I was recently asked if I would do a food demo at the new Kino'ole Farmers Market. Of course, I accepted. We were set up to do two demos that same morning, Saturday, October 13th...one at 8:30 AM and the other at 10:30 AM...both were of the same recipe.
Since this market is strickly handling island grown products, I made sure that the recipe included mostly locally grown or produced ingredients.
The recipe I chose is one we used to do during grilling cooking classes when we ran the Akaka Falls Inn Cooking School. Simple, fast and everyone seems to like it.
Quantity and selection of the ingredients depends on what is available. The dressing for the salad can be whatever your favorite dressing might be. I chose my own Liliko'i Vinaigrette (see recipe below). This amount of eggplant can make generous servings of salad for 8 -10 people.
Grilled Japanese Eggplant on Local Greens and Herbed Chevre
Layer the sliced eggplant pieces in a plastic tub or container. Pour the salad dressing over it, cover tightly and invert to make sure all of the eggplant slices are evenly coated. Store in refrigerator at least for 2 hours or overnight. Turn the container over a couple of times, if you think about it...
Anthony grilled the marinated eggplant slices in a large George Foreman table grill until they were nicely cooked through and had good 'grill markings' on them.
To assemble the salad, I chose a red tipped leaf lettuce, some Dawn Dewa 'spinach' (aka Moluccan 'spinach') which I cut into a chiffonade, finely cut chives and Thai basil leaves. I then added the grilled eggplant slices and spoonfuls of pesto-macadamia nut chevre.
You can find the chevre (soft goat cheese) in an assortment of flavors from the Hawaii Island Goat Dairy in Ahualoa.
The whole thing was then sprinkled liberally with the chopped and roasted macadamia nuts and drizzled with Liliko'i (passion fruit) Vinaigrette.
We have a couple of wild vines growing on the property and during season, I collect a few everyday. I cut them in half, scoop out the seeds and pulp and save in a plastic container in the refrigerator until I have a full container.
Strain through a stainless steel mesh sieve, pushing with a wooden spoon to get as much of the juice and pulp as possible and collect it in a glass or ceramic bowl.
In a sauce pan bring the juice and sugar to boil. Amount of sugar depends on your own taste and acidity of the fruit. When it boils, turn it down and reduce it to intensify the flavor. Add small amount of white vinegar, again to taste. Let it cook at a slow boil for a few minutes, turn the heat off and cool. Store in glass cruet or sealed carafe in the refrigerator. It will last several weeks.
The finished salad!