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October 2010

What Is It and How Do You Eat It Fall 2010


Romanesco Broccoli
Brassica oleracea or Roman cauliflower also known as coral broccoli.

Rich in vitamin C, fiber, and carotenoids, this vegetable resembles a cauliflower, but is of a light green to yellow color and the inflorescence (the bud) has an approximate self-similar character, with the branched meristems making alogarithmic spiral. The broccoli’s shape could be described as fractal; each bud is composed of a series of smaller buds, all arranged in yet another logarithmic spiral. This self-similar pattern continues at several smaller levels.

Gail & Greg Smith ( grow this broccoli on Hawai‘i Island; they like to slice and grill it, then add a little herbs and olive oil. It can be treated as any broccoli, steam add a little garlic, olive oil and Pecorino Romano…. Yum!

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Pickled Pink Heart of Palm


These are my invention and I love them! They are yummy eaten straight from the jar, added to a salad or skewered with other vegetables, like a kabob. Wrap some thinly sliced ahi crudo around these guys and you’ll have a beautiful pupu to share with friends.

It’s always better to do your own preserving because you can add your signature spices and make them your own!

2 pounds fresh hearts of palm
1 small beet, raw, peeled
2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon black peppercorns, whole
1 bay leaf
1 cup water
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup seasoned rice vinegar

Place hearts of palm in a sterilized widemouth jar. Slice beet into ¼-inch-thick slices.

Using a small heart-shaped cookie cutter, make hearts from the beet slices. Set aside.  Place garlic cloves, peppercorns and bay leaf in the jar with the hearts of palm.

Heat water and salt in a small saucepan until salt is dissolved (see Note.) Add vinegar.… Read More

Spiced Fig Chutney


Makes 3 cups

This recipe is my new favorite. I add fresh ginger and pepper when I want an even more savory product. Try it with a dash of madras curry or fennel seeds. Sometimes, if I have a lot of fresh fruit like tangerines, papaya, mango or pineapple, I add those into the simmering pot of chutney. Please do not forget to save some jars for yourself. You’ll be happy you did.

1 pound fresh figs, stemmed and quartered
½ cup coco-dates or pitted dates
1 cup raisins, tightly packed
¾ cup water or more if needed
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup port wine, red wine or cranberry juice
1 stick cinnamon
2 star anise

Put all the ingredients into a heavy-bottomed pot with enough water and wine to cover and gently simmer over very low heat, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to prevent the fruit from burning, and squashing it to a smooth, thick paste against the sides of the pan.… Read More

Rustic Maui Onion Bread


Makes one 15- by 10-inch pan

This is a great recipe. You can add all sorts of different toppings: roasted garlic, cheese, rosemary, olives, tiny tomatoes or any seasonal vegetables. Surprisingly, this bread toasted tastes even better on day two! I use this bread to make sandwiches and panini. warm, draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 45

2 cups lukewarm water (80–90° F.)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon active dry yeast or 15 grams fresh active yeast
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons salt
3 ½ to 4 cups all-purpose flour (can be made using half wheat
and half white flour)
Reserve ½ cup flour
Topping: caramelized Maui onions
1 large Maui onion, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 tablespoons brown sugar

Put 2 cups lukewarm water in large bowl. Stir in sugar. Sprinkle yeast over top of water and allow to soften for 20 minutes in a warm area.… Read More

Crispy Cheese Cookies


Makes 80 cookies

You can make these cookies with whole-wheat flour or a combination of white and wheat flour. Add cumin or caraway seeds to the dough for a change of taste. Lemon zest would be nice too. Rolling the uncooked dough in parchment or wax paper is important because they are easier to slice and store until needed.

8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated
5 ounces jalapeño jack cheese, grated 1¼ cups
(2½ sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
2¼ cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary leaves, finely diced
½ teaspoon red Hawaiian salt, ground
2 cups Rice Krispies cereal
1 cup almonds, finely ground to a powder

Preheat oven to 375°.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper or grease generously with oil or cooking spray.

In the large bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cheeses and butter together on medium speed till well blended.… Read More

Meyer Lemon–Ginger Marmalade


Williams-Sonoma Art of Preserving

For the best texture, the lemons must be sliced very thinly, which is most easily done with a mandoline. The liberal use of lemon juice brings out the floral qualities of the Meyer lemon, which are tempered in cooking. The ginger (fresh and crystallized) can be omitted if desired.

2 lb (1 kg) Meyer lemons
About 8 cups (4 lb/2 kg) sugar, or as needed
2 cups (16 fl oz/500 ml) fresh Meyer lemon juice
1 Tbsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
1 Tbsp finely chopped crystallized ginger

Makes 7 or 8 half-pint (8–fl oz/250-ml) jars

Have ready hot, sterilized jars and their lids (see page 228). Place 2 or 3 small plates in the freezer.

Cut off the ends of each lemon. Slice each lemon as thinly as possible, preferably on a mandoline. Place the slices in a large nonreactive saucepan and add 8 cups (64 fl oz/2 l) water.… Read More

Salt-Preserved Meyer Lemons

To make Morrocan-style salt-preserved lemons, wash Meyer lemons and make four deep longitudinal cuts evenly spaced around each fruit, leaving the slices attached at the end. Pour a couple of tablespoons of salt in the bottom of a sterile quart jar, place a lemon on top, sprinkle well with more salt and continue until the jar is full of layered lemons and salt. Cover tightly. Age—at room temperature or refrigerated—for several days.

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Meyer Lemon Cake Top Pudding

This homespun recipe is a composite of two from different cookbooks, both by the late Isle food writer Maili Yardley. It’s a luscious concoction in which some strange alchemy allows a custardy cake batter to cleave itself into two layers: a moist cake on the bottom and a decadent pudding up top.

1 tablespoon melted butter
¾ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons flour
2 well-beaten egg yolks
¼ cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 cup scalded milk
2 stiffly beaten egg whites
Garnish: confectioners sugar or whipped cream

Preheat oven to 325°. Butter a 1½-quart casserole. Place it in a large deep pan. Put some water on to simmer. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together butter, sugar and flour. Add egg yolks, lemon juice, lemon peel and milk. Fold in beaten egg whites. Pour this mixture into the prepared casserole. Place the casserole in the large pan.… Read More

Meyer Lemon alla Italia

Toss hot linguine with feta or other goat cheese, toasted walnuts, baby shrimp, the juice of two Meyer lemons, olive oil, salt and pepper. Or combine spaghetti with minced shallots, Parmigiano-Reggiano, walnut oil, creme fraiche or sour cream, salt and pepper and the juice of a couple of Meyer lemons. Or top a baked cheese pizza with very thinly sliced slivers of Meyer lemon, florets of broccoli rabe and drizzles of chili oil (this idea from the restaurant Piccino).

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Meyer Lemon and Olive Butter

Here’s Mike Nevin’s Meyer Lemon and Olive Butter appetizer from The Hawai`i Farmers Market Cookbook, Vol. 2.

Zest of 2 Meyer lemons
1 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 baguette, sliced
15 fresh Island radishes, slices
Coarse sea salt

Using a food processor, blend lemon zest, olives, butter and pepper, pulsing 7 or 8 times. Transfer to a serving bowl.

Spread baguette slices with butter mixture and top with sliced radishes and sprinkle with coarse salt.

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