Monday, January 19, 2009

Weekend Herb Blogging #166 Roundup

A spectacular feast of vegetables, fruits and herbs was laid before us from the hands of talented home cooks across the globe. Weekend Herb Blogging always surprises me with interesting recipes introducing unusual ingredients and showcasing familiar ones in unexpected new ways.

This round, #166 since Kalyn’s Kitchen first started the event three years ago was no exception. Haalo of Cook (Almost) Anything Once is now our WHB headquarters and generously offered me the honor of hosting this week’s roundup. Without further ado, I will introduce the dishes participants sent to us from Australia, Greece, Italy, the Philippines, Germany, England, the United States and Canada.

We start with our Appetizer Course:

JS and TS of [Eating Club] Vancouver found a bunch of garlic chives at the market and made not one but two great recipes: Garlic Chive Pancakes and Garlic Chive Omelettes. We can start our feast with a sampling of both and our friends graciously provided step by step instructions and photos for both recipes. The Garlic Chive Pancakes are stunning and are alchemized out of only three ingredients: boiling water, flour and garlic chives.

Warming soups and chili are on the mind of many in the Northern Hemisphere, where mid-winter’s icy blast leaves us feeling the need for inside-out applications of heat, so we have many WHB entries to sample for our Soup course:

Scott the Real Epicurean turns fondly to summer’s memory with a ruby-red Papa al Pomodoro. He advises using tinned tomatoes, although if one is lucky enough to have fresh tomatoes in season, he recommends oven roasting them to deepen the flavor.

Mexican Oregano is the featured seasoning in Maggie’s Vegetable Chili from her blog Dog Hill Kitchen . Her chili recipe contains chunks of celery, onion, peppers, four kinds of beans and corn, bathed in a spicy tomato base. Sounds fragrant and good.

Jo from Food Junkie, Not Junk Food has an elegant Cauliflower Veloute with White Truffle Oil to tempt us with. Jo is an archaeologist by day and Food Junkie by night, as you can see from the wonderful food photography, recipes and wine advice on her Athens, Greece food blog. I am also proud to call Jo a friend that I have joined with in organizing a new foodie book club, Cook the Books, with our friend Deb in Hawaii at Kahakai Kitchen).

Here at the Crispy Cook, I was tempted by a Cream of Ratatouille Soup recipe and made up a pot to remind my crew of summer's wonderful garden bounty.

Let us swim over to check out our options for the Fish Course:

This is Joanne’s first time at the table with us for Weekend Herb Blogging and she was kind enough to bring a helping of Salmon with Lemon, Rosemary and Capers. Joanne’s blog, Eats Well with Others chronicles her adventures in learning to eat and cook healthier foods. Welcome to WHB, Joanne!

I find my knees buckling at the sight of Laurie’s Crispy Salmon Fingers and Spinach Skordalia. Laurie is the force behind Mediteranean Cooking in Alaska and I can’t do better to describe her dish than her lip-smacking sentence: “Here I’ve enhanced traditional skordalia with earthy spinach to create a luscious, garlicky, colorful partner for crispy, pan-fried salmon fingers”.

Ruth of Once Upon a Feast and the founder of the weekly Pasta Presto Nights tried out a wonderful recipe: Seared Scallops with Peruvian Parsley Salsa. Ruth reports that the Salsa did not overwhelm the delicate scallops and plans to use the Parsley Salsa over pasta and egg dishes.

Now for some Salad to clear our palates:

Bee and Jai at Jugalbandi offered up some growing and cooking information about a beautiful red lettuce variety, Lollo Rosso. They also note that the nutritional value of red lettuces like Lollo Rosso contain anti-oxidants like beta carotene and lutein, along with healthy dollops of Vitamins A and K. Pass the vinaigrette!

My buddy Maria at Organically Cooked , provides many interesting stories about the history, food, culture and landscape of her home in Hania, Crete. Her WHB contribution is a recreation of a recent restaurant recipe, Botanical Park Salad, which incorporates a bed of spinach, rocket (arugula) and lettuce topped with salty cheese, walnuts and pomegranate seeds.

We have a great variety of Main Dishes and Sides to Share:

Italian blogger Cinzia from Cindystar offers us a bite of her Roast Pork Loin with Hazelnuts and Honey Sauce. You can easily translate Cinzia’s blog from her native Italian into English, French, Spanish and German using her translation buttons, so you can follow her recipe easily. It sounds delectable!

Sydney, Australia blogger Anna from Morsels & Musings offers us a tasty platter of Chilaquiles with Salsa Verde made from tomatillos. I’ve had Chilaquiles when dining out in Mexican restaurants, but never thought to recreate them at home and now I have an awesome recipe!

PG in Hamburg, Germany went to the farmer’s market and brought home an unusual variety of turnip, called a Teltower Rubchen. She fried them up with fragrant Indian spices and produced a beautiful and tasty-looking new recipe on her blog, Kitchen Stories.

For those who can never have too many zucchini recipes (me! me!), Ning tantalizes us with her wonderful Oven-Baked Zucchini Fries. Ning’s blog, Heart and Hearth, comes to us from the Philippines, and she is a frequent contributor to WHB and introduces us to many interesting ingredients and recipes. I love the combination of spices and cornmeal to make a crunchy coating for these healthy zucchini fries.

A spicy Ananas Pickle from Brii at Briiblog on the shores of Garda Lake in Italy is just the right condiment for a ham dinner. Ananas is another name for pineapple and this pickle incorporates many fragrant spices to become the perfect, tangy foil for the saltiness of the ham.

Maria of Kali Orexi, which means Bon Appetit in Greek, provides us with a classic recipe for Spanakorizo. This spinach and rice casserole is a perfect one-pot meal for busy cooks and it certainly tempts me with its wonderful blend of spinach, tomatoes, rice, wine and mint!

Vancouver food blogger Christine at Kitschow made up a batch of fragrant Baked Fennel to divide among our plates. The fennel is sliced and baked up with white wine, garlic, butter and oil and sounds like a wonderful dish.

More delectable greens are used in Genie’s Lemon-Kale Risotto. This Oakland, California gardener and cook plates up a healthy and rich-tasting risotto from her funny, beautiful and informative blog, The Inadvertent Gardener.

Katerina of Culinary Flavors is a new food blogger from Athens, Greece and this is also her first time participating in Weekend Herb Blogging. Welcome Maria! She made a beautiful batch of Spinach Crepes for us to share, so grab a fork and dive in.

I am sure we all saved room for just a little Dessert:

Ivy of Kopiaste…to Greek Hospitality brought a delectable Nectarine Cake with a crunchy nut bottom. She usually makes this recipe with apples but tried this recipe when nectarines were in season and it was a happy success. Ivy is one of the dynamos behind BloggerAid, a dedicated group of food bloggers organizing to raise funds and awareness of world hunger issues. (BloggerAid is currently working on a fundraiser cookbook, so if you have a recipe to share by Feb. 12, please contact Ivy or me for more information).

WHB Permanent Host Haalo provides us each with a slice of her Apricot Upside-Down Cake at her blog Cook (Almost) Anything Once. Apricots are in season in her Melbourne, Australia markets and this sunny cake looks quite inviting.

Thanks to all the great bloggers who contributed recipes to this edition of Weekend Herb Blogging and to our Master Host, Haalo at Cook (Almost) Anything Once for giving me the opportunity to host this fun event. I will now pass hosting duties on to Chris at the lovely food blog Mele Cotte. Back to my kitchen...


Cindystar said...

Great round up, Rachel,thamks a lot for your work!
WHBs are so interesting, I always discover new ingredients and new way of cooking!
See you next week!

Scott at Real Epicurean said...

A great roundup.

Thanks for hosting!

bee said...

thanks for hosting and a lovely roundup, rachel.

Ivy said...

Great looking roundup Rachel. You did a great job.

Ruth Daniels said...

Thanks for putting together a fantastic roundup.

Anonymous said...

That is A LOT of very tasty food!

Joanne said...

Hey Rachel, Great roundup, and your ratatouille soup looks fantastic. I'm always looking for new and interesting ways to use eggplant since it's one of my favorite vegetables.

Maria Verivaki said...

i want those pancakes.

Anna (Morsels and Musings) said...

thanks for hosting. there's quite a few tasty recipes in this bunch!

FOODalogue said...

what an interesting and tasty collection!

Haalo said...

Wonderfully done Rachel - thanks so much for hosting WHB!

brii said...

ciaoooo rachel!!

I don't even know where to start copying! :))
thank's for visiting and thank you si much for hosting!
great job!!
baciuss doppius ;))

Laurie Constantino said...

Rachel, thanks for a beautiful, creative, and thoughtful round-up. I like how you've told a little bit about some of the blogs, as well as the recipe.
I just finished some eggplant soup so I'm off to see how you made yours...

Kalyn Denny said...

Great job on this. I'm sorry I didn't manage to participate. I spent the weekend moving my office into my dining room so the back half of my house can get torn off (to add a new office/studio/laundry area, so it will be worth it!) Nice to see that WHB is very capable of carrying on without me though!

eatingclubvancouver_js said...

Thanks for hosting and wonderful round-up. I like how you categorize the entries into courses!

PG said...

Thank you so much, Rachel, for this wonderful Roundup!
this is such a great way to get to know of new foods. I have found some dishes I would like to try too.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for a wonderful round-up of so many delicious dishes! and thank you for the beautiful write-up :).

NĂºria said...

A fantastic Round-up Rachel! To be honest, all dishes look great :D

Cheryl Harris said...

the only question is, what to make first! thanks for the roundup.

Anonymous said...

great job!

we hosted this awhile back and it's ALOT of work - you did a nice job here.

Gloria Chadwick said...

What a great round-up. Lots of new recipes to try.
Just wanted to let you know that your husband's bodacious chili is posted in the round-up at Foods and Flavors of San Antonio. Come on over and see what everyone else did with their chili. :)

NKP said...

What a great array of herbalicious dishes!

Domain Registration India said...

Lovely and testy collection. it's looks delicious.