Thursday, February 10, 2011

GOURDS PROGRAM: Herb Study Group & Barbra's Cauliflower Salad Recipe

Hey Herbies!

For those of you that missed yesterday's Herb Study Group on gourds . . . well you missed a really great program presented by Pat Baugh!

A gourd is a plant in the Cucurbitaceae family which also includes squash, pumpkin, cucumber, and many types of melons. I knew that gourds were used for utilitarian uses, but I didn’t know that some of them can be harvested very young and added to stir fries, used in mainly Asian and Indian cooking. Here is a website with lots of good gourd information along with some recipes:

Also bitter gourds have been used as medicinal herbs for ailments including dysentery, colic, fevers, burns, headaches, boils, painful menstruation, scabies and other skin problems.

The Buffalo Gourd C. foetidissima is native to the southwest United States, and it is often recognized by its stinky odor. Despite its odor, various Native American and Mexican tribes have used buffalo gourd for at least nine thousand years. It has been used traditionally in various ways as a food, cosmetic, detergent, insecticide and ritualistic rattle, to name a few. As research discovers the important resources of buffalo gourd’s past, it can be expected this plant will become a valuable asset to the future.
(From website:

For more information on gourds, go online and put in a search for gourds. There is lots of information out there on the Internet! I really like this website about gourds:

Also you missed a really great salad prepared and brought to us by our member Barbra Fox. For those of you that haven't met Barbra, she and her hubby have a weekend place in Copano Village with their permanent residence being San Antonio. Well the salad was wonderful and here is the recipe.

Barbra's Cauliflower Salad

6 heaping tablespoons of Hellman's Mayonnaise
2 heaping tablespoons of powdered sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of horseradish

1 head of cauliflower
1 red bell pepper
1 bunch of bulb onions
3 ribs of celery
1 can of black olives, thinly sliced
20 green olives, thinly sliced
*3 Roma tomatoes, chopped

Mix together all ingredients except for tomatoes and put into a large plastic bag and refrigerate at least overnight. Right before serving, *add 3 Roma tomatoes.

After the meeting we were discussing additions and/or variations for the salad. Here are just a few that we came up with:

• finely chopped red onion
• broccoli
• shredded cabbage
• any color bell pepper
• hot peppers (capsicums) for more heat
• shredded or thinly sliced cucumbers
• shredded or thinly sliced carrots
• sliced green onions
• roasted peanuts
• bean sprouts
• fresh herbs, any that you like

And we were discussing that you can use just the sauce for coleslaw. And I was thinking that you could make it as an oriental salad by substituting the horseradish for wasabi (possibly using less depending on your heat level) with a little soy sauce and pouring it over some oriental vegetables such as parboiled sugar snap peas, parboiled snow peas, shredded or thinly sliced cucumbers, shredded or thinly sliced carrots, sliced green onions, roasted peanuts, bean sprouts, etc.

Thank you so much Barbra!

1 comment:

Herbie said...

Well, so far I've heard from Ruth and Doree, and they said that their families loved the salad!