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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Julienned Veggie Pasta Recipe

Yield: 3 servings
Time Estimate:  15 minutes overall, including 10 minutes of preparation and 5 minutes of cooking
Storage Notes: serve immediately; keeps for 2 days when refrigerated
Difficulty: easy

We love the simple meals of hearty, warming flavors, especially when we can enjoy them in unique ways. Using a julienne technique to create fine slivers, and cooking quickly on a hot pan, this recipe turns a few veggies into a delicious alternative to pasta, replacing starchy heaviness with savory and fresh flavors. The dried strawberries in the Taste of California really come into play here, adding tiny, refreshing bursts of sweetness and rounding out the flavor of the dish.

  • 2 large carrots
  • 1 medium green zucchini
  • 2 small yellow/golden zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons butter (Smart Balance and Earth Balance both make good vegan alternatives)
  • 2 tablespoons Taste of California
  1. Peel carrots, and rinse along with zucchini. Discard tops and bottoms
  2. Carefully using the julienne, slice the veggies as thinly as possible length-wise.
  3. Heat a medium sized pan on high, and add butter.
  4. Once butter is thoroughly melted, add veggies and Taste of California.
  5. Toss and stir frequently, for 4-5 minutes, until veggies are pliable but not wilted - the texture to aim for is that of al dente pasta.
  6. Remove from heat and arrange on plate.
  7. Serve immediately.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Black Truffle and Red Wine Sea Salt Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Yield: 8 servings
Time Estimate: 60 minutes overall, including 10 minutes of preparation and 50 minutes cooking
Storage Notes: serve immediately; keeps for 3 days when refrigerated
Difficulty: easy

These are the best mashed potatoes you will ever have. We'd like to take some credit here - part of the magic comes from the decadent fullness imparted by the Truffle Sea Salt, part from the beautiful deep color and rich flavor of our Red Wine Sea Salt. But mostly it comes down to technique - picking the right potatoes, over-boiling them, and mashing them by hand. This recipe is a little on the large side - expect it to go quickly and be ready to field requests for more!


  • 6 large Yukon Gold potatoes
  • 3/4 cup butter (Smart Balance and Earth Balance both make good vegan alternatives)
  • 2 tablespoons Red Wine Sea Salt
  • 3 tablespoons Truffle Sea Salt
  • 1 cup full fat milk (soy milk works well but avoid almond or rice milk - they're a  too little sweet)
  1. Peel and wash potatoes, and place in a large pot. Fill to around half an inch from the top with cold water.
  2. Bring to a boil, and keep it there for around 30 to 40 minutes. The object is to boil the potatoes to the point where they're almost mashing themselves, and fall apart on being just touched with a fork.
  3. Remove from heat, and strain. Return to pot. Add Truffle Sea Salt and butter, and begin mashing with a large fork.
  4. Once thoroughly mashed add milk, and continue mashing. 
  5. Place in a large serving bowl, and sprinkle with Red Wine Sea Salt. For added effect, make a stencil out of a piece of paper and decorate to fit the season or occasion.
  6. Serve immediately, prepared to graciously accept incoming compliments from your lucky dinner mates.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Garlic Pepper Seared Asparagus Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Time Estimate: 12 minutes overall, including 8 minutes of preparation and 4 minutes cooking
Storage Notes: serve immediately; keeps for 3 days when refrigerated
Difficulty: easy

This is the type of recipe we love -  beautiful, vegan, ready in 15 minutes, and made with only 5 ingredients. The simplicity of the recipe allows the natural flavors of the asparagus to shine, and the the garlic pepper rub adds satisfying tang and subtle tartness. Perfect as an appetizer or as a healthy side for a special meal.


  • 2 large bunches of asparagus
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons sesame oil
  • 2 tablespoons Gustus Vitae Garlic Pepper Rub
  • 1 red onion
  • Bonus Points: 1 lemon
  1.  Rinse asparagus and cut 2 - 3 inches from tip.
  2.  Add oil to large saucepan, heat on high until just before it begins to smoke.
  3.  Place asparagus tips in pan, and sprinkle with Garlic Pepper Rub.
  4.  Cook asparagus on high for 4 minutes, regularly turning and shaking the pan to ensure even browning.
  5. Remove pan from heat.
  6. Slice a large onion width wise, reserving rings with a circumference of around 2-3 inches.
  7. When asparagus has cooled sufficiently to handle, insert in rings until snug, and stand on a serving plate.
  8. Sprinkle plate with remaining Garlic Pepper Rub, and garnish with lemon slices if desired. Serve immediately.

Monday, August 12, 2013

California-Style Ahi Poke Tostadas Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Time Estimate:  12 minutes overall, including 12 minutes of preparation
Storage Notes: serve immediately, keeps for 1 day if refrigerated (separate poke mix from tostadas, otherwise they will get soggy)
Difficulty: easy

Sometimes it can be amazing how our differences make us stronger. Or in this case: more delicious. Our Ahi Poke Tostadas bring together poke (from Hawaii, via Japan), tostadas (from Mexico), avocados (from California),  mayo (French) and tangy, citrusy, spicy-sweet spices (made right here in the USA). It's quite a combo, and it's a good idea to double this recipe because these go fast!

  • 1 advocado
  • 1/2 pound sushi-grade ahi tuna
  • 4 corn tostadas
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce (reduced sodium is best for this recipe)
  • 1 tablespoon Taste of Jamaica
  • 3 tablespoons Taste of California
  • 4 tablespoons mayonnaise

  1.  Rinse tuna, pat dry, and cut into small cubes, around 1/2 inch.
  2.  In a mixing bowl, combine soy sauce, mayo, Taste of Jamaica, Taste of California, and stir well to combine.
  3. Slice avocado in half, remove pit, and scoop out flesh. Working carefully so as to not mush it, cut into small small cubes, around 1/2 inch.
  4. On a serving plate, arrange tostadas, and layer in tuna and advocado.
  5. Spoon on or drizzle sauce, and serve.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Simple Stove-Top Shisito Peppers Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Time Estimate:  8 minutes overall, including 8 minutes of cooking
Storage Notes: serve immediately, keeps for 1 day if refrigerated
Difficulty: easy

We think stove-top shisito peppers make for a near-perfect appetizer: quick to make, delicious, and a little exotic. You can pick them up in ethnic markets or some larger supermarkets, and with 10 minutes and 3 other ingredients, you can bring home a taste of the Orient to your guests.


  1. In a large bowl, mix peppers, olive oil, Garlic Pepper Rub and Green Tea Sea Salt, tossing well to coat.
  2. Put a large non-stick pan on the stove and heat on medium.
  3. When the pan is warm, add pepper mix, reserving bowl. Try to ensure peppers are evenly distributed in the pan.
  4. Toss and mix peppers - they will start to char and blister at the 6 minute mark. Keep tossing for another 2 minutes.
  5. Remove peppers from pan, add to bowl and toss in reserved mixture, and serve.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

California-Style Guacamole Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Time Estimate:  10 minutes overall, including 10 minutes of preparation
Storage Notes: serve immediately, keeps for 1 day if refrigerated
Difficulty: easy

Looking for a guacamole recipe that's super easy, quick to make, looks beautiful, and brings a a welcome complexity of flavors not traditionally found in your average guac? Look no further. Our Taste of California blend does all the heavy lifting for you - leave those elaborate or time-consuming recipes behind and instead enjoy the time with your guests.

  • 4 medium Hass avocados (don't throw away the pits!)
  • 1 lime
  • 1/2 medium onion (preferably white)
  • 1 small tomato
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons Taste of California 

  1. In a large mixing bowl, scoop out the contents of the avocados, setting aside the pits.
  2. Cut lime and half, and squeeze over avocados.
  3. Peel onion, dice finely, and add to bowl.
  4. Wash tomato, remove stem, chop finely, and add to bowl.
  5. Sprinkle in 3 1/2 table spoons Taste of California.
  6. Using a potato masher or large fork, mash ingredients together to desired consistency.
  7. Spoon onto serving plate, and dust with remaining Taste of California. Place one or two pits in the guac - they will help to slow browning.
  8. Add chips, and serve.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Baked California-Style Chicken Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Time Estimate:  27 minutes overall, including 5 minutes of preparation and 22 minutes of cooking
Storage Notes: serve immediately, keeps for 2 days if refrigerated
Difficulty: easy

Make a dish worthy of Master Chef with four ingredients and less time than it takes to watch the show. Our Taste of California herb blend does the work for you - a medley of savory, zesty, and sweet notes that will add flavorful depth and a bright mosaic of color to your chicken.

  • 4 medium chicken breasts
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons Taste of California

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Wash chicken breasts, pat dry, and coat with Greek yogurt.
  3. Sprinkle on Taste of California, rolling and pressing so that the breasts are evenly covered.
  4. Drizzle olive oil in a large oven pan, and place chicken.
  5. Bake for 22 minutes, remove, and serve.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Broccoli Baked Brilliantly Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Time Estimate:  32 minutes overall, including 7 minutes of preparation and 25 minutes of cooking
Storage Notes: serve immediately, keeps for 1 day if refrigerated
Difficulty: easy

Everyone loves broccoli - it's just that some people don't know it yet. This simple, five-ingredient recipe showcases what's best about this healthy veggie, and the mix of warm, savory flavors from the Taste of Bordeaux and Taste of the Southwest seasonings make converts out of even the pickiest eaters.

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F
  2. Cut the broccoli florets from the main stalks, leaving around an inch of stalk on each floret, and discarding main stalks
  3. In a large bowl, combine broccoli, extra virgin olive oil, Taste of Bordeaux, and Taste of the Southwest. Stir to evenly distribute spices and olive oil on broccoli.
  4. Place mixed ingredients in a single layer on a large baking tray, and cook for 25 minutes or until tips are just starting to brown.
  5. Remove from oven, plate, drizzle with Greek yogurt, and serve.

Spicy Red Cayenne Apples Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Time Estimate:  5 minute
Storage Notes: serve immediately, keeps for several hours if refrigerated
Difficulty: easy

Appetizers and snacks at cocktail hour are usually heavy on carbs and fats -  offer your guests a refreshing change with tart, tangy, crisp, spicy apple slices dusted with Red Cayenne Salt. The heat and salt bring out the best of the apple, and treating it with a dash of lime juice prevents browning while also cutting the spiciness.

  • 2 or 3 large green apples (Granny Smith is our favorite)
  • 2 limes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Red Cayenne Salt
  1. Slice limes into small wedges.
  2. Slice apples lengthwise into four large pieces, and discard cores. Thinly cut pieces into slices around 1/8th of an inch.
  3. Arrange slices on serving plate and squeeze on the lime juice - this will slow the natural discoloration.
  4. Sprinkle with Red Cayenne Salt and serve. If you're preparing in advance, cover with saran warp and refrigerate - they'll keep their color for a few hours if properly treated with lime juice, and this snack is delicious cold.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Simple & Succulent Baked Smoky Salmon Recipe

Yield: 4 servings
Time Estimate:  15 minutes overall, including 2 minutes of preparation and 13 minutes of cooking
Storage Notes: serve immediately, keeps for 2 days refrigerated
Difficulty: easy

Andy Warhol said it best: 'in the future, world-famous salmon will be cooked in 15 minutes.' All you need for this beautiful dish is a couple nice pieces of salmon, a dash of olive oil, and a little of our Natural Smoked Sea Salt.

  • 14 ounces of salmon, cut into 4 fillets
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Natural Smoked Sea Salt
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 450 F.
  2. Lubricate a baking tray with olive oil and arrange salmon skin side down, ensuring fillets are not touching each other.
  3. Sprinkle salmon with Natural Smoked Sea Salt and gently rub in.
  4. Bake for 13 minutes, or until cooked through.
  5. Plate and serve immediately, or rest and allow to cool - this salmon makes a wonderful ingredient for salads the next day or is great just by itself on crusty bread.