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July 2010

Pepper’s Kale Salad


1 bunch kale
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 cup sweetened cranberries
1 cup toasted pine nuts
1 large lemon, juiced
½ teaspoon lemon zest
Salt and pepper

Wash and spin-dry kale, separate stems from leaves, discard stems. Chop kale into small ribbon-size pieces and put into large bowl. Drizzle the juice of half the lemon on the kale, then
massage lemon juice into the kale and keep tossing. Let sit for 30 minutes so the lemon makes the salad slightly limp. Add the other half of the lemon juice and toss again.

Add in layers ¼ cup Parmesan, ¼ cup cranberries, ¼ cup toasted pine nuts, zest and toss, Keep adding layers until all ingredients are used. Toss and add salt and pepper to taste.

You are ready to serve!

Serves 4 to 6 as side salad.

From friends of Edible Hawaiian Islands, Pepper & Soffia

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Summer Cherry Tomato Dressing

From Fast, Fresh & Green by Susie Middleton
(Chronicle Books, 2010)

This lovely dressing is really more like fresh compote or a loose salsa. It’s the place to use your tiniest, prettiest, most colorful tomatoes (and not large, tough cherry tomatoes). The dressing is really versatile— try it over a grilled skirt steak, spoon it over a roasted or grilled bell pepper filled with a little goat cheese, or pair it with grilled eggplant or zucchini.

8 ounces small cherry or other tiny tomatoes, halved or quartered,
depending on size
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons thinly sliced, drained oil-packed sun dried tomatoes
1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh
basil leaves
2 teaspoons drained capers,
coarsely chopped
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
2 teaspoons fresh orange juice
½ teaspoon minced fresh garlic
¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir gently to combine. Let sit for 10–15 minutes (or up to 30 minutes) to let the flavors mingle and to let the tomatoes marinate a bit.… Read More


I call this a “gazpacho” salad not because it looks like one, but because you can roughly purée any leftovers in a blender, chill it and you’ve got a delicious gazpacho. The dressing for this salad has orange juice in it, but when I have it on hand, I like to substitute a store-bought mango smoothie drink (like Odwalla). When you toss the salad with the dressing, taste the juices, and if they aren’t bright-tasting, add more balsamic vinegar or soy sauce. You can also add more mango drink if you need sweetness. Dress the salad close to serving to keep a nice texture, and remember to save some herbs for garnishing.

2 pounds heirloom tomatoes (a mix of sizes—including cherries—and colors is nice)
1 pound ripe peaches
½ small red onion (about 2 ounces)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice or mango smoothie drink, and more if needed
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, and more if needed
1 teaspoon soy sauce, and more if needed
½ teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
¼ teaspoon kosher salt, and more if needed
½ cup lightly packed small whole fresh mint and basil leaves
(or large ones torn into smaller pieces)
edible flowers, petals separated if large, for garnish (optional)

1.… Read More

Caramel Kona Coffee Float


Use the stems from the papaya trees as a natural drinking straw. Cheap and cheerful—and much better than plastic! Making burnt sugar is tricky; take your time, keep the flame low and do not poke your fingers into it, it gets searing hot.

Makes 4 floats

12 tablespoons granulated Maui sugar
2 cups brewed extra strong Kona coffee plus 2 tablespoons instant-
espresso powder
4 generous scoops premium vanilla ice cream
½ cup heavy cream, whipped
3 tablespoons macadamia nuts, toasted and chopped
3 tablespoons bittersweet chocolate shavings (use a vegetable
peeler to shave a bar of chocolate)

Cook granulated sugar in a dry 2- to 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderate heat, undisturbed, until it begins to melt. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally with a fork, until sugar melts
into a deep golden caramel. Remove from heat and carefully add the coffee. Cook over high heat, stirring, until caramel is dissolved, then remove pan from heat.… Read More

Orange Blossom Doughnuts


Makes about 3 dozen 1-inch doughnuts

½ cup unsalted butter
1 cup water
3 tablespoons granulated Maui sugar
1 cup flour
1 vanilla bean split and seeds scraped
1 tablespoon orange blossom water
4 large eggs
Macadamia nut oil or peanut oil for frying
Warm honey for drizzling
Powdered sugar for dusting
Orange flowers for garnish

Place butter and water in a medium-heavy saucepan over a medium flame. When mixture is simmering and the butter is completely melted, add the sugar, vanilla bean seeds, orange blossom water and flour, quickly and vigorously stirring till flour is completely incorporated and forms a ball. Reduce the heat and continue to stir until the mixture seems completely dry, about 1 minute. Place dough in a mixing bowl and stir to further incorporate the ingredients. Let dough cool.

With an electric mixer add one egg at a time and beat well until each egg is completely incorporated and dough is smooth and satiny.… Read More

Tomato Arugula Pupu Tarts


Makes 10 tarts

2 refrigerated prepared piecrust, cut into 10 3-inch discs
8 ounces Puna goat cheese, at room temperature
4 tablespoons basil, chopped
2 tablespoons thyme leaves, de-stemmed and minced
3 tablespoons macadamia nut oil
1 pint tomatoes (such as heirloom cherry or pear) cut in half
1 cup arugula flowers or nasturtiums, cilantro flowers and
kale flowers for garnish

Preheat oven to 400° F.

Bring piecrusts to room temperature. Gently unroll the crusts on a lightly floured board.

Cut into 10 3-inch discs with a cookie cutter and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Prick each disc well with a fork and bake 10–12 minutes until lightly browned.

When done, remove the pan from oven and let cool completely on a cookie rack.

Place goat cheese, basil, thyme and oil in a small bowl and stir well with a spatula to combine the ingredients.

Divide the goat cheese mixture among the baked shells, lightly spreading the mixture with a spatula, being careful not to break them.… Read More

Hibachi Shrimp Salad with a Barbecue Guava Glaze


Makes 4 servings

1 cup Kon Tiki barbecue sauce, from Kaua`i
½ cup guava jam (try Maui Upcountry Jams & Jellies)
4 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
1 pound jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined (16-20 per pound size)
5 cups mixed local greens (lolla rossa, red oak, mizuna
and tai soi),washed and well dried
Society garlic flowers for garnish
Macadamia Nut Vinaigrette, see recipe below


Combine the barbecue sauce, guava jam and teriyaki sauce in a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Add shrimp and marinate in this mixture overnight or 4 hours.

Remove shrimp from the marinade and light the grill. When hot, sear the shrimp on all sides for about 5–6 minutes total depending on the hotness of
the grill. Do not overcook or the shrimp will be rubbery.

Combine all of the salad ingredients including the society garlic flowers in a large salad bowl. Lightly toss with enough vinaigrette to coat the leaves.… Read More

Summer’s Little Red Dress


The Perfect Tomato Salad
From Her New Book Fast, Fresh & Green, a collection of more then 100 vegetable recipes.

Every year, there’s that blissful moment when you hold the season’s first vine-ripened tomato in the palm of your hand. Maybe it’s late afternoon, shadows lengthening, and you’ve pulled over to the side of the road to dash into the farm stand boasting “ripe tomatoes” before it closes for the day. Or maybe you’ve wandered, expectantly, into your own backyard garden, where every day you’ve been saying a little blessing over one particularly perfect fruit that’s just about ripe. Now you’re holding it—sun-warmed, plump and heavy with promise— and you know that between vine and dinner table, this tomato will need nothing more than a slicing knife, a sprinkle of salt and maybe a drizzle of olive oil.

But fast forward to late summer or early fall, and now your tomato blessings are getting burdensome.… Read More



The Hawaiian Lunar Calendar

Sun, earth, water. It’s easy to see how these three elements factor into farming.What may not be so obvious—at least to those of us who rely on the widely used Gregorian calendar—is the importance of the moon in planting, gathering and harvesting food. If the impact of lunar cycles on farming seems somewhat… well, alternative, to put it gently… one doesn’t have to look far to see examples of the moon’s influence on our physical world.

Water, which flows through plant cell walls and tree sap, is subject to the moon’s gravitational pulls; this effect is most visibly manifested in the ocean’s high and low tides. There’s also the curious incidence of Hawai‘i’s box jellyfish, which tend to swarm Hawai‘i’s shores approximately 10 days after every full moon.

These days, biodynamic agricultural practices, which take into account cosmic forces such as the moon, planet and stars, are becoming more popular.… Read More