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Kalyn's Kitchen

Weekend Herb Blogging #10 Recap (Still Discovering New Herbs)

The weekend is winding down, and the herb bloggers have posted, so it’s time for another recap. We have some very interesting posts to report on, and once again, I am going to spotlight the location where these posts were written since it’s so fun to see how international this event has become.

MALAYSIA Rokh from Tham Jiak was first to post, with a fascinating report on Pandan Leaves. This was something I had never heard of, and Rokh gave examples of how it is used in both sweet and savoury cooking in Malaysia. For savoury dishes, it is used in kaya (coconut jam), nasi lemak (coconut rice), nasi biryani, and Hainanese style oily rice. For sweet dishes, it is used in tong sui (sweet soup), kuih muih (local cakes) and the dish that Rokh gives us a recipe for, Hak Lor Mai or Sweet Black Glutinous Rice. Apparently this rice is so good it is hard to stop eating it once you start!

CALIFORNIA, U.S.A. The next post came from Cookiecrumb and the Blog I’m Mad and I Eat, featuring Bean Sprout, the herb-blog dog, looking adorable as usual. CC claims she does get photos where Bean Sprout looks less than perfect, but if so, we have never seen them. This week Bean Sprout managed to get into the organo and was chomping on a leaf when CC and Cranky were enjoying a spell of unexpectedly sunny weather on the patio. Cookiecrumb has discovered, quite by accident, that highly neglected oregano will regenerate itself under the right conditions, so add that tidbit to your herb knowledge base.
NEW YORK CITY, U.S.A. From New York City and the blog The Cooking Adventures of Chef Paz, Paz brings us arugula. She tells us this spicy flavored lettuce is called Arugula, Rocket, Rocket Salad and in French, Roquette. Paz shares a recipe for a fabulous sounding salad with arugula, cannellini beans, red onions, fresh basil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. The salad sits for an hour before it is served, so the ingredients are somewhat marinated in the dressing. I love arugula, and can’t wait to try this. Also, I’m impressed that Paz is managing to cook, since she tells me her apartment is being painted!

PISTOIA, TUSCANY, ITALY Next is Ilva from the great blog Lucullian delights – an Italian Experience. She shares photos of Nepitella, also called lesser calamint which grows wild in the area where she lives. Ilva describes this as tasting something like a minty oregano, and says it is commonly used with mushrooms. She has also seen recipes pairing it with artichokes, which is something she wants to try. For me, this is another new herb that I have learned about! Thanks, Ilva.

FRIDAY HARBOR, SAN JUAN ISLANDS, WASHINGTON, U.S.A A new herb blogger reported next, Mrs. D. from the always entertaining blog Belly-Timber. Married to Chopper Dave (of paper chef fame), Mrs. D. had planned to share her Cuban Oregano plant, but when she went to take the photos, she discovered it was suffering from house plant distress. I told her this is an illness which is easily cured by a trip to the garden center, but Mrs. D. was able to dip into her very interesting blog archives to share a photo of the plant in happier days. Cuban Oregano is a succulent herb (another new one for me!) and smells like a cross between sage and marjoram, although the smell got mixed reviews in sources Mrs. D. came across. Chopper used it in a shrimp scampi which also contained lemon, capers, basil, and diced roma tomatoes, and Mrs. D. reported it was a combination that worked well.
TEXAS, U.S.A. Heather from the blog Heather’s Space reported in next, showing her herb garden to be, her garden plot which she will turn into a garden next spring. All she has to do is build a fence, make container plots, and create an arched entrance and she will be ready to plant. Whew! I’m tired already. Seriously, having a garden is so wonderful it is worth any amount of work to get it ready.
EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND Another new herb blogger is Pille, an Estonian living in Scotland, who writes the great blog Nami-Nami. Pille shares a beautiful photo of rocket still growing outside her window. I know it is a cold weather plant because when it starts to get hot in my garden it goes to seed quickly, but I was surprised to see it still growing in December in that part of the world! Pille also shares a recipe for a gratin with feta, rocket, and tomatoes that sounds delicious.
COLUMBIA RIVER VALLEY, WASHINGTON, U.S.A. Kitchenmage (from the blog of the same name) always features great sounding recipes, and this time she is cooking up some incredible sounding Multigrain Rosemary Sage Crackers which she rolls out very thin in a pasta machine. As soon as I saw this recipe and read the ingredients, I started thinking of possibilities, like using this dough for a low carb pizza crust! For sure it has been added to my list of recipe bookmarks.
This week I published this great photo as a teaser when I was too busy Christmassing to cook early Saturday, and no one guessed it was green lentils. Of course, most of my blog readers seem to be busy Christmas shopping themselves, but still, I loved the photo so much I decided to print it again. (Have I mentioned recently how much I love that new camera?) My Herb Blog post talked about the different types of lentils, and featured recipes for two dishes with lentils.
That’s it for another successful week of Weekend Herb Blogging. Don’t forget to check out Weekend Cat Blogging, Weekend Dog Blogging, and Weekend Cookbook Challenge for other weekend foodblogging events. And start thinking now of an interesting post you can write about any type of herb, plant, vegetable, or flower for Weekend Herb Blogging #11, which will be here before you know it
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5 comments on “Weekend Herb Blogging #10 Recap (Still Discovering New Herbs)”

  1. Dari, have never seen or hear of that!

  2. Have you heard Cosmos Caudatus / Ulam Raja? It looks like Wild Rocket. Tastes ..slightly same. Rockets is nuttier, while Ulam Raja is mintier.
    From Malaysia Wikipedia, it is said Ulam Raja is wildly grow in Florida!

  3. Those are lentils? I wouldn’t have guessed. They’re so different looking. About the paint job and cooking, we had our share of ordering take out but that has gotten old real fast. It’s a challenge to cook but I’m managing. 😉


  4. Pandan leaves and lesser calamint–2 new things I learned about today. Thanks for starting this, Kalyn.

  5. First!!
    Hey, another word for arugula — in fact, the Italian word — is rucola.
    You rock, Kalyn.

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