Best of the Web – Gooseberry Fool: Foodie links for 8 September

I took the Labor Day weekend off from blogging so I could recharge my batteries, by getting out and about in nature. I did several day trips over the weekend, culminating with a hike in the ancient redwood forest of Muir Woods north of San Francisco yesterday. Wonderful!

I’ve spent most of the day catching up on another project and I started putting this links post together late afternoon. Several hours later it is dinner time and my stomach is rumbling. I don’t know if it is my hunger talking but it seems a particularly scrumptious collection of links this week! Enjoy…

I also have a special favour to ask. I normally ask people to pay it forward and share the link love around the food and travel blogging community. This week I am asking for something for myself – Roaming Tales has been nominated for the Bloggers Choice Awards and I’d like your vote! If you are a food blogger, we are not competing since I was nominated in the travel category. Even if you are a travel blogger, I hope you will support me. I’m happy to reciprocate.

Recipes – Savoury

Aubergine salad. This salad of baked eggplant with cinnamon, pinenuts and coriander sounds heavenly. Thanks to Fiona Beckett from The Frugal Cook for the recipe.

Stuffed eggplants. Another tasty aubergine idea, this time from Bea at La Tartine Gourmandeeggplants stuffed with ricotta and ham.

Beets. Linda Furiya offers a beet recipe on the San Francisco Chronicle. She advocates boiling – I prefer it roasted, a la the Sophie Grigson method.

Tofu & fruit. Lindsay Taylor at Love and Olive Oil offers an intriguing flavour combination – crisp tofu, strawberry and mango salad.

Slow-roast pork. Niamh from Eat Like a Girl has a recipe for six-hour slow roast pork. Oh and the contestants from Junior Apprentice were on the neighbouring food stall at the Covent Garden Real Food Market!

Purple cauliflower. I linked to this recipe for cauliflower and white bean puree from Sophie at Mostly Eating, mainly because of the stunning picture of the purple cauliflower. I’m sure the recipe is great too though!

Summer soup. Susan from Food Blogga offers this seasonal creamy corn and zucchini soup.

Zucchini rollatini. (I love how that rhymes!). Rebecca Crump from Ezra Pound Cake serves up grilled zucchini rollatini with sun-dried tomatoes and goat cheese. Yum!

Healthy stir-fry. A recipe for summery chicken stir-fry with greens and cashew nuts from BBC Good Food.

Risotto. I like the sound of this caprese risotto with tomato chips from Proud Italian Cook.

Fresh salad. Julia Parsons of A Slice of Cherry Pie treats us to this mouth-watering fresh salad featuring watermelon, blueberry and mint – a sneak peek inside her upcoming cookbook. (Maybe this should be in the sweets section but I could imagine serving it as a side with the mains).

Gratin. Comfort food from BBC Good Foodcourgette, bacon and brie gratin.

Salmon burger. Rebecca Crump from Ezra Pound Cake says this salmon burger recipe (adapted from Mark Bittman) is a keeper – it’s so easy she makes it again and again.

Satay. Malaysian chicken satay with Javanese peanut sauce from The Traveler’s Lunchbox.

Plantains. Kathryn Hill from The Kitchn shows us how to make sweet fried plantains – a sweet and savoury side dish and Latin American staple.

Savoury tart. I’m keen to try this herbed ricotta tart by David Lebovitz.

Preserved lemons. If you want to make Moroccan food, you’ll want to know how to make preserved lemons. It’s easy! Here is the Sunday Suppers method.

Recipes – Sweet

Fruit crumble. James Martin serves up pear and blackberry crumble on BBC Good Food. Just as we have fabulous peaches in California, the UK has great pears – if you live over there, be sure to make the most of it!

Poached pears. This recipe for Pandora’s chai-poached pears from Rebecca Crump on Ezra Pound Cake sounds terrific too, though I’m a bit sad to see autumn flavours starting to appear just as it finally warms up in San Francisco! I’ll be making pumpkin pie before I know it!

Chocolate truffles. An unusual flavour combination from Nanette Johnson of Gourmet Worrier with cardamom and orange chocolate truffles.

Cake. Patricia Scarpin of Technicolor Kitchen says you should make this vanilla buttermilk cake with whipped passionfruit ganache for a very special someone. I think you should just make it, whatever the reason!

More cake. I’ve changed my mind – maybe you should make this macadamia lime and coconut cake from Jillian Leiboff Imaging. Wow! The decoration is not quite as fancy but I love the flavour combination.

Fig tart. Casey Solomon from Sunday Suppers has a recipe for fig and sesame tart with orange blossom whipped cream. This sounds AMAZING!

Bread pudding. Sweet comfort food with an adult twist from Elise at Simply Recipes - bread pudding with bourbon sauce.

Lime meringue pie. David Lebovitz has this recipe for lime meringue pie – I’m a sucker for lemon meringue pie so I bet this is just as good, if not better! Rebecca Crump from Ezra Pound Cake also has a version, only with cream instead of meringue.

Chocolate scones. Scones seem to mean different things in different parts of the world. The American version of a scone is what I would call a rock cake. Whatever you call it, this bittersweet chocolate version from Tara at Seven Spoons looks pretty good. (This is what I call a scone, while in the Orkney Islands ‘scones’ referred to mini-pancakes, which I would call a ‘pikelet’).

Techniques & Ingredients

Knife skills. Learn how to use a seriously sharp knife – YouTube video with chef Roger Mooking, embedded on Lifehacker.

Herbs. What’s in your cupboard – Mexican or Mediterranean oregano? And what’s the difference? Emily Ho tells you the answer on The Kitchn.


London – Street food. Helen Graves from Food Stories grabs a bobcat burger from the Meat Wagon in South London.

London – Korean. Helen Yuet Ling Pang from World Foodie Guide reviews Naru, a Korean restaurant in London.

Devon, UK – organic. Jonathan Browners from Around Britain with a Paunch reviews Riverford Farm near Plymouth in Devon, south-west England.

Oslo – Sushi. Krista from Londonelicious reviews Happy Sushi in Oslo, Norway – not exactly fine dining atmosphere but great fresh fish.

France – seafood. David Lebovitz recommends La Bonne Renommée in La Tremblade in south-western France, especially for oysters and mussels. The fries are good too though!

Sydney – fine dining. Squishies from eatshow&tell reviews Christine Manfield’s Universal Restaurant in Darlinghurst, inner-Sydney.

Sydney – fine dining. Susan Thye of Chocolatesuze reviews Etch Dining in the Intercontinental Hotel in Sydney.

Sydney – French. Howard from eatshow&tell reviews Bistro Ortolan in Leichhardt, Sydney’s original Little Italy.

Sydney – tapas. Squishies from eatshow&tell reviews La Sangria, a tapas joint in Balmain in Sydney’s Inner West.

Portland, Oregon. Chef Ivy Manning takes us on an inside tour of Portland’s guerrilla dining scene on Ever the Nomad.

Vegan cupcakes. Luanne Bradley from EcoSalon on vegan cupcakes in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami.

Perth – Spanish. Matt from Abstract Gourmet shares a retail secret – a Spanish providore in Perth, Western Australia called Spanish Flavours.

Doggy bag. Susan Smillie from Word of Mouth asks why British diners are so shy about getting their leftovers to go. Great discussion in the comments!

Dining tips. Frank Bruni, the departing food critic at the New York Times, shares his tips on how to get the most out of a restaurant experience.

Food issues and health

Sugar. The Big Money on Slate reports on how advertisers are exploiting consumers’ fears and misunderstanding over high-fructose corn syrup and other sugars.

Caffeine. Nutritionist Kathryn Elliott from Limes & Lycopene gives the low-down on caffeine and health.

Mercury in fish. Nutritionist Marion Nestle on Food Politics on mercury in US fish stocks and what the government should do about it. Vanessa Barrington from EcoSalon tackles the same subject from a practical point of view – what you can do as a consumer.

Chicken. Why nutritionist Kathryn Elliott of Limes & Lycopene is not a fan of chicken in health terms.

Agri-business. Isabella Kenfield from Food First on Monsanto’s man in the Obama administration.

Foraging and farming

Huckleberry hike. Antonia Malchik from Perceptive Travel on hiking to pick huckleberries in Montana. Sounds heavenly!

Seasonal bounty. Tara Duggan at the San Francisco Chronicle on what is going out and into season in northern California and what you can make with the season’s harvest.

Beirut. Khalil Pfaff guest-posts on Travellious about the farmers’ market in Beirut, Lebanon.

Wild fruit jelly. A recipe for elderberry jelly and rose hip jelly and jam from Elise on Simply Recipes. Both elderberries and rose hips grow wild in the US. Rose hips grow everywhere in fact, but I don’t know about elderberries – do they grow elsewhere too? Let me know in the comments!

Farmers’ markets. Tressa Eaton from Serious Eats presents six rules of a good farmers’ market. They are on the rise, according to Food First.


European cookery. Helen Yuet Ling Pang at the World Foodie Guide reviews Snowflakes and Schnapps by Sydney chef Jane Lawson, focusing on European cookery. So far as I can tell, this book is not yet available outside Australia.

Nigel Slater. British cookery writer Nigel Slater introduces his new book Tender, about growing and cooking vegetables, with a video. [You can wait list your copy on Amazon].

Vegetarian. Nanette Johnson of the Gourmet Worrier recommends The Modern Vegetarian by Maria Elia. [34% off on Amazon].

Pluot. I’d never heard of a pluot until I was trying sorbet flavours at an ice creamery in San Francisco about a week ago. It’s a type of plum. Now I find there’s a whole book dedicated to itThe Perfect Fruit by Chip Brantley of Cookthink. [34% off on Amazon].

Bite-size Desserts. Caroline Russock from Serious Eats tries the mini pistacho tea cakes in Carole Bloom’s Bite-Size Desserts. [34% off on Amazon].

Falling Cloudberries. Lara Ferroni from Cook & Eat reviews Tessa Kiros’ Falling Cloudberries. [34% off on Amazon].

And finally…

How cute is this heart-shaped watermelon? Via Susan Thye of Chocolatesuze.


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  1. Thanks for the shout out!
    .-= Marie´s last blog ..Holding On To Summer with A Tomato Bread Pudding, and an Opened Faced Tomato and Egg Sandwich =-.

  2. Gosh, what a gigantic list – this must have taken you ages to gather together Caitlin. Many thanks for including my purple cauli post.

    I’m checking out the preserved lemon suggestion on Sunday Suppers. Olive oil definitely seems to be the way to go with those (the ones I buy are in salted water and can be a bit harsh tasting)
    .-= Sophie´s last blog ..Thoughts and photos from a first summer of veg growing =-.