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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Salmon with Cantaloupe, Horseradish Vinaigrette


Fresh Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon
Cubed Cantaloupe, Drizzled with Non-Fat Greek Yogurt
Horseradish Vinaigrette, Crispy Fried Shallot
Embellished with Celery Leaves and Lime Zest

served with
Andrew Rich 2008 Roussanne Columbia Valley

We had spied this magical salmon recipe in the July issue of  Food & Wine magazine on our flight to Portland, Oregon. I was hooked just reading about the pairing of salmon with cantaloupe, but it was the horseradish vinaigrette with fresh lime juice, brown sugar, and fish sauce that put it over-the-top. And as it turns out, a friend in Portland had just returned from Alaska with her catch of sockeye salmon.

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Heart Healthy Chilled Avocado Tarragon Bisque


Heart Healthy Chilled Avocado Tarragon Bisque

A California Avocado Commission avocado bisque recipe was the inspiration for my heart healthy version made with non-fat milk and non-fat yogurt. Avocados contribute good fats to one’s diet and they’re low in saturated fat and cholesterol-free. Non-fat dairy ingredients in my recipe complement the rich avocado, resulting in a perfect balance that is good for the heart. The lovely fragrant tarragon, creamy colorful avocado, and tangy yogurt marry well together.  The method is so simple you can make it for lunch today, yet it is also elegant enough to serve at your next summer dinner party.

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Napoleon of Portobella & Turnip, Ginger-Soy-Mirin Sauce

Roasted Napoleon of Portobella and Turnip
Little Buna-Shimeji Mushrooms and Corn Kernels
in a
Ginger Soy Mirin Sauce
Cilantro Garnish

“The recipes… are only a guide. You can use any or all of a recipe, deviate wherever you like, or indeed substitute ingredients completely if it suits your desires. In fact, you may want to forget about the recipe specifics and use the photographs alone as your inspiration,” penned Charlie Trotter in 1994.

I received his eponymous cookbook Charlie Trotter’s in 1998. After making this extraordinary napoleon I just today read the introduction quoted above. No wonder he is my hero. His words written 16 years ago perfectly describe my blog:  where the image is meant to titillate and inspire the cook!

The more I cook from these two books – Charlie Trotter’s and Charlie Trotter’s Vegetables the more I appreciate the genius of this chef.

(Cookbook GIVEAWAY winner posted below)

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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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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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Blog is 3! Celebrating with King Trumpets and Shishito Peppers!

Grilled King Trumpet Mushrooms &  Shishito Peppers on Rosemary Skewers
Baby Spinach and Rosemary Roasted Golden Soybeans
Toasted Sesame Oil & Tomato Water

Pleurotus eryngii
King Trumpet Mushroom also known as King Oyster, Eryngii, Pleorote du Panicaut,
Argonane, Bouligoule, Champignon de Garrigue, Cardoncello, Cardarello

Taste With The Eyes is 3 years old!

Cooking, photographing, writing, then ultimately sharing my culinary adventures on Taste With The Eyes is a source of much joy for me. This little food blog is an ongoing learning experience, a terrific creative outlet, and a source of pride. It has opened doors and provided new opportunities. It is the means with which to connect with fellow foodies, and a wonderful way make new friends with various interests and passions from all around the globe. I am grateful to have the opportunity to share food and ideas and experiences with you.

Reading your blogs provides an awesome source of inspiration, a conduit of creativity, and a heartfelt connection through your personal stories. Your enthusiasm is infectious. I cook, dine, laugh, and cry with you.

Your kind, knowledgeable, clever, and sometimes funny comments are deeply appreciated. I learn so much from you, way beyond food and cooking. You amaze and inspire me.

I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

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