Jazz Up Store-Bought Hummus, Three Ways

Jazz Up Store-Bought Hummus, Three Ways

Hummus and Pita

Take ordinary (high quality) store-bought hummus and pita to another level. Easily jazz it up for guests with a few items from the garden and the pantry. Edible flowers, lemon, herbs & spices, olive oil, nuts – with very little effort, anything colorful and tasty can take the ubiquitous dip over-the-top for entertaining.

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Linguine, Arugula Pesto, Edible Flowers

Linguine Arugula Pesto

Linguine with Arugula Pesto
Arugula Flowers and Borage Flowers

Arugula flowers taste just like the leaves, but maybe slightly less peppery and with an interesting hint of sweetness. They make a mighty tasty garnish for such a delicate little white blossom.

Borage flowers have much less flavor, only a whisper of cucumber taste, but what they lack in flavor they make up in color. Because the flavor is mild, borage can be used in both savory and sweet dishes, and they make any presentation pop!

arugula and borage

With Spring in full force, my garden is bursting with arugula and borage…and since they are growing side-by-side, I thought I would combine them in a pasta dish.

Arugula leaves make a peppery pesto so I lower the volume and balance the flavor with the addition of cilantro and mint. Those who are not fans of cilantro can combine the arugula with another mild-tasting herb, such as parsley.

Linguine Arugula Pesto Recipe

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Arugula Borage Salad, Pomegranate Vinaigrette

Arugula and Borage Salad

Arugula and Borage Salad
Feta, Pomegranate Arils, Pistachio Slivers
Pomegranate Vinaigrette

It’s April and the borage is blooming! These electric blue star-shaped flowers have a mild cucumber taste and a soft texture. They make a striking addition to any salad.

Here, peppery arugula is accented with borage, giving the salad a distinctive visual emphasis. Feta brings salty-tangy-creamy notes while sweet-sour pomegranate arils add another layer of jewel-like color and a crunchy texture. Pistachios add that distinctive nutty flavor.

Pomegranate vinaigrette ties it all together with sweet-savory-zippy characteristics. Serve the dressing on the side for better presentation. Pair this lovely spring salad with a glass of rosé, of course.

Salad

  • arugula
  • borage
  • olive oil
  • pomegranate arils
  • feta, crumbled
  • pistachio slivers
  • salt and pepper

Toss arugula lightly with olive oil. Gently toss in the flowers. Place salad on serving plates and top with pomegranate arils, feta, and pistachio slivers. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with a few more flowers on top.

Pomegranate Vinaigrette

  • 2 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 T. pomegranate molasses
  • 2 T. rice vinegar (not seasoned)
  • 2 t. dijon mustard
  • 1 t. garlic, minced
  • 1 T. shallot, minced
  • salt and pepper

Combine ingredients in a jar and shake well. Serve vinaigrette in a small glass pitcher on the side.

How to Prepare Borage for Food

Unfortunately I see many photographs of borage flowers in food with the sepals still attached. The reddish-brown sepals are covered with bristly hairs, they are not something you would want to eat in a salad.

Borage

To separate the corolla from the sepals, simply pinch the middle of the star and pull. Rinse the flowers in a bowl of cool water to remove any dirt or little bugs.

Eat Flowers, Be Happy

Here is a link to all of my Edible Flower posts, photos, and recipes.

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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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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