Monday, April 27, 2009

Rounding up those Herbs, Veggies and Flowers: Weekend Herb Blogging #180

This past week I had the privilege of hosting Weekend Herb Blogging, one of the longest running and most informative (not to mention tasty) food blog events on the web. Now, in it's fourth year, Weekend Herb Blog was started by Kalyn's Kitchen and is now organized by Haalo at Cook (Almost) Anything At Least Once. The event features recipe and informational posts about herbs, vegetables, flowers and unusual plant ingredients.

There were eleven entries this week from bloggers from six different countries, and the spotlight ran the gamut from the commonplace (zucchini) to the unusual (wisteria flowers). Let's dig in!

First up is Alice from Malaysia with a lovely photo of Pan-Fried Salmon with Fresh Thyme. Her stylish blog, Bits of Taste, has many Chinese, Japanese and Asian recipes, all so beautifully photographed. My bookmarking finger certainly got a work out when exploring her wonderful blog.

Grazia joins us from Erbe in Cucina (Cooking with Herbs) in Italy where she foraged some young dandelion greens for a delicious spring salad. I'm glad to discover Erbe in Cucina, as this blog has many recipes, garden tips and other information about many different herbs and vegetables, including several for the garden-hogging lemon balm-lets that are invading my asparagus patch. Grazie, Grazia!

Arika of the Mississippi, USA blog My Yummy Life, provided some kofte, which she amusingly describes as essentially a meatball grilled on a stick and served in a pita. Her take on kofte, redolent with mint, is stuffed into pitas with chopped romaine and a minty, lemony yogurt sauce and paired with a brown rice and vegetable salad.

Kalyn, of Kalyn's Kitchen and the founder of WHB, checked in with a batch of Farro Salad with Asparagus, Red Pepper and Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette. Farro is an unusual variety of wheat, so it's off-limits for the gluten-free diner, but I imagine this salad would be fantastic made with quinoa, rice or even steel-cut oats. I like how Kalyn saved the stalks from an earlier asparagus meal and then pan-fried them to mix into this tasty sald.

The Happy Cook from her Belgian food blog, My Kitchen Treasures, made use of lots of garlic, onions and parsley in her Escargot with Garlic Butter recipe. Escargot are snails, and I once had this dish as an adventurous budding foodie on a family vacation in Montreal. It was tasty, but a little too chewy, as I recall, but I may have to revisit this dish after seeing Happy Cook's creation.

WHB Host with the Most, Haalo from Cook (Almost) Anything At Least Once in Australia provided a portion of her Stuffed Zucchini for us to savor. Haalo's mom is credited with the creation of this recipe, which uses onion, parsley, sage, and garlic to spice up a beef filling. As Haalo cautions, pick your garden zucchinis when they are small and tender, because those gargantuan zukes get unappetizingly stringy and seedy almost overnight!

A luscious dessert, individual Lemon Blackberry Pudding Cakes, was served forth by our blogger friend in Ontario, Canada, Jerry of Jerry's Musings, Thoughts and Rants. These sound fragrant and delectable, and Jerry included a wealth of information about blackberries' powerful anti-oxidant properties and how to buy and store them.

Cinzia from the bilingual Cindystar blog in Italy provides the most unusual item for our WHB sampler this week with Fried Wisteria Flowers, including many delightful shots of the blossoms and the various insects that swoon over their perfume. In Italian, the sound of these Fiori di Glicine Fritti, makes it sound even more elegant.

Joanne in Massachusetts, USA, provides us with a sunny yellow Curry Pumpkin Hummus, which looks so inviting. Her blog, Eats Well with Others, showcases healthy recipes with an adventurous and tempting array of flavors.

An Easy Thai Red Curry with slices of yellow squash, eggplant and red pepper, was plated up for our delectation by MomGateway in the U.S. I believe this is Momgateway's first contribution to Weekend Herb Blogging and I offer a hearty welcome to our WHB table and look forward to seeing some more of her healthy, kosher recipes.

Finally, I tried out a new way of combining the intense summer flavors of zucchini, tomato, garlic and basil in an easy Zucchini Trifolati. My inspiration came from reading, no, devouring, Donna Leon's wonderful Inspector Brunetti mystery series which I recommend highly for a cheap and evocative armchair trip to Venice. And my new WHB buddy, Jerry (see Lemon Blackberry Pudding Cakes above) shares my reading recommendation!

A big thank you to all the WHB contributors this week and to our host, Haalo. Next week's edition of Weekend Herb Blogging is being hosted by Maninas: Food Matters, so head on over there with your recipes and blog posts to join in the fun.


Joanne said...

What a great round-up! Your dish looks especially yummy, I am loving the fresh summer flavors.

Maria Verivaki said...

the wisteria flowers were a real surprise, and there are so many of them out now!

Anonymous said...

Stuffed zucchini! Pudding cakes! Those both look so good.

Bits said...

Awesome recipes I can find here! Thanks for the post!

Haalo said...

Thanks for hosting Rachel - so many delicious ideas!

Arlene Delloro said...

Such pretty food! I just started my spring herb garden--well windowsill garden right now, but I have a few boxes off the back porch and will add to what I have inside. Can't garden outdoors here unless you have a barbed wire fence. The deer even ate my holly bushes!