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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Macaroni Bibimbap

Macaroni Bibimbap

Red Rice Macaroni Bibimbap
Seasoned Vegetables and Beef
Fried Egg, Gochujang Sauce

I struggled to come up with a name for this dish. Traditional Bibimbap is a super-popular Korean dish where seasoned vegetables and beef are neatly arranged over cooked rice, often topped with a fried egg and served with red chili sauce. Just before eating, the diner vigorously mixes it all together creating a wildly colorful, nutritious, and immensely flavorful meal in a bowl.

The Korean word Bibim translates to mixing. Bap translates to cooked rice. Myeon translates to noodles. Since I’ve substituted red rice macaroni for steamed white rice…should the name be bibimmacaroni? bibimmac? bibimmyeon? Ultimately I decided on the name Macaroni Bibimbap because it is made with rice-based macaroni, hoping that is not too confusing.

Macaroni Bibimbap

Made in Italy by my friends at Explore Cuisine of organic rice flour and pea protein, Red Rice Macaroni is loaded with 11 grams of protein per serving.  With a chewy al dente texture, unique shape and color, it makes for a fun fusion twist on the traditional Korean recipe.

Red Rice Macaroni Bibimbap

Red Rice Macaroni Bibimbap Recipe

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Teacher Appreciation Luncheon – Hawaiian Theme! Aloha and Mahalo!

Teacher Appreciation Luncheon - Hawaiian Theme! Aloha!

Teacher Appreciation Luncheon
Hawaiian Theme! Aloha and Mahalo!

Cowabunga! Imagine going to work one day to find your workplace transformed into a tropical island paradise. Imagine stepping out of your office (or classroom) and onto an island in the balmy blue South Pacific…for lunch!

The surf is exhilarating, the tropical fare is heavenly, and the hospitality could not be more gracious. We are enchanted by the Polynesian atmosphere complete with an island-theme tablescape, beach chairs, sand, surf boards, wetsuits, orchids & hibiscus, island music and Elvis’ Blue Hawaii on the big screen.

Each year the generous, creative parents of children at Rolling Hills Country Day School transform our auditorium into a delightful oasis in the middle of the workday. This year’s Aloha Theme was especially enjoyable and refreshing as an ocean breeze.

The parents chose the shaka sign (extending the thumb and smallest finger while holding the three middle fingers curled) as the logo for this event. Its meaning conveys Aloha Spirit – capturing friendship, camaraderie and gratitude, the laid-back, fun-loving, and especially hang-loose nature of the Hawaiian culture.

Teacher Appreciation Luncheon - Hawaiian Theme! Aloha & Mahalo!

Aloha & Mahalo Invitation

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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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