Strawberry Caprese Salad with Burrata

Strawberry Caprese Salad with Burrata

Strawberry Caprese Salad with Burrata

Not that our favorite Caprese salad (tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and olive oil) needed any improvement, but here, the classic savory summer salad is transformed by adding sweet strawberries & balsamic syrup. The combination is stellar.

Super-juicy and seductively aromatic, strawberries highlight the what is most memorable about this time of year’s produce. Tomatoes and strawberries have a curiously delightful affinity for each other. A light drizzle of aged balsamic vinegar adds a touch of sweet acid that brightens the entire dish. Creamy rich burrata takes the mozzarella to the next level.

By choosing only the best ingredients – fresh picked Italian basil, the juiciest most flavorful heirloom tomatoes, ripest organic strawberries, and high quality olive oil & aged balsamic vinegar – this salad can stand alone as a most satisfying evening meal. Serve with a good chilled rosé, and this dinner more than anything will evoke the pure taste of the season. No better way to enjoy a hot summer evening…

Strawberry Caprese Salad with Burrata Recipe

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Everything But The Bagel Vinaigrette, Farro Cucumber Date Salad

Everything But The Bagel Vinaigrette, Farro Cucumber Date Salad

Everything But The Bagel Vinaigrette
Farro Cucumber Date Salad

I like to make my salads from scratch, using the freshest ingredients dressed with a homemade vinaigrette. Today I took a short-cut.

Trader Joe’s sells a snappy seasoning blend with a clever name called Everything But the Bagel made with black and white sesame seeds, sea salt, garlic, onion, and poppy seeds. I put a scoop of the seasoning blend into a mixture of olive oil, vinegar, and agave syrup. It was a surprisingly good vinaigrette with sweet and savory flavors and a nice crunch. The dressing paired perfectly with my farro cucumber date salad. It was visually stunning too, with contrasting black and white seeds; ribbons of cucumber swirling around the platter; and just a few scattered edible flowers that made the neutral brown-green palette come alive.

Farro Cucumber Date Salad Recipe

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Kiwi Strawberry Pavlova, Lime Coconut Yogurt Whipped Cream

Kiwi Strawberry Pavlova, Lime Coconut Yogurt Whipped Cream

Kiwi Strawberry Pavlova
Lime Coconut Yogurt Whipped Cream

Oh how I wish I could ask my mother about the history of the beautiful vintage candy dish pedestals that I inherited. I don’t know their age but I vaguely remember them appearing on special occasions in my childhood, piled with individually wrapped little fruit candies…

Enamored of these pedestals, I’ve photographed them with two dessert recipes this week alone. Leaning much more to the savory side, this just might be the first time in ten years for back-to-back sweet recipes on Taste With The Eyes. Both the Pavlova and the Vegan Cheesecakes feature fresh fruit, are gluten-free, and couldn’t be more delightful for summer entertaining.

Pavlova is a charming meringue-based dessert named after prima ballerina Ánna Pávlova. It is typically filled with whipped cream and fresh fruit. I give the whipped cream extra pizzazz by blending the cream with tangy yogurt and flavoring it with coconut and lime. The synergistic colors and flavors of kiwifruit and strawberries result in a dessert almost as captivating as the ballerina herself.

Kiwi Strawberry Pavlova Recipe

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Semi-Frozen Vegan Cheesecakes

Semi-Frozen Vegan Cheesecakes

Semi-Frozen Vegan Cheesecakes
Cashew Coconut Filling
Date Walnut Crust, Frozen Berry Topping

I really like the idea of having an elegant little dessert on-hand. One that is homemade and ready to serve simply by thawing for 10 to 15 minutes. Beyond tasty, this recipe is also gluten-free and vegan so it appeals to all my guests!

The icy cold dessert would be great any time of year, but it is especially nice for summer entertaining topped with fresh berries that have been frozen to get that cool frosty look.

Semi-Frozen Vegan Cheesecakes Recipe

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Pasta Chilaquiles-Style

Pasta Chilaquiles-StylePasta Chilaquiles-Style
Black Beans, Salsa Verde, Fried Eggs

I got such a kick out of an email from Bon Appétit today: “If you take a photo of something in a cast-iron pan, it increases your engagement by 132 percent.”

Anyone who knows and loves the flavors of classic Mexican “chilaquiles” will fall for this dish where rigatoni stands in for corn tortillas. Chilaquiles is traditionally made of fried tortillas smothered in salsa (green or red) and garnished with cheese. Eggs, avocado, onion, sour cream, beans, chicken, cilantro and a whole host of other ingredients can be incorporated into the dish. It is designed to use up leftover ingredients.

I served it in a cast-iron pan! Yay for “engagement.” And the pan is no less a collector’s item. Griswold manufactured high-quality cast-iron cookware in Erie, Pennsylvania beginning in 1865.  The plant closed in 1957.

Griswold Cast-Iron Skillet #14

This Griswold #14 pan is between 60 and 77 years old. Due to the size of the logo, we know the pan was produced somewhere between 1940 and 1957. Older Griswold cast-iron skillets have a larger logo.

Pasta Chilaquiles-Style Recipe

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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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