Spanish Chilled Tomato Soup aka Salmorejo

Spanish Chilled Tomato Soup aka Salmorejo

Spanish Chilled Tomato Soup aka Salmorejo

Hailing from the South of Spain, the refreshing chilled tomato soup called salmorejo is ideal for warm weather entertaining and the perfect soup to kick off a delicious summer.

Traditionally, salmorejo is garnished with chopped hard boiled egg and Serrano ham. Here, as a nod to salmorejo’s close relative, gazpacho, I keep this version meatless by substituting cucumber spirals for the ham. It is often finished with a drizzle of olive oil, however I jazz it up with cool crema and fiery chili oil. A jammy egg sits on top. Purple garlic blossoms make a pretty addition, hinting at the garlic in the soup.

Salmorejo Recipe

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Cloud Egg Avocado Toast with Wild Arugula

Cloud Egg Avocado Toast with Wild Arugula

Celebrating 10 Years of Taste With The Eyes
with
Cloud Egg Avocado Toast with Wild Arugula

Captured in the image above are many of the signature elements that have made Taste With The Eyes what it is today. In honor of the 10 Year Anniversary, I present this satisfying and sunny Cloud Egg Avocado Toast as a reflection of my site. It is my hope that the dishes continue to delight and inspire you for years to come. Thank you so much for all your support.

EDIBLE FLOWERS: Edible flowers have been a passion of mine for a long time. Taste With The Eyes has a complete section dedicated to edible flowers. Various flowers have their own characteristics, the flavor of the flower absolutely must harmonize with the dish. A few years ago on Pinterest, I saw a stunning chocolate cake adorned with pretty purple flowers, unfortunately, those flowers were society garlic blossoms…you can imagine the fail there.

DINNERWARE: I am admittedly addicted to dinnerware and usually appreciate a simple clean photoshoot with no fussy elaborate props. Here we have just a cup of strong coffee, a little pot of thyme, and one of my million plates or bowls. These white, scalloped-edge dinner plates with raised dots are the newest in my collection.

FIREPLACE HEARTH: Many of the dishes are photographed on my fireplace hearth. It is made of brick and it is old, and is just a few steps from my kitchen. Lots of food photographers hunt for the perfect background…I am so fortunate that mine is built in.

SOMETHING INTERESTING: We love avocado toast but it is everywhere. So I jazzed it up with a cloud egg. Now cloud eggs might be a fad, but they make a really neat presentation. The whites and yolk are separated, then the whites are whipped and baked to a spongy consistency. The yolk is added after 5 minutes, the result – warm and runny.

FROM MY GARDEN: When the arugula plant starts to flower, the leaves become more intense in flavor – so spicy and peppery. Adding arugula flowers (which taste like the leaves but a bit milder) is another neat way to use arugula in the dish.

SOMETHING LOCAL: The toast is from our local artisan Baltic Bakery. Made of rye, wheat, and whole grains…and no sugar. I am not opposed to sugar but I don’t want it in my bread. It is difficult to find an unsweetened bread – be it sugar, molasses, or honey at the supermarket. I am so happy to give a shout-out to this authentic bakery. Locals can purchase this Bavarian Country Style Bread at Darko’s Meat Shop in San Pedro.

PHOTOGRAPHY AND FOOD STYLING: First of all, the dish must be delicious (no matter how pretty the picture) in order for me to share it on Taste With The Eyes. Next, it does have to look good…we taste with the eyes first, after all!

Cloud Egg Avocado Toast with Wild Arugula

FIRST POST: Hundreds of thousands of food images later, here I am. What began on a lark  in 2007 has turned into an absolute passion. Back then when food blogging was relatively new, I came across “the first foodblog I ever read” and thought, hey, I have recipes and restaurant experiences to share too. That is how Taste With The Eyes was born. On June 10, 2007, I created a blog and taught myself how to upload my first photo. It was a picture of our family’s dinner at (my hero) Charlie Trotter’s Kitchen Table (that’s me on the right). I never imagined that my new hobby would “blossom” the way it has over these 10 years!

Charlie Trotter's Kitchen Table

HOW TO MAKE CLOUD EGGS

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Chilled Cantaloupe and Key Lime Soup

Chilled Cantaloupe and Key Lime Soup, Feta and Fresh Herbs

Chilled Cantaloupe and Key Lime Soup
Feta, Cilantro, Mint, Kaffir Lime, Olive Oil

With just three ingredients, cold cantaloupe soup couldn’t be easier to prepare, nor more refreshing. This delightful Chilled Cantaloupe and Key Lime Soup is perfect for summer entertaining. Key limes give the soup a fresh bright acidity.

The garnishes take the soup to another level. Feta brings a tangy element while olive oil adds a rich mouthfeel. Kaffir lime leaf slivers bring a luscious perfume and unique citrusy flavor. The green herb garnish of mint and cilantro contrasts the pastel-orange soup for a very pretty presentation.

Chilled Cantaloupe Soup Recipe

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Adopt-A-Goat and Charred Goat Cheese Salad

Adopt-A-Goat and Charred Goat Cheese Salad

Charred Goat Cheese Salad
Fennel, Cantaloupe, Cucumber
Smoky Chile Walnuts, Charred Parsley Vinaigrette
Mustard Flowers, Watercress, Mint, Cilantro

I adopted a goat. I named her Miss Chèvre Chaud. She’s a gentle soul who devours mustard plant with wild abandon and is deliriously happy to munch on wild fennel.

For the past several years, hundreds of goats like her have been employed to graze on non-native weeds as part of the Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy restoration project.

The Palos Verdes Peninsula Land Conservancy’s Adopt-A-Goat program supports their effort to turn the weedy hillsides into native coastal sage scrub and grassland habitats – supporting threatened and endangered plants and wildlife, such as the California gnatcatcher and cactus wren.

Goats are an ecologically sound, cost-effective, and efficient means of habitat restoration. As a bonus, their droppings provide a natural top-soil fertilizer. The goats make very little noise, leave no trash, and are a charming addition to the community for the time they spend with us.

Invasive Plants: Mustard and Fennel

Invasive non-native plants while pretty to look at, and pretty tasty to eat…cause damage to the ecosystem by crowding out and reducing native plant species ultimately reducing shelter and food for native animal species.

These non-native plants tend to have shallow root systems which do little to help with soil stabilization on the hilly slopes. And both mustard and fennel grow quite tall, unfortunately blocking out necessary sunlight for native species.

Native of Europe, black mustard Brassica nigra, is an annual plant that covers the Peninsula after the winter rains. It sprouts easy and densely, so as to crowd out the native plants that are home to native birds. It is short-lived, so when the plant dies the dried stalks remain standing and present a significant fire hazard.

Native of Southern Europe, fennel Foeniculum vulgare is another invasive species that grows in dense thickets and crowds out native species. When the fennel plants die in late summer, the dried stems remain standing and can be fuel for wildfires.

Savory Fruit Salad with Goat Cheese

This delicious savory fruit salad was created to showcase Miss Chèvre Chaud’s affection for reducing our local mustard and fennel (aka goat-candy) population while promoting fresh cheese made from goat’s milk.

To highlight the good work Miss CC and her team do to clear the hillsides and reduce wildfire danger…the salad has three charred elements; charred parsley vinaigrette, charred/caramelized goat cheese, and smoky walnuts. Simultaneously the mustard flowers do indeed taste like yellow mustard and add a punchy savory note to the salad.

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Cauliflower Velvet Soup, Jazzy Garnish

Cauliflower Velvet SoupCauliflower Velvet Soup
Cheddar, Crispy Rice, Chili Oil, and Chive Garnish

The silky smooth texture is achieved by the addition of cannelini beans and the action of a high-performance blender. Tasty, oh yes, but it is that velvety texture that makes the soup so extraordinary. It could easily be served naked…

…but the cream-colored blank canvas begs for something jazzy, cheesy, toasty, spicy, crunchy, and green. Queue up cheddar, crispy rice, toasted sesame chili oil, and chives.

Cauliflower Velvet Soup Recipe

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Spring Strawberry Farro Salad by Baran’s 2239

Spring Strawberry Farro Salad by Baran's 2239

Baran’s 2239 Spring Strawberry & Farro Salad
English Peas, Asparagus, Burrata

The highlight of Teacher Appreciation Week, as usual, was our Annual Luncheon. This year it had a super-fun hang loose Hawaiian Island theme. Our friends at Baran’s 2239 Restaurant generously donated the salad course, a delightful Strawberry & Farro Salad, the epitome of springtime in a bowl. Chef Tyler Gugliotta shares his recipe here on Taste With The Eyes. Mahalo Chef!

Spring Strawberry & Farro Salad Recipe

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