The Herb Garden is Open
July’s No Croutons Required challenge was for a soup or salad featuring a favourite herb or trying out a herb that was new to your kitchen.
Here are all the lovely entries:
The first entry is a Cilantro and Spice Infused Sauteed Eggplant Salad made by the lovely Astra over at Food For Laughter. This is a firm favourite in her household and brings back memories of watching her dad cook supper. The eggplant or aubergine as we like to call it here in Scotland, is cooked with honey, spices and cilantro. Now that has to be tasty!
Herb: Cilantro (Coriander)
(Deep South, US)
Next up we have the amazingly tempting Grilled Pizza with Pesto Sauce & Herb Salad. Val from More Than Burnt Toast, whipped up this bbq pizza topped with herb salad before heading for the beach. I don’t know about you, but I wish I had been there!
Herbs : Basil, Chives, Chervil, Tarragon & Dill
Ivy from Kopiaste…..to Greek Hospitality has made us a salad using omega 3 rich, purslane. This is not a herb I had heard of before, but it is well known in Greece and Ivy has described it for us perfectly in her post for Purslane Salad (γλιστιρίδα) with Carrot Tzatziki.
Herbs: Parslane, Parsley, Thyme & Oregano
We are visitng Ohio next for a Grilled Corn Salad courtesy of Ohio Mom over at Cooking in Cleveland. Ohio Mom headed down to her local farmer’s market to buy the ears of corn for this salad. Her first instruction was to shuck the sweetcorn. Well I hadn’t heard of that before, but I thought it just rolled of the tongue and after I looked it up in the dictionary, I decided I would use that phrase from now on. Brilliant :)
Herb: Cilantro (Coriander)
(Cleveland, Ohio, US)
Allie from Yum in Tum was craving La Madeleine's Tomato-Basil Soup, but instead of buying it, she decided to recreate it herself and it does look rather delicious. So here we have Allie’s Tomato Basil Soup and I know which one I would rather have!
(Houston, Texas, US)
Rebecca from Foodie with Family really went to town or should I say farm, with her recipe for Herbed Handmade Chevre and Roasted Beet Salad. Her excitement over the dish is evident and who can blame her. Here is what Rebecca had to say about her entry “I was really excited about this particular recipe because I'm crazy for homemade cheese, especially chevre, and beets. It is such a eye and taste-bud thrilling classic combination, but it's even more exciting when the lettuce, herbs and flowers are from your own garden and the cheese is made by you.”
Herbs: Chives, Parsley & Chervil
NCR regular, Kevin from Closet Cooking has made us a glorious Asparagus & Zucchini, Farro Salad. Kevin was looking for a new way of using his homemade pesto, when he came up with the idea for this salad. Zucchini, asparagus, chickpeas, walnuts and farro combine to make this a really innovative dish.
Jackie from Jackie Vetter’s Kitchen has come up with a rather unusual herb that I hadn’t heard of before called savory. According to Wiki, savory is an aromatic plant related to thyme and rosemary. Jackie sprinkled some into her Peasant Soup and says it made the soup “intensely rich and flavorful". Jackie recoomends we serve her soup with crusty bread or cornbread.
(Georgetown, Indiana, US)
Bookseller Rachel from The Crispy Cook has whipped us up a Yellow String Bean & Tomato Salad. Rachel plucked string beans from her own garden and teamed them with tomatoes and fresh thyme to make this lovely summer salad.
(Saratoga County, US)
Psychgrad from Equal Opportunity Kitchen has made us one of my favourite salads using my favourite herb. This is definitely a winner in my book! And what is this heavenly salad I hear you ask? Why, it is Caprese Salad. Lots of lovely fresh tomatoes, mozzarella and basil, drizzled with a pseudo pesto dressing (skip the parmesan and pine nuts). Yum!
Next we move on to a Savory Carrot Salad with Toasted Nuts & Fresh Oregano made by Kimi over at The Nourishing Gourmet. Kimi added toasted nuts and celery to her salad for crunch and fresh oregano from her garden, which she says is much better than the dried variety. She then tossed the salad with a vinegar based dressing.
Usha over at Veg Inspirations has made us some supreme comfort food with a Tomato Basil Soup. Usha added cinnamon basil, which she has been growing in containers, to her soup. She assures us that the cinnamon basil, does not in fact, taste like cinnamon, but has a stronger and more fragrant flavour than regular basil.
Herb: Cinnamon Basil
(North Carolina, US)
I made a simple side salad with my choice of herb. Carrot & Orange salad with a Brazil Nut & Coriander Dressing. I had a big bag of juicy oranges, just calling out to be made into something and I thought the spiciness of coriander would be a good contrast to the sweet flesh of an orange. It worked really well, but I would grate the carrots finer next time.
Lisa, my fellow host in this challenge, from Lisa’s Vegetarian Kitchen has come up trumps as usual with an absolutely scrummy looking Salad with Warm Goat Cheese and Basil Sauce, served on lovely crusty, toasted bread, rubbed with a garlic clove. All I can say, after I stop drooling, is yes please. Now to disappoint you all, Lisa’s entry is not up for the vote, nor is mine.
We are staying in Ontario for this next salad. Ricki from Diet Dessert and Dogs has made us the most colourful Minted Peach and Corn Salad. At first I thought it was a very unusual combination but when Ricki described the flavours, “The peaches are tart and luscious; the cucumber is cold, watery and mild; the corn is crisp and sweet; and the mint is pungent and peppery”, well, then I was hooked.
Next up is Lauren, showcasing her brand new blog Harmless Foma. Lauren has submitted a mouthwateringly gorgeous Italian Gazpacho which she made for some very lucky friends.
(New Brunswick, Canada)
Lucy from Nourish Me has delivered up a gardener’s delight. Parsley Soup. Isn’t it the most gorgeous green, it makes you feel so healthy, just looking at it! Can you believe that Lucy named this a frugal soup? She is a very modest girl, our Lucy!
Wandering Chopsticks (isn’t that a fabulous name for a blog) brings us a Watermelon, Feta and Basil Salad. Deliciously refreshing, don’t you think? We can all pretend we are having a gloriously hot summer, well those of us in the UK anyway. We have to have a very good imagination sometimes, but salads like this definitely help!
(Southern California, US)
Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything has made us a Tabbouleh Salad and topped it with the most gorgeous falafel! How could anyone resist? I couldn’t, that’s for sure! Beautiful photos as ever, Haalo :)
Herbs: Parsley & Mint
Lysy is up next. Lysy writes Munchkin Mail and went out into her garden to create this salad. This month’s challenge has been the inspiration she needed to use her lavendar plant. Lysy has made a Simple Lavender Salad. Tomatoes, mixed leaves and spring onions, dressed in a heavenly dressing made with orange juice, honey, olive oil, thyme, marjoram and some pretty little lavender flowers.
Herbs: Lavender, Thyme & Marjoram
Next up is a simple, but very fresh Baby Tomato Grape Cucumber and Mint Salad made by Srimathi over at Few Minute Wonders. Srimathi filled pitta pockets with her salad, falafel and a yoghurt garlic dressing. Mmmmmm :P
(San Diego, US)
Wow, look at the dressing Jen from Little Bird Eats has made to go with her Butterbean and Parsley Salad I have to have some of that :)
Our last entry comes from Chow over at Chow Vegan. Chow has made the first fruit salad of the challenge and I am really pleased that Chow thought of doing one. It is very appropriate as our last entry, it can be our dessert. So without further ado, here it is, Minty Summer Fruit Salad.
(SF Bay Area, US)
Please vote for your favourite in the voting panel. The winner will be announced at the end of the month. Lisa will announce the next challenge at the beginning of August.