Monday 10 March 2008

weekend herb blogging recap

Sorry it’s taken me a little longer than expected to get this up!

We had 30 entries from 10 countries and a diverse range of herbs and veggies.

Spring must be in the air in France, with herbes de Provence the feature ingredient of two out of three of our French bloggers. Snow storms in Canada brought us hearty soups and rich chicken and the end of summer in New Zealand saw homage to stone fruit.

We’re a creative bunch!

V = vegetarian and any dishes that could easily be made so.
Enjoy the round-up.

Walnut, Kohlrabi & Apple Soup V
At My Table: Neil in Melbourne, Australia
I’m sure it’s not just my soft spot for Neil (after he organised an amazing Menu for Hope prize I won) that makes me think this soup sounds wonderful. Better still it’s his own Autumnal creation and although he uses rich, homemade chicken stock you could easily switch to vegetable stock for a vegan version.

Nethi Beerakaya Pachadi (Spicy Silk Squash Chutney) V
Curry in Kadai: Kalva
This spicy silk squard (or ridgegourd) chutney is flavoured with sour tamarind, onion, green chillies, coriander, cumin and mustard seeds. Serve with hot rice or chapathis.

Chinese Winter Melon Soup
A Suitable Spice: Minti in Massachusetts, USA
Flavoured with ginger, dried black mushrooms, ham and green onions, this Chinese soup makes good use of winter melon which floats within as opaque white cubes.

Dhania Chutney V
365 Days of Pure Vegetarian: Priya
This verdant relish is made with coriander, ginger, cumin, lime and green chillies and I’m sure its flavour is as vibrant as its colour.

Quinoa Flan V
Canela & Comino: Gretchen in Lima, Peru
Although often only seen in savoury cooking, the herb seed quinoa was the main grain of the Incas and is easily employed in sweet dishes. Gretchen’s flan is simple to make and looks amazing, flavoured with vanilla and served with a runny caramel sauce.

Teczcape - an escape to food: Tigerfish in Sunnyvale, CA, USA
Who knew an all-coriander restaurant was possible! I guess anything is possible in Tokyo. While you’re waiting to head to Nippon for the experience, try one of Tigerfish’s recipes: Mango Salsa w Cilantro; Steamed Halibut w Cilantro; Lemon Linguine w Cilantro; Cilantro & Pork Omelette; Potato Patties w Cilantro.

Black-Eyed Pea Soup w Corn & Dill V
Food and Spice: Lisa in London, Ontario, Canada
This recipe comes straight from Lisa’s favourite cookbook which was written by one of India’s (and the UK’s) most celebrated Asian food authors: Madhur Jaffrey. The hearty soup of black-eyed peas is spiced with cumin, mustard seeds, chillies and dill. A perfect vegetarian supper.

Kiwifruit Mousse V
The Art and Science of Food: Pepy in Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Here we have a very pretty dish made from vegetarian gelatine and flavoured with the sweetly acidic kiwifruit. While fruit mousses are common, Pepy has certainly come up with a unique twist by using the kiwi.

Broiled Butterflied Chicken
Kits Chow: KC in Vancouver, BC, Canada
Before this chicken was grilled to perfection, it was left to marinate in ginger, garlic, pepper, lemongrass, lime juice and coriander. Sounds heavenly to me.

Braised Sunchokes w Herbes de Provence V
Thyme for Cooking: Katie in Vendée, France
I have just rediscovered sunchokes (Jerusalem artichokes) myself so this recipe is high on my list of “must try”s. And who in their right mind would overlook a recipe that uses only three ingredients: sunchokes, stock and herbs. Too easy!

Bernaise Sauce V
Sounding My Barbaric Gulp!: Kelly in Illinois, USA
Overcoming the liquorice smell emitted from the tarragon, Kelly forged ahead with her sauce using champagne vinegar, white wine, minced shallots and fresh tarragon. A classic accompaniment to steak.

Nectarine Tart V
HomeMadeS: Arfi in Tuakau, New Zealand
This lip-smackingly-good tart contains one my favourite fruits: nectarines. Here they’re roasted with sugar and set atop a pastry shell filled to the brim with luscious vanilla custard.

Beet & Fenugreek Dip V
Absolutely Green: Virginie in Nantes, France
Vegan virtuosa Virginie (aliteration!) makes good use of beetroot and whips up a colourful dip flavoured with ground fenugreek. She also used garlic, soy yoghurt, tahini, lemon and a little Sichuan pepper and serves it on blue corn tortillas beside spirulina-tarragon sauce and popcorn.

Roasted Italian Sausage Soup w Garbanzos, Lentils & Roasted Tomatoes
Kalyn's Kitchen: Kalyn in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA
Herb Goddess Kalyn brings us this chunky sausage soup filled with hearty winter warmers to stave off the cold. It’s still summer in Sydney but this photo makes me wish it were howling outside and I could snuggle up with a bowl of soup.

Mixed Bean Vadai V
Dil Se: Divya in Glendale, CA, USA
These crunchy fritter-like snacks are packed full of legumes and can be eaten in the afternoon or around dinner with your choice of sauce. Divya uses 6 different beans and dhal as well as onion and green chilli.

Marinated Feta w Olives & Roasted Red Pepper V
Closet Cooking: Kevin in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Sweet roasted peppers paired harmoniously with salty feta, bitter olives and acidic balsamic vinegar. I’m sure one bite of this Greek mezze is just not enough.

Chinese Beef Stew w Daikon
Fresh From the Oven: Mandy in St Louis, Missouri, USA
Daikons (a type of radish) are stewed with beef and accentuated with Chinese spices, anise, dried shitakes and wine. Rich and flavoursome.

Baked Salmon w Seaweed Salt & Lemon Thyme
Coffee & Vanilla: Margot in London, UK
Using seaweed flavoured salt (Australian!) and the gorgeous aromatics of lemon thyme, these salmon steaks are baked to perfection. Simplicity at its best.

Herbes de Provence Lentil Salad w Goats Cheese V
Like to Cook: Jennifer in Cesseras, France
I think this would work in both winter and summer. Puy lentils are infused with garlic and Herbes de Provence then tossed with tomato, green onions, parsley and capers and moistened with a Dijon vinaigrette. Serve with bread and luscious goats cheese. Yum!

Homegrown Garlic V
Almond Corner: Chriesi in Zürich, Switzerland
Garlic is one of those ingredients that most people just adore. Here you can get some great tips on multiplying your Allium sativum so you can have your own fresh, green garlic.

Za'atar V
More Than Burnt Toast: Bellini Valli in Canada
Working three jobs hasn’t stopped Valli from offering up three different za’atar recipes. The spice blend is based on powdered dried thyme and a combination of other ingredients according to your taste. Valli mixes hers through goats cheese or sprinkles it over hot naan bread.

Salmon, Pomegranate Agar Agar & Onion Sprout Tofu Puffs
Kitchen Unplugged: Gattina in Barcelona, Spain
This inventive recipe combines sweet tofu, tart pomegranate, salty fish and pungent onion herbs for a balanced creation. Tiny tofu puffs cup the precious bounty and those pretty onion sprouts decorate nicely, but also add flavour. Another brilliant creation from Hong Kong's food kitten.

Bacony Barley Salad w Marinated Shrimp
Sidewalk Shoes: Pam in Soddy Daisy, TN, USA
As one commenter wrote, this salad has a south-west feel to it. Lime juice infused prawns (shrimp) and barley tossed with tomatoes, coriander, bacon and avocado: it sounds wonderful to me!

Frisée aux Lardons
Cook (almost) Everything At Least Once: Haalo in Melbourne, Australia
A tribute to a French bistro classic, this salad is made of fresh frisée, lardoons (bacon) and poached egg with a soft, oozing yolk. And, as usual, Haalo offers up gorgeous photos for your drooling pleasure.

Balsamic Chicken w Mushrooms
Jerry's Thoughts, Musings & Rants: Jerry in Ontario, Canada
Dinner is easy to throw together after work if you use this recipe combining the sweet acidity of balsamic vinegar with mushrooms. It impressed Jerry’s mother a lot! To season the chicken breasts Jerry used thyme, loads of garlic, grape tomatoes and basil.

A Scientist in the Kitchen: Gay in Los Banos, Laguna, Philippines
This is a traditional Filipino dish made by grilling tilapia fish with greens and developing a delicious smoky flavour to blend with the rich coconut cream and a touch of chilli. Pinoy delight!

Spring Onion Pancakes V
Jugalbandi: Bee & Jai in Northwestern, USA
You simply must take a look at the photos of these delicious South Indian breakfast flapjacks, made with wheat and rice flours. They are spiced with fresh ginger, cumin seeds, crushed peppercorns, green chillies and of course spring onions.

Mango-Basil Shrimp
Cooking in Westchester: Rinku in Valhalla, NY, USA
Sweet mango flesh is combined with fresh basil, ginger, garlic, chilli and orange juice to make a sauce for shrimp. This recipe also comes with a lovely story and symbolic message that hit home for me and my own work-related issues at the moment.

Garlic & Herb Aioli V
Christine Cooks: Christine in Trinidad, CA, USA
Surprisingly this aioli is a vegan creation! First she roasts, peels and mashes the garlic with fresh herbs and coarse salt and then Christine adds tangy lemon juice and vegenaise. Delish!

Nelum Ala Uyala (Sri Lankan Lotus Root Curry) V
Morsels & Musings: Anna in Sydney, Australia
This is my own contribution. If you're not too keen on curries, this is light on spices but still strong in flavour and the crunchy lotus root cools you down. I also included some information on lotus roots, if you're interested.

THANKS for participating this week!



  1. thanks for this great roundup, dear anna.

  2. A lovely round-up. Thanks for hosting!

  3. what a great round up
    thanks for hosting

  4. Anna, I see one of the most diversified and exciting round-ups! You are a wonderful host!

  5. You did an excellent job on the roundup Anna:D As usual there are so many intuitive recipes sumbitted by everyone.....great job:D

  6. great roundup, Anna. Thanks for hosting.

  7. Lovely roundup Anna. The photos used and your text below. Very, very nice! Thanks for your hard work and for getting me in even though I was late!

  8. Anna that was a very excellent roundup!!

  9. A truly amazing collection of recipes....
    And good job on the round-up!

  10. Great roundup! Now I have to go and take a look at some of those posts.

  11. Wow, you truly are a great host! (And I'm not just saying that because you called me a herb goddess!) I'm finally home from school and ready to go check all the entries I missed. Thanks again for hosting.

  12. Great job on the round-up, though I have to say, it wasn't me that donated the Interlude prize, it was Chef Robin Wickens, I just organized it. You'd never guess, it went to NSW again!

  13. Thanks for hosting and thanks for the wonderful round-up! So many recipes to try :)

  14. thanks everyone for all your kind words.

    neil - i knew you were the organiser not the donator so the sentiments are the same! i was writing the round-up late at night so i used the wrong words. i have now changed it in my post but regardless, i meant to salute the prize!


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