2 June 2010

Our Virtual Cooking Light Club Cooks with Herbs... Olive Asiago Rolls

Olive and Asiago Rolls

We are so glad you have decided to join us once again for our Cooking Light Virtual Supper Club. This is a monthly event where 5 ladies in two neighbouring countries get together to create a delicious meal with a theme in mind. We all share a love for Cooking Light magazine which has an emphasis on healthy eating and living. The idea is simple because of our common interest in cooking and healthy cuisine. We love to share these ideas with you each and every month through our Virtual Supper Club. This is a team effort where we combine what Cooking Light readers like best...good food with great company!!!



This months theme was:

Cooking with Herbs

If you would like to join in please post a dish from Cooking Light magazine that would fit in with this months theme and post it on your blog. Let us know you have joined in by commenting on any of our blogs below. We always post on the first Wednesday of every month. Next months theme will be Barbecues and Picnics in honour of both Canadian and American holidays in July, so get your thinking caps on!!!! This was our very first theme when we first started the Virtual Supper Club a year ago. We have now come full circle and reached a milestone in the year we have gathered virtually at each others table. There have been some recent changes with our group and Cooking Light no longer maintains their blog where we were featured, but, we love being in each others company so much we hope to continue on this healthy journey with you. You will always find out what's happening at the Virtual Supper Club here, Check out our past challenges and stay tuned.

Not so long ago, parsley was the only fresh herb available for cooking. I remember my mom popping the parsley garnish into her mouth to "freshen her breath" after every meal in a restaurant or at the supper table. Today, bunches of fresh oregano and rosemary can be found in nearly every supermarket, basil and mint grow abundantly in backyards from coast to coast, and garden centers offer pots of edible geraniums, and lemon thyme. One of my favourite salads consists of plenty of peppery nasturtium flowers. Besides nasturtiums on my own deck I grow Italian parsley for tabbouleh, lemon verbena for iced tea, chives for potato salad, rosemary for brushing sauce on meats on the barbecue.... and basil for everything!!!!I still have pots to fill so will keep a lookout for more herbs to experiment with.

Herbs are easy to grow, even thrive with neglect... as I can attest to. Since they possess wonderful aromas, dinner becomes a special event when you add fresh herbs to any recipe. Herbs used in cooking may be fresh, dried, or frozen.You can even try an old fashioned salting method of preserving herbs as I did for this Herbes Salees. It has been almost a year and my herbs preserved by this method are still green and vibrant.  Fresh herbs do not have the concentrated flavour of the dried variety but make up for this by being more aromatic...just try crushing a fresh leaf between your fingers and breathing in its glorious fragrance. Dried herbs have a longer shelf life but loose their colour and flavour with time.

As a rule of thumb in most recipes you can very easily substitute fresh herbs for dry herbs by using about 3 times the amount. (For 1 teaspoon of dry herbs, you can use 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs). Dry herbs should usually be added towards the beginning of the cooking time and fresh herbs near the end or even after the dish has finished cooking. Have fun experimenting with herbs, but be careful not to put too much of them in a dish at once. Start with small amounts, especially when using strong herbs like sage, rosemary and cilantro.

Our menu this month showcases herbs beautifully!!!

Long time member Jamie of Mom's Cooking Club starts us off with two appealing appetizers of Basil Parmesan Dip with Pita Chips and Creamy Garlic Herb Dip. Thanks for sharing Jamie!

 Our newest member Sandi of The Whistestop Cafe brings the piece de resistance with  Herbed Stuffed Chicken Breasts. Goat cheese, rosemary, Canadian bacon...need I say more.

 Patsy of Family, Friends and Food wowed us with a stunning Risotto of Fresh Mozzarella, Grape Tomatoes and Basil. Risotto is a favourite around here!

I rounded off the meal by baking some herbed bread ...Olive and Asiago Rolls to complement our menu. The bread was easy to make and studded with pitted kalamata olives and thyme and topped with Asiago cheese. This is a bread with WOW-factor!!!!! I tried one roll and then another and another. I had to put them in the freezer or all 18 would have been gone in one sitting.

 And lastly, Shelby of The Life and Loves of Grumpy's Honeybunch gets in on the action with a Pound Cake with Lemon-Basil Glaze. Even dessert can be be over the top with herbs as the star!

Way to go ladies!!!!!It has been a pleasure to share a table with you!

You are reading this post on More Than Burnt Toast at http://morethanburnttoast.blogspot.com. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author/owner of More Than Burnt Toast. All rights reserved by Valerie Harrison. Best Blogger Tips

23 comments:

  1. You had me at Kalamata. They're like baked dumplings oozing with savory filling. So stylish to behold, yet I'm sure they taste even better.

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  2. Those rolls must taste wonderful! Herbs are so versatile...

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  3. Ah beautiful! It's fresh herb season and I am so ready to try some of those recipes. That roll looks amazing.

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  4. Herbs may thrive with neglect in the whole wide world except in Texas; gardening here is an uphill battle.

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  5. Oh Val. I am SO making these! And I'm going to check out your herb salting too- my neighbor used to do that
    xoxo pattie

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  6. What a wonderful meal and the roll looks delicious. I love the kalamata olives!

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  7. great loooking rolls and I just love Asagio, Will be adding these to my Sunday menu. Thanks for sharing

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  8. Wonderful! A cake with basil flavor is definitely unusual..

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  9. Sounds like a delicious meal...loving the sound of those rolls, especially!!

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  10. I think herb-infused bread is possibly one of the best things on this earth. It tastes like comfort to me!

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  11. I would totally eat every one of those rolls. They look wonderful. Thanks for making such a great addition to our herb menu.

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  12. I guess he WOW! factor has some side effects, so to speak. I can see something like that happening in my kitchen. Bread with olives is definitely in my to-do list.

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  13. There is a lot of recipes to follow here, I will have to come back and stay a while longer, for now off to wake kiddies. The rolls look, well, just perfect for breakfast!!

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  14. Oh my goodness, these rolls look amazing! They are just gorgeous!

    My mom used to do the same thing with parsley. :)

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  15. Asiago is a cheese that deserves more respect. I'm going to buy some and try some rolls!

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  16. cheese + bread = heaven. lovely rolls, val, and i love the fact that there are endless possibilities here!

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  17. These are lovely rolls Val. And with olives and Asiago too - that elevates them to another whole level. Bravo.
    Sam

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  18. I stumbled upon your beautiful blog today thru Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. Oh my! So much to see here. I love finding fellow Canadian Food Bloggers :) I can't wait to read more and enjoy your company. Thanks for the inspiration :)

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  19. I am crazy over kalamata and asiago and herbs... and ... and ... and - in my neck of the woods, Asiago is deeply respected. :)
    What a great recipe idea. THANK YOU, V!
    XO

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  20. Now, that's a great dinner roll! Sounds full of flavor. I love adding lots of herbs to dishes because they are the only edible things I can grow well!

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  21. Wonderful club, your asiago rolls sounds superb.

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  22. I love the way your rolls turned out! So perfect and filled with so many wonderful ingredients! Thanks, for sharing with us - even if it was only virtually... I would have loved to nibble one of them in real life!

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Welcome to my home. Thank you so much for choosing to stay a while and for sharing our lives through food. I appreciate all your comments, suggestions, daily encouragement and support.

Val

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