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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Filet Mignon à la Nancy Silverton

Beef Filet, Horseradish-Olive Tapenade, Cannellini Beans, Spinach, Arugula Flowers

Filet Mignon, Horseradish-Olive Tapenade
Cannellini Beans, Wilted Spinach & Arugula, Arugula Flowers

Welcome back to the Borage & Basil Bistro, this summer’s virtual restaurant where all the menu items feature fresh snipped herbs, exotic ripe fruits, and/or edible flowers from our garden.

Tonight’s dinner special is inspired by Chef Nancy Silverton, adapted from a recipe she shares in A Twist of The Wrist, a terrific book of quick flavorful meals. It’s a version of a meat lover’s entree that had been popular for years at Campanile – a truly seminal restaurant – one that influenced the LA dining scene with its farmers market-driven fare spanning over two decades…

The beauty of this dish is that it marries the flavors in one pan – our filet mignon is seared – then the beans are heated in the beef juices, greens added at the end to wilt. Silverton’s suggestion of jarred black olive tapenade paired perfectly with the filet, but here at Borage & Basil, we swirl in some prepared horseradish, which gives the dish an extra kick. Our arugula is flowering, so to finish the plate, the attractive tasty arugula blossoms are scattered about. Arugula flowers taste much like the leaves, but with a delicate crepe paper-like texture.

casual bouquet of roses, fennel flowers, yarrow, and Mexican heather

Borage & Basil’s centerpieces come from the garden as well. Tonight the tables are adorned with a casual bouquet of roses, fennel flowers, yarrow, and Mexican heather.

Beef Filet, Horseradish-Olive Tapenade Recipe

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Thyme & Mint Roasted Eggplant with Arugula, Spinach, Tomato and Yogurt Sauce

Thyme Roasted Eggplant Salad

Thyme & Mint Roasted Eggplant

Japanese Eggplant, Arugula, Spinach, Tomato
Garlicky Yogurt Sauce, Arugula Flowers Garnish

While the presentation may look a bit familiar, the dish itself is unique.  It is inspired by one of my all time favorite chefs ~ Yotam Ottolenghi. His fans will recognize the Japanese eggplant presentation from the cover of his innovative vegetarian cookbook Plenty, where he adorns them with pomegranate arils and za’atar. Try Ottolenghi’s dish in autumn when pomegranates are in season, but try my version this summer with bursting ripe tomatoes and vibrant fresh greens.

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Inspired by Ottolenghi

rigatoni, roasted oyster mushroom, arugula, smoky chile walnuts, garlicky yogurt, feta

rigatoni, roasted oyster mushrooms, arugula
smoky chile walnuts, garlicky yogurt, feta

While Chef Yotam Ottolenghi makes his with conchiglie, peas, pine nuts, and basil – my dish with rigatoni, oyster mushrooms, walnuts, and arugula was totally inspired from the recipe in his fabulous cookbook Jerusalem. 

There are endless combinations of pasta, vegetables, and greens that can work with this garlicky yogurt sauce, feta, and smoky chile walnuts. With its pretty earth-tones, varying textures, and smoky flavors – this is one super-satisfying vegetarian meal.

inspired by ottolenghi recipe

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Chèvre Chaud Salad, Limoncello Dressing

Chèvre Chaud with Grape Arugula Salad, Limoncello Dressing
Chèvre Chaud over a Salad of  Arugula, Grapes, and Marcona Almonds
Limoncello Rosemary Dressing

How did this fall off my radar? Often, I would serve a Salade de Chèvre Chaud at dinner parties. It’s been years  – but now, fried goat cheese back. This time with arugula, grapes, marcona almonds, and a zippy limoncello rosemary dressing.

Food Network is featuring grapes this week, so I was thinking about foods that might pair well: goat cheese, almonds, lemon, rosemary, arugula, alcohol… Alcohol? Yes – like wine, cognac, brandy, rum. How about limoncello? The dressing is bold, lemony, and definitely zippy.  It adds unexpected character and balances the rich fried cheese. All the ingredients just came together and voilà – this bodacious “adult” salad was born.

Chèvre Chaud Recipe

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A Farmers Market Dinner Featuring Salmon & Truffle Cream

farmers market dinner

Pan-Roasted King Salmon with White Truffle Cream
Farmers Market Wild Arugula, Heirloom Baby Cherry Tomatoes, Avocado
Pine Nuts, French Lentils, Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette

Inspired by a trip to the Farmers Market, fresh king salmon was pan-roasted and served over organic French lentils seasoned with just a kiss of my Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette along with wild arugula, irresistible baby cherry tomatoes, lightly toasted pine nuts, and avocado.

The sauce is made with La Tartufata blended with creme fraiche which added a velvety nuance to the dish. A preserved truffle product from Gourmet Attitude, La Tartufata is an earthy intense white truffle cream. This dinner was a delightful marriage of earth, garden, and sea. It’s the third in a series of three meals, each featuring one of the preserved truffle goodies in the “Trio Boutique.” We especially liked dipping the little heirloom tomatoes in the truffle cream sauce…

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