Mutabel is the a very delicious cousin to hummus. Its the same exact ingredients but you end up subbing the chickpeas for grilled eggplant that’s been mashed up. It was so popular at my last Talin’s Table event that I had people asking to come cook it for them! Anush!

Serves 1 bowl

. 5 eggplants, grilled, peeled, and mashed
. 1/4 cup tahini
. 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
. 3 tablespoons EVOO
. 1 lemon, juiced
. 1 tablespoon cumin
. 1 teaspoon salt
. 1 teaspoon white pepper
. dried oregano for garnish
. red pepper for garnish
. 1 fresh mint leaf for garnish

1. In a bowl, mix together all ingredients really well and top with the dried oregano, red pepper, and fresh mint leaf.

Mushroom and Pesto Bites

Have I ever mentioned how I am a huge fan of EASY appetizers?

Well, if I haven’t, now I have! This is the easiest recipe you can make to get something on the table fast as you prepare your main meal. I am always interested in making things from scratch, but let’s face it everyone… as much as we want to have the time to do that, the majority of us do not have that kind of time. So, if you can make puff pastry from scratch, GO FOR IT… but if you don’t necessarily have that kind of time, you can make a trip to your local grocery store and pick up a roll or two from the freezer aisle.

Here’s to easy appetizers! Anush!

Serves 4-6 people

. 1 roll puff pastry, rolled out and cut into  2 inch diameter squares or circles
. 4 tablespoons pesto (you can find the pesto recipe here)
. 1 package of fresh mushrooms, sliced and sautéed in olive oil with salt and pepper
. balsamic glaze
. 1 egg beaten

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Place the puff pastry squares (or circles) onto the sheet pan and pierce along a 5 mm crust and on the inside.
3. Brush egg on the edges of each square.
4. Place in the oven for 25 minutes. Once you take out of the oven, you will notice they will be all puffy, take a fork and pierce in again right away to let all the steam out from each layer of the puff pastry.
5. Spread 1 teaspoon of pesto on each square and 3 – 4 slices of mushroom. Place back in the oven and bake for another 5 min.
6. Plate and drizzle each square with balsamic glaze.

Toast to Moms

Mother’s Day has a special place in my heart.. especially since I grew up with Nani living with us. We always celebrated Nani and Mom at the same time. We usually would have a cup of coffee and give them gifts. This year was different. This year my, not so little, baby sister is a mom too! We decided we would have a “toast” bar for all the moms in our lives 🙂

I hope you enjoy my toast recipes and get to try them at your next event too.

So, first I sliced a baguette into 1/2 inch slices, put them on a baking tray and drizzled olive oil with a sprinkle of salt. Into the oven they went at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes… until they’re golden.

I made three different types of toast… avocado toast, goat cheese and honey toast, and tomatoes and feta toast.

avocado toast

. 2 whole avocados, mashed
. 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
. salt and pepper to taste
. grated parmegiano reggiano for topping


1. In a small bowl, mash all ingredients together until your desired consistency. I like mine chunky… so I barely mashed mine.
2. Once mashed, serve a tablespoon of the mixture onto a piece of the toasted baguette and top with parmegiano reggiano.

goat cheese and honey toast

. 5 oz goat cheese, at room temperature
. fresh thyme leaves
. fresh oregano leaves
. honey


1. In a small bowl, combine all ingredients together and serve a tablespoon of the mixture onto a piece of the toasted baguette. Drizzle with honey.

tomato and feta

. 4 sliced tomatoes
. crumbled feta cheese
. dried oregano


1. On each piece of toasted baguette, place 3 slices of tomato.
2. Crumble the feta cheese on top. Season it with dried oregano and EVOO.

Talina’s Pesto

There are so many delicious recipes for pesto… so of course I have one of my own too!

It’s not too different from the traditional pesto recipe, but its just so delicious.
Pesto is great to put on toast with some tomatoes and extra olive oil, pasta, a grilled cheese and pancetta sandwich, ….oh the possibilities. Try me recipe out and let me know what you think

Photo by: Hayley Boomhower and Sean Rea

. food processor

. 1 bunch of fresh basil
. 1/4 cup almonds
. 1/4 cup grated white cheddar cheese
. 3 garlic cloves
. 1/2 cup EVOO
. juice of 1 lemon
. salt and pepper to taste

1. Pull the basil leaves off the stems of the basil. Add it to a food processor.
2. Add the rest of the ingredients into the food processor and pulse until it becomes super fine and spreadable.
3. Enjoy on some fresh made pasta or a piece of toast.

Surf ‘n’ Turf

With summer just around the corner, there is nothing like a nice meal of some surf ‘n’ turf. I had a request to make filet mignon and prawns in celebration of a 30 year wedding anniversary (what a rarity these days- definitely calls for a lovely celebration). I took the challenge and made a delicious meal for 6 people.

I started out the night serving these delicious pizzette (I know..they aren’t round..still good though!). I then served a small traditional wedge salad and finished the evening off with surf ‘n’ turf. They ate and enjoyed every bite of it. A simple and festive meal ensured to be celebrated by the palate too. 😉


.1 frozen puff pastry sheet (you can make puff pastry ahead of time and freeze it so you have it for later uses)
.1 onion, sliced
.1 package of organic red strawberries, sliced
.1/4 cup Cabarnet Sauvignon
.balsamic glaze
.2 tablespoons EVOO


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Cut puff pastry sheet into small triangles or circles -whatever your lovely heart desires. Score 5 centimeters in using a fork to allow for the puff pastry to only puff the crust.
  3. Place the cut puff pastry onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper
  4. Bake the puff pastry for about 15 minutes
  5. While the puff pastry is baking, heat the 2 tablespoons of EVOO.
  6. Add the sliced onion to the pan and sautée until becoming somewhat golden.
  7. Taking the pan off the fire, add the red wine to the pan and place back onto the fire and cook until the onions become soft.
  8. By this time, your puff pastry should be done baking. Take them out of the oven and while still hot, score once again where you had previously scored to release the air that was built up in the pizzette
  9. Once cooled, add the onions, top with the sliced strawberries, and finish off with drizzling some balsamic glaze

For the main entree I made roasted potatoes with rosemary, garlic asparagus, filet mignon with rosemary and peppercorn, and shrimp scampi. This was a huge hit and not a single complaint. Try it out!

Roasted Potatoes


.potatoes (depending on how many people you serve, I calculate 1 potato per person)
.2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
.1/4 cup EVOO
.salt and pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Quarter potatoes and place in a bowl
  3. Add the EVOO, rosemary, and salt and pepper to taste and mix
  4. Place the potatoes flat in a sheet pan lined with foil and bake for 35 minutes

Sauteed Asparagus


. one bunch of asparagus
.1/4 stick of butter
.2 garlic cloves, finely chopped


  1. In a pan, melt butter
  2. Add garlic and and cook until it becomes fragrant and slightly golden
  3. Add the asparagus and sautée until soft and fully coated with the butter and garlic.

Shrimp Scampi

Ingredients (for 6 people)

.3 lbs. prawns, peeled
.1 stick butter
.5 cloves garlic, finely chopped
.1/2 bunch parsley, finely chopped
.salt and pepper to taste


  1. In a medium pan, melt the butter
  2. Add the garlic and cook until it becomes fragrant
  3. Add the prawns and cook until they become pink (fully cooked)
  4. Finally, add the chopped parsley and mix thoroughly and plate

Filet Mignon with Rosemary and Peppercorns


.1 inch thick cut filet mignon
.1/4 cup peppercorns
.1-2 cups of EVOO
.1 tablespoon fresh rosemary


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Salt both sides of filet mignon while still raw
  3. Put the EVOO in a sauce pan and heat for about 4 minutes
  4. Heat a grill pan to very hot and sear both sides creating grill marks on your meat (3-4 minutes on each side)
  5. Take the grill pan, with meat still on it, and put it in the oven for 5-7 minutes (medium rare)
  6. While the meat is finishing off in the oven, add the peppercorns to the EVOO and fry for about 2 minutes
  7. Take the meat out of the oven and place on the serving plate to rest
  8. Add the rosemary to the EVOO and after 30 seconds, ladle the EVOO sauce over the filet mignon and enjoy