Kongnamul 콩나물 with Tofu Carpaccio

Kongnamul 콩나물
Soybean Sprout Namul with Leek & Red Bell Pepper
Tofu Carpaccio

Namul (a Korean seasoned vegetable dish) is usually served as banchan (a side dish accompanying the main course). In atypical fashion here, I serve kongnamul (soybean sprout namul) with a sliced tofu cutlet as the main course of a heart-healthy vegetarian lunch. We enjoyed a simple bowl of vegetable dumpling in broth on the side. Crunchy sprouts pair very well with mellow sautéed leek and bright red bell pepper plus a bit of spiciness from gochugaro (Korean chili powder). Toasted sesame oil adds a rich nutty component.

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Summer-in-Winter Soba Soup

Chilled Soba Noodle Soup
Fragrant Soy Milk Broth with Ground Sesame, Lemongrass, Ginger, Curry Leaf
Buckwheat Soba Noodle & Chick Pea
Heirloom Tomato, Cucumber, Scallion, Cilantro, Red Jalapeño, Sesame Seed

Lemongrass, Ginger, Curry Leaf

Buckwheat Soba Noodle

As we Angelenos bask in a mid-winter heat wave with temperatures reaching the 80’s…we’re dining on a cool fragrant heart healthy soup here. Soy milk is infused with lemongrass, ginger, and curry leaf. Ground sesame seeds add a nutty component. The garnishes are bright and refreshing. My friends in the mid-west and north-east may want to remember this recipe for the hot months to come, and those in the Southern Hemisphere and Southern California (for the time being), can enjoy this chilled soup now!

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Ultimate Crostini

toasted french baguette
mashed mayocoba beans with rosemary
chopped fresh baby spinach/ sesame rice wine vinaigrette
savory sautéed mushrooms/ roasted hatch chiles

Here is an über-flavorful appetizer certain to appeal to all of your guests: gourmet, cholesterol-conscious, vegan/vegetarian, and meat-eaters alike. It’s a creamy mayocoba bean mash with fresh rosemary, tender baby spinach dressed with a slightly sweet and toasty vinaigrette, meaty mushrooms, and smoky medium-hot chiles all layered atop sliced toasted baguette.

The inspiration for this crostini came from a favorite salad: Grilled King Trumpets & Shishito Peppers on Rosemary Skewers over Spinach and Roasted Soybeans. The combination of flavors and textures in the salad is extraordinary. Here, similar ingredients are terrific together arranged on slices of toast.

The Hatch Chile Festival is coming up on September 4th and 5th in Hatch, New Mexico, the “Chile Capital of the World.” Fresh Hatch chiles are only available for a limited time at our local market here in LA, and since we can’t attend the festival, we’ll be stocking up! Roasted chiles can be frozen and enjoyed throughout the year. Our first dish of  Hatch chile season is Ultimate Crostini.

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Cooking Charlie Trotter’s Vegetables – Sublime!

Black-Eyed Peas with Haricots Verts
Baby Spinach and Baby White Potatoes
Spicy Curry Emulsion

“To me, June is synonymous with exuberance, mostly because the flavors and colors of the month’s offering are so dramatic. I like elegant playful spicing in June, which is perfect for these fresh ingredients. I’m not yet ready for the big, assertive spices and flavors of late summer.”
Charlie Trotter

A little over a week ago you all helped me celebrate the 3rd Anniversary of Taste With The Eyes. Thank you again for all your kind words and support. This little blog is a source of much joy due to your involvement. As a small token of appreciation, I am giving away a copy of my very favorite vegetable cookbook, Charlie Trotter’s Vegetables. Oh how I wish you all could experience this book! Black-Eyed Peas with Haricots Verts and Spicy Curry Emulsion was truly sublime…Mr. Trotter is a genius.

The winner of the Giveaway for Charlie Trotter’s Vegetables will be announced on June 26.

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Crostini and Other Tasty Appetizers

Navy Bean Crostini
With Garlic and Roasted Green Chile

Pea and Mint Crostini
Topped with Prosciutto

Pea and Mint Crostini
Topped with Diced Pear
Navy Bean Crostini Recipe

Cook pre-soaked Navy Beans in water with three or four smashed garlic cloves, a bay leaf and salt, until tender. Drain off any water and cool.

These roasted chiles came as a gift from my dear friend Peggy from Denver, where they roast chiles on the street corners in the Fall. I can just imagine the aromas! Peel, seed and stem the roasted chiles, then they are ready to add to the food processor.

Whip 1/2 c. whipping cream to stiff peaks in a food processor. Leave the whipped cream in the processor, change the blade from a whipping blade to a chopping blade, then add beans and garlic cloves (sans bay leaf) and roasted chiles. Puree then salt to taste. Navy beans, garlic, and roasted green chiles made an extraordinarily flavorful spread!
Toast (or grill) sliced baguette. Slice a garlic clove in half. Rub each slice of toasted baguette with a couple swipes of the raw garlic clove, then brush the toast with olive oil. Rubbing the toast with raw garlic gives it a real burst of flavor. Top with the spread. A little herb garnish is nice too.
I am submitting this Navy Bean Crostini to the My Legume Love Affair Event 17th Edition hosted by Sra of When My Soup Came Alive blog. This is a wonderful event that showcases legumes, started by Susan, The Well-Seasoned Cook in January 2008 and still going strong!
It was my pleasure to host the 11th Edition last May, the round-up can be found here. If you love beans, there is no better place to go than My Legume Love Affair for great recipes and inspiration.
Pea and Mint Crostini Recipe

The pea and mint crostini idea comes from Giada De Laurentis. Cook a bag of frozen peas with 1 t. red pepper flakes in water until tender. Drain and cool. Whip 1/2 c. whipping cream to stiff peaks in a food processor, change the blade, add the pea mixture with 1/4 c. fresh mint. Puree until smooth, salt to taste. Giada topped hers with diced prosciutto. We also topped some with diced pears tossed with pear balsamic vinegar. The color of the pea mixture is fabulous!
Shrimp with Blue Cheese Polenta, Chile Oil

Cook polenta, add crumbled blue cheese at the end of cooking. Salt and pepper to taste. Spread polenta mixture in a shallow dish. Chill, then cut out rounds with a cookie cutter.

Sauté peeled deveined shrimp in a little butter and olive oil, finish with salt and pepper to taste.

Dust polenta rounds with flour, sauté in butter until slightly crispy.

Char red chiles on a grill or under a broiler. Peel and seed. Put chiles in a food processor, stream in olive oil taking care not to over blend.

The roasted red chile oil gave a nice kick to the shrimp. Homemade chile oil was worth the effort. For extra cheesy bites, place a small slice of blue cheese on the polenta, then top with the shrimp and chile oil.
Date Wrapped Bacon Bundles

Two ingredients, lots of flavor! Roll bacon around a pitted date, secure with a toothpick and bake at 375° turning once, until the bacon is crispy. These were a big hit!
Sunken City Supper Club Appetizers
For our Sunken City Supper Club event a few weeks ago (posted here and here) we wanted to serve a nice variety of not-too-complicated appetizers as our guests arrived. We wanted a range of flavors, colors and textures. The Dates Wrapped in Bacon Bundles were sweet, smokey, and salty. The Crostini was colorful, crunchy and creamy. The Polenta with Shrimp was cheesy, spicy and crispy. We had vegetarian, seafood, and bacon appetizers. They were easy to pick up with the hands, we simply provided cocktail napkins, as the guests mingled before dinner. It worked.

Gail and Marlene plate the appetizers.

Barry Anthony of The Swing Of Things band getting ready to play at the Sunken City Supper Club.
Until the next get-together of the Sunken City Supper Club, I leave you with another one of the band’s light-hearted and breezy performances:

The Swing of Things performing Nat King Cole’s first hit record recorded in 1944, Straighten Up and Fly Right.

My Legume Love Affair Round-Up

My dear dear friend of many years, Allison Lew, was among seven chefs to be inducted into Share Our Strength’s Operation Frontline Hall of Fame this year. Volunteers are inducted to the Hall of Fame for outstanding dedication to teaching low-income families how to prepare healthy, tasty meals on a limited budget. Allison volunteers at the Oregon Food Bank’s Nutrition Education program which uses the Share Our Strength Operation Frontline Curriculum. Share Our Strength is a national hunger-relief organization working to make sure that no child in America grows up hungry. You can go here to find out how you can get involved. For My Legume Love Affair event, Allison shares one of her favorite bean recipes at the end of this post.
Black Bean, Tomatillo and Green Olive Salsa

The only saving grace was a ravishingly salty and sassy jolt of fresh salsa, so good that I scarfed it down before I could artistically arrange it in a bowl. So very good, in fact, that I made it a second time, and, again, scarfed it down before I could get it into that bloody bowl. It is said by fairies, elves and other supernatural types that the third time is the charm.
New York

A special thanks to Susan, the creator of this fabulous event!
Lentil Beans with Spanish Chorizo Sausage

A family Spanish recipe.
A hearty stew flavored with fresh vegetables, Spanish Chorizo and
Pimenton (Spanish Paprika).
Diana Bauman
Des Moines, Iowa
Judias Blancas Con Espinaca (Spinach and Beans)

I love legumes. Packed with protein, nutrients and best of all, my
kids will eat them!! Now that local Spring veggies are in season,
this is a great dish to use up that Spinach.
Diana Bauman
Des Moines, Iowa
Kairi Ki Dal/ Raw Mango Dal

I like to dedicate this recipe to all the buddy bloggers who visit, appreciate and encourage me.
Lubna Karim
Bangalore, Karnatka, India
Mutter Paneer Masala / Green Peas with Indian Cottage Cheese

When the soft and gorgeous green peas combines with a golded fried, pleasant-tasting paneer with some aromatic and flavourful Indian spices the outcome is simply luscious and palatable.
Lubna Karim
Bangalore, Karnatka, India
Rajma N Tomato Rice

Red kidney beans (Rajma) are grown in many places around the world and can be found in the cuisines of Spain and Latin America. These kidney beans are large and deep maroon in colour.
Paris, France
Lobia Mushroom Curry

Lobia is an Indian curry made with black eyed beans. Made with freshly roasted and ground aromatic spices along with other ready made spices this dish has a wonderful flavour. The aroma infused by freshly ground spices along with the creamy texture imparted by ground coconut, this dish goes well with Indian breads like Chapati/Roti/Naan.
Pooja S
Loves Park, Illinois, USA
Chole Paneer Masala

Chole (Chickpeas/Garbanzo Beans) masala originated in North India and is popular all over the country especially by the name Chole Bature. Chole/Channa is served with Batura which is an Indian bread deep fried in oil. This is a popular breakfast dish served with curd and pickles. It is also a snack food sold by street vendors. The method of preparation varies in different parts of the country due to the choice of spices and other ingredients. Paneer, a protein rich food is made by curdling boiled milk with lime juice or vinegar. This is later strained and squeezed and kept with weights on top for some time before cutting into pieces.The addition of paneer to Chole gives an added taste to the entire dish.
Pooja S
Loves Park, Illinois, USA
Kara Vadai

A deep fried fritter made with chickpea flour and split moong dal.
Perfect snack with tea.
Divya Vikram
Los Angeles
15 Bean Sloppy Joe’s

A new take on a classic favorite… this recipe adds 15 Bean soup to a traditional Sloppy Joe recipe. The results are something the entire family will LOVE!
Matt Huntley
Indianapolis, Indiana
Channa Masala

A rich Indian curry that is made with Chick peas as the main ingredients. It is an excellent side dish for Indian breads like pooris, Naans and Chappathis.
Illinois, USA
Sausages with Lentils

This is a simple & fast “surely-you-have-everything-on-hand” kind of meal.
Oh, and its delicious too.
Milwaukie, Oregon
Red Lentil and Preserved Lemon Soup

The soup was hearty, spicy and delicious. E was very impressed and we both had a second helping because it tasted so good.
Melbourne, Australia
Black-eyed Pea and Bottle Gourd Kurma

This black eyed peas and bottle gourd kurma is a delicious gravy and goes well with bread or rice with its coconut and fennel seed aroma.
AbuDhabi (U.A.E.)
Healthy Sprouted Bhel

A Spicy Indian quick snack for entertaining!
Red Chori (Red Small Beans) Salad

Red Small Beans, (Red chori) also known as adzuki beans, are small, oval, dark-reddish brown beans. They have a strong, unsually sweet flavor and creamy texture.
Plantain & Blackbeans Veggie Patty

Believe it or not, plantain is one of the healthiest foods in the world in terms of its nutritional value. The nutritional value of plantain is even greater than that of its closest relation banana. When cooked, the fruit is extremely low in fat, high in fibre and starch. It is very low in cholesterol and salt too.
Rajma (Kidney Bean) Salad

Kidney beans are an excellent source of molybdenum!

Sprout Curry with Goda Masala

Goda masala is a fragrant spice mix from Maharashtra. It keeps for a couple of years in the freezer and I use it just for this recipe with any kind of soaked and cooked beans or sprouted lentils.
Bee and Jai
North Western U.S.
Black-eyed Peas with Fenugreek and Tomatoes

Earthy black-eyed peas are an ideal solution for a quick, but comforting and nourishing meal.
London, Ontario, Canada
purè di fave e bietola / fava bean and chard purée

This dish was created with the help of Ms Serendipity, that nice companion of many adventures in the kitchen (and elsewhere). It all started at the farmers’ market…
Northern California
Channa Ham

I was hungry and had some chickpeas I had soaked overnight and wanted something easy but tasty for my meal. So I cooked the peas along with a piece of ham hock and then sauteed it with onions, cilantro, green onions and a pinch of ground cumin.
Fresh Green Hummus

While looking on at clearance fruit and vegetable racks at Pete’s the other day, I came across a huge bag of fresh Garbanzo beans…
Coco Cooks

Chinese Black Bean Soup

Black bean soup is one of my favourite Chinese soups. Black beans (also known as black turtle beans due to their shiny, dark, shell-like appearance) are super nourishing, they have a deep “meaty” taste akin to mushrooms, and are packed with antioxidants.
Moong Dhal Payasam

Moong dhal payasam is another authentic south-Indian dessert prepared during the festival time. It is fairly easy and doesn’t involve many ingredients.
California, USA
Chilli Soy Chunks

These Soy Chunks are a made from textured soy flour in the form of chunks or granules, giving them a meaty texture. I have cooked them with an Asian twist, with the flavors of Sesame, Red Dry Chilli & Soy Sauce all combined in the spicy sauce which makes the chunks absorb in all the wonderful flavors & the zing. Enjoy this deliciously healthy dish with white or brown rice.
Texas, USA
Black-eyed Pea Rice

Not a traditional one, but an effort to create a healthy and quick rice variety!
Three Color Bean Salad

Cooked red beans, steamed green beans, fresh mango squares,
extra light olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, crushed red pepper to taste.
Caution, the vinegar has to be kept light so as not to mask the sublte flavor of the beans and mango!

Mostly LA County
Palos Verdes Daily Photo
Palos Verdes, California

Sweet Chile of Mine

My dish was a Mexican Chile, inspired by Chile had during a recent visit to a restaurant in Seattle, that I had to recreate for my family.
Bird’s Eye View
Gurgaon, India
Alubias Pintas con Arroz y Pimientos del Padrón

A classic pink/purple Beans stew with a twist to a modern and transformed dishes. Same ingredients and same recipe with three different results on the plate!
Barcelona, Spain
Chana Masala

Onion, garlic, jalapeno and cumin seeds. How can this not taste good?
The tomatoes make this dish very colourful.
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Green Curry Soup with Tofu, Chicken, and Green Peas

A vegetarian version made with vegetable stock, omitting the chicken, and substituting light soy sauce for fish sauce is also very tasty.

Lori Lynn

San Pedro, California
And the winner is…

…Divya Vikram of Dil Se!

As part of My Legume Love Affair’s Round Up, Susan offers one of the lucky participants (chosen at random) a prize. This month’s prize is A World of Dumplings by Brian Yarvin. Please email me at tastewiththeeyes AT cox DOT net to receive your prize! YAY Divya! Congratulations!
From Chef Allison Lew
Vancouver, Washington

Hi Lori Lynn!
This is one of my favorite bean recipes. I teach cooking-based nutrition classes to low income groups as a chef volunteer through Oregon Food Bank. This recipe is part of the “eating right” curriculum from Share Our Strength’s Operation Frontline program. This recipe is endlessly adaptable to ingredients you have on hand, and with a little cheese grated on top, this dish provides nutrition from 4 of the 5 food groups for less than $1.40 per serving. Enjoy!



  • 1 (13 ounce) package whole wheat pasta
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 1 large clove garlic
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 pounds (1 large bunch) collard greens
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 (15 ounce) cans lima beans


1. Cook pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside.
2. While pasta is cooking peel, rinse, and dice carrot, and onions. Peel and mince garlic.
3. Rinse collard greens — more than once if necessary to remove all grit, remove tough stems and chop coarsely.
4. Heat canola oil in a large sauté pan over medium-low heat and sauté garlic, carrot, onion and greens until onions are soft.
5. Add ½ cup water and spices and cook until greens are tender.
6. Drain and rinse beans in a colander. Add beans to the greens. If needed, add a little more water to make a sauce.
7. Toss greens and beans with cooked pasta and cook for 5 more minutes or until pasta is heated through.

Serves 12, 1 cup per serving

Thank you to Allison and Susan, The Well–Seasoned Cook, and all the contributors to My Legume Love Affair! It has been my absolute pleasure to be your hostess for the month of May. I now pass the baton to Apu of Annarasa blog for the 12th Helping…