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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Succulent Fresh Fish and Spring Produce

Fresh-Caught Pan-Fried Yellowtail, Garlic Butter Petite Peas and Green Beans, Toasted Pine Nuts, Tarragon, Mint, Parsley, Meyer Lemon Hummus Drizzle

Fresh-Caught Pan-Fried Yellowtail
Garlic Butter Peas and Green Beans
Toasted Pine Nuts
Tarragon, Mint, Parsley
Meyer Lemon Hummus Drizzle

Neither succulent fresh fish nor fresh spring produce need much embellishment. Although the addition of lots of fresh green herbs and a drizzle of meyer lemon hummus doesn’t hurt. The verdant colors of spring make the dish pop. Where pine nuts, parsley, and lemon juice are a classic pairing with hummus – here all these flavors and textures lend a supporting role to the fish and vegetables. The ubiquitous dip is equally fabulous as a sauce for fish.

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Pasta with Peas, Bacon, Mint, and Ricotta

Pasta with Peas, Bacon, Mint, and Ricotta

Pasta with Peas, Bacon, Mint, and Ricotta

It’s a sprightly mash-up of two traditional Italian pasta dishes: Paglia e Fieno and Pasta e Fagioli. Paglia e fieno, translates to “straw and hay” named for its two color fettuccine made from both egg and spinach. The yellow and green pastas are typically paired with prosciutto and peas and Parmesan. Pasta e fagioli is a brothy dish combining pasta and beans.

Here, conchigliette (small pasta shells) are paired with peas and bacon in a flavorful chicken and vermouth-based broth, brightened with fresh mint. Scoops of whole milk ricotta are stirred into the broth taking the place of the traditional rich Parmesan cream sauce. A sprightly mash-up indeed.

Pasta with Peas, Bacon, Mint, and Ricotta Recipe

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peas & pasta, garlicky yogurt sauce, smoky chile walnuts

peas & pasta, yogurt sauce, smoky walnuts
peas & pasta
pea sprouts, basil, feta
garlicky yogurt sauce, smoky chile walnuts

peas & pasta, garlicky yogurt sauce, smoky chile walnuts

Color, texture, aroma, flavor – it’s all here in this delightful pasta bowl. Beautiful green peas and fresh pea sprouts, summery herbaceous basil, toasty walnuts cooked with hot chile and smoky paprika, a garlicky creamy yogurt sauce, briny tangy feta. Nope, nothing’s missing.

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Spring Bliss: Sugar Snap Pea, Avocado, Tomato, Mint

spring bliss soup, sugar snap pea soup, chilled pea and mint soup

Chilled Sugar Snap Pea & Mint Soup
Mashed Avocado with Lime, Tomato Concassé with Shallot
Fresh Mint, Chili Oil & Creme Fraiche Garnish

A vendor at the Farmers’ Market was handing out samples of fresh-from-the-vine sugar snap peas. Telling people just to eat them as is, no cooking necessary. They were sweet & exploding with flavor, crunchy, the color of spring. Few of us could pass up buying a basket or two. Once home, I turned to my favorite vegetable cookbook Charlie Trotter’s Vegetables for inspiration: Sugar Snap Pea Soup. A simple and refreshing chilled soup. With avocado for richness, tomato for sweet acidity, mint for brightness. Spring. Bliss.

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Light and Lovely Pea & Mint Omelette

Extra-Fluffy Egg Whites/ Petite Peas/ Fresh Mint/ Fruity Olive Oil

Thank you so much for your kind words and congratulations on the 3rd Anniversary of Taste With The Eyes. I hope you had a chance to leave a comment on the Blog is 3! Celebrating with King Trumpets and Shishito Peppers! post for an opportunity to win a copy of the truly remarkable Charlie Trotter’s Vegetables. (It’s not too late! Simply leave a comment on that post by June 24th). Trotter has a passion for vegetables and his ingenious pairings and presentations are works of art.

GIVEAWAY – CHARLIE TROTTER’S VEGETABLES

Now, about this light and lovely pea & mint omelette…

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let’s share our meatloaf secrets


Moist is a key word when it comes to delicious meatloaf.


Isn’t this a cute little meatloaf? Baked in my Le Creuset Chestnut Oval Baker.


Really good meatloaf recipes are a dime a dozen… No, actually, they are cheaper than that, they’re free! You can ask your mom, my mom, your cousin, your best friend, your co-worker, Molly, my butcher, Google, Foodbuzz (click here)…or me.

But this post is about my secrets to a scrumptious meatloaf:  Cook at 325 until the meat registers 155 degrees as opposed to a specific cooking time. Use a remote thermometer. Remove from oven and let rest before serving. This results in a moist juicy meatloaf.

And have a gooey zippy sauce. This one is 4 parts barbecue sauce to one part each honey and Worcestershire plus several hearty dashes of hot sauce. Whisk together and pour over the meat prior to cooking.

Peas are optional.

Do you have a meatloaf secret to share?