Tomatoes, beans, squash
Location: California, USA

Strata from My Bay Area Garden is treating us to the eye-pleasing rainbow of mixed harvests she picked from her garden. Have you ever seen a Green Zebra? A tomato that is! And she has a colorful array of beans, too. I agree when she notes that sometimes you just gotta' cook em' with butter.

Featured Ingredients: Eggplant and cilantro
Location: New York, USA

Have you ever tried growing eggplant? You will love the exquisite-looking eggplants shown by The Chocolate Lady in New York. She is making Eggplants with Cilantro, a recipe that was inspired by a dish she tried at a Georgian restaurant. Accented with a generous portion of cilantro, this is another dish that can be served cool -- to keep us comfortable on a hot, sultry day.

Featured Ingredient: Blueberries
Location: New Jersey, USA

Let's finish our culinary tour with a few sweet things shall we? Gattina brings us a delightful dessert that uses my favorite fruit -- the one that New Jersey is famous for -- blueberries. Her Mini Phyllo Tarts with Blueberry Mousse look extraordinary. Plump, juicy jewels rest upon a silky bed of blueberry-cream mousse that's nestled in a crispy, fluffy pillow. Oh, forget my attempts to describe it. Take a look at her photos and you will see that this dessert needs no words.

Featured Ingredient: Rhubarb
Location: Sydney, Australia

Another fruit-filled dessert is brought to the table by Anna of Morsels & Musings. She has made an original Rhubarb Crumble Cake, dedicated to her Poppa, who enjoyed growing rhubarb in his garden. What a very special way to honor someone she loved.

Featured Ingredient: Lavender
Location: Missouri, USA

I'll brew us a pot of tea to accompany the cake and this next contribution from Glenna at A Fridge Full of Food. She treats us to Lavender Scones (Made for Women But Men Like Them Too). This is the first time Glenna cooked with flowers, and it's enjoyable to read how she discovered what it's like to "eat a fragrance." Lovely!

Featured Ingredient: Cumquats
Location: Melbourne, Australia

For a mouthwatering treat we can serve over ice cream, yogurt or sweet bruschetta, Haalo at Cook (Almost) Anything a Least Once offers us a sweet-tangy Cumquat Marmalade. We won't have to feel guilty about eating too much of this, because these beautiful little fruits contain lots of vitamins -- and calcium too. A brilliant organge and vanilla-scented finish to our meal.

Featured Ingredients: Basil and garlic
Location: Washington, D.C., USA

And finally, if you still have room for a few more bites of a main course, I offer my Super-Easy, All-in-One Pot, Pesto Dish. It features the sweet basil and garlic from my garden. It's a simple way to enjoy both of these splendid, summer-harvested herbs.

That's all for this week. Are you full?

Thank you, everyone, for sharing your wonderful recipes. Next week, Weekend Herb Blogging heads back home to Kalyn's Kitchen in Utah. Be sure to visit her blog if you would like to participate.

(Credit: All of flags on this post are from www.flags.net. Go there if you need any flags.)


Blogger Ilva said...

What a wonderful roundup! Thanks for hosting and for the great presentation, you have put a lot of time and work into this!

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Christa, it's a great round-up, and I love the comments and the flags! Terrific job compiling all these recipes -- I can't wait to work my way through them.

Have a great week!

The Inadvertent Gardener

10:05 AM  
Blogger Kalyn Denny said...

Very impressive with the flags!! I teach Utah history to ten year old kids, so I'm pretty familiar with that Utah flag!!

Now, I'm going back to edit my post and add the permalink so people can find this even after you've updated your blog. Then I'll be back to read all the entries.

10:12 AM  
Blogger Christa said...

It was fun to include the flags. I am kind of embarrassed to admit that I didn't know what many of the state flags looked like. This was as much a lesson in geography as it was a discovery of new recipes.

My husband suggested that I highlight each entry with the state or national flower. I thought that was a fitting idea for WHB, but I would probably be here at my desk for two more weeks trying to find photos of them all -- LOL! Glad you're enjoying the recap.

11:41 AM  
Blogger the chocolate doctor מרת שאקאלאד said...

Great work, Christa,

There are some lovely choices this week.

I never saw the Washington DC flag before. Is it new?

11:55 AM  
Blogger Christa said...

Now I'm getting a history lesson! The D.C. flag was adopted in 1938. The design is based on George Washington's family coat of arms. There's additional information about it here.

12:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is wonderful!! I love the way you used the flags. Thank you for doing the roundup--great job.

1:13 PM  
Blogger JMom said...

Great wrap up, Christ! I like how you used the local flags ;) Now I'm off to visit all these wonderful sites!

1:24 PM  
Blogger PatL said...

Wow, Christa, I really like the way you organized this. I'm taking notes, for my own stint later in the fall!

1:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed this.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Christa said...

Thank you, everyone. I'm glad you enjoyed this week's recap. It was fun to do!

2:42 PM  
Blogger Ruth Daniels said...

Excellent roundup. You did a great job - kudos!!! Now when will I find the time to go through all the entries that sound so delicious.

Thanks for all your efforts

10:32 PM  
Blogger Gattina Cheung said...

Wonderful roundup!!! Absolutely love the flag idea! Thank you so much for your intro, your writing is really beautiful!

4:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful lineup, Christa! Thanks so much!! i enjoyed looking at the flags, too!


7:16 AM  
Blogger Christa said...

Thank you, everyone!

6:21 PM  

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