The Bountiful Garden Island

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The Bountiful Garden Island

If you want to enjoy the fruits of what Kauai literally has to offer, a visit to a nearby farmers’ market is a must stop on the Garden Island. Bring plenty of singles and quarters, your own re-useable shopping bag and—most importantly—arrive on time. And don't just buy fruit to snack on, take advantage of that kitchen in your condominium resort and whip up some simple and delicious treats. If you're a little bit intimidated by those hairy, knobby, scaly and generally funny-looking items, don't be shy about asking the vendors questions at these markets; they'll be happy to talk-story and give you tips on buying--that is, if they're not too inundated with people. Depending on the farmers' market, you may even be able to enjoy some ready-made foods, smoothies and other delicacies and/or shop for take-home gifts made by Kauai artists and craftspeople.

Reasons to Shop at a Farmers' Market

1. FRESH fruits and vegetables that are days and, even, hours old, instead of produce that was picked weeks ago and shipped 2,000+ miles. Fresher produce lasts longer, contains more nutrients and tastes better.

2. Kauai's farmers' markets mirror the ethnic diversity of these islands--in the people who sell their goods, the people who buy them and the actual goods that are grown and sold. We're talking people of Hawaiian, Japanese, Chinese, Fillipino, Portuguese and European descent--and more.

3. Buying from local farmers supports individual people and their family on Kauai, as well as, helping create a sustainable Kauai and reducing the reliance of importing basic food items.

4. Buying from local farmers ensures the perpetuation of green places on Kauai. We all like to see the beautiful wide open fields for which Kauai is known, and we'd like to perpetuate that.

5. Farmers' markets are a great way to meet people, run into friends and, even, teach our children about where their food originates.

Kauai Farmers' Markets
Mondays
12 Noon at Koloa Knudsen Ball Park on Maluhia Road in Koloa Town
3:00 p.m. at Kukui Grove Pavilion (Privately Run)
(Currently being held behind K-Mart in the parking lot)

Tuesdays
3:00 p.m. at Kalaheo Neighborhood Center (Papalina Road) 
2:00 - 4:00 p.m. Hawaiian Farmers Market, at Waipa (Privately Run)

Wednesdays
3:00 p.m. at Kapaa New Town Park, Kahau & Olohena
4:00 p.m. at Kukuiula Village shopping center, Poipu 

Thursdays
4:30 p.m. at Kilauea Neighborhood Center on Keneke, off Lighthouse Road
3:00 p.m. Hanapepe Town Park (behind the Fire Station)

Fridays
3:00 p.m. at Vidinha Stadium, parking lot, in Lihue 

Saturdays
9:00 a.m. at Christ Memorial Church in Kilauea (Privately Run)
9:30 at Hanalei Neighborhood Center & Ball Park (Privately Run)
9:00 a.m. at Kekaha Neighborhood Center
10:00 a.m. at Kauai Community College, Puhi
11:30 a.m. at Kilauea Farmers Market (Privately Run)

Sundays
11:00 a.m. next to Kealia Post Office

 

Recipes

Kailani Farms Arugula Salad ~ 4 Servings
Recipe courtesy of Plantation Gardens Restaurant & Bar
 
Ingredients
1 lb. locally-grown arugula
1 locally-grown mango, diced
½ locally-grown papaya, diced
8 cherry tomatoes, sliced
½ red onion, diced
1 locally-grown and ripe avocado, diced
½ French baguette, grilled then cut into cubes

Place all items into a large bowl.
 
Lilikoi Cider Vinaigrette
1 cup Passion Fruit Concentrate
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
1 shallot, minced
½ cup Hawaiian Sweet Chili Sauce
1½ cup olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste

In a blender, mix concentrate, vinegar, shallot and chili sauce. Once blended, slowly pour olive oil into mixture to create vinaigrette. Add salt and pepper to your liking. Pour over salad mixture.
 
Pan Fried Green Beans with Mango & Avocado Salsa ~ 4 Servings
Recipe courtesy of Plantation Gardens Restaurant & Bar

Ingredients
20 locally-grown green beans
2 tbsp Olive Oil
½ jar black bean sauce (Lee Kum Kee brand recommended. This is a garlic,
 soybean and black bean based sauce that adds great flavor to vegetables and meat.)
¾ cup white wine or ¾ cup water for a non-alcoholic version

Avocado & Mango Salsa – Mix all ingredients
½ locally-grown mango, diced
½ locally-grown avocado, diced
1 tbsp locally grown lemon juice
2 sprigs locally-grown cilantro, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
 
Heat up olive oil in large sautee pan. Once warm, drop the green beans into pan and pan fry for a few minutes until half cooked. Green beans should still be crispy. Add black bean sauce. Start with ½ a jar and add to your liking. Don’t forget to taste as you go. (Adding too much black bean sauce could make the mixture salty.) Add the wine or water, whichever you prefer. Reduce. Top with Mango & Avocado Salsa.

Purple Potato Hash (serves four)
Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef Zachary Sato at Oasis on the Beach
 
2 lbs Molokai sweet potato
8 oz. kalua pig (available at any local grocery store)
4 oz. bok choy ( may substitute mustard greens)
Hawaiian sea salt - to taste
 
Slice bok choy. Steam/boil peeled sweet potatoes until fork tender. Let cool and mix in all ingredients. This is a great breakfast item. Serve with your favorite style eggs, such as poached with a hollaindaise sauce to create a spin on an eggs benedict.

Papaya Butter (serves about 16 portions)
Recipe courtesy of Executive Chef Zachary Sato at Oasis on the Beach

Use this to top cooked fish, pork, and chicken.

1 1/2 c papaya flesh
1/2 cup cilantro, packed
4 cloves garlic
1 lb butter
1/2 tbs Hawaiian sea salt

Soften butter to room temperature. Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth. Finish your dish with a fresh lemon squeeze to brighten it up.

A Guide to Some Tropical Fruits*

Avocado: Also known as the alligator pear because of its texture, the avocado is a high-fat fruit. Right up there with olives. Avocados ripen fully once they've been picked and are ready to eat when you feel them give when you gently squeeze them. To prevent browning, add a little lemon or lime juice to the meat. Better yet, eat 'em up fast. Available September - April.

Banana: Technically, not a fruit but the largest herb there is. Our favorite banana is the "apple banana." You won't be able to eat any other variety again. Available year-round. Available year-round.

Breadfruit: A member of the fig family. Fruits can weigh up to 10 pounds. When roasted, the creamy white or pale yellow flesh is said to have the texture and fragrance of freshly baking bread. Highly perishable. Buy when the skin is light green, yellow-green or yellow. A delicious replacement for potatoes but sometimes hard to find.

Citrus fruits: Pomelo (also known as jabong), grapefruit, tangerines,oranges, lemons, limes, and kumquats all grow in abundance on Kauai. Try the popular "Hawaiian orange," also known as Kau orange, a mottled and rather ugly-looking fruit! And don't be surprised to find lemons the color of limes and limes the size of oranges. Generally available year-round.

Coconut: You'll generally find at least one vendor selling "ice-cold coconuts" at all the farmer's markets around the island. It's a great way to sample the newest energy drink making its way across the country--coconut water. But don't toss the coconut after the water's gone. Crack it open (ask your vendor to do that for you) and eat the coconut meat inside. Available year-round.

 Guava: You'll run into these trees in the wild all throughout Kauai. The fruit should be yellow in color and give to gentle pressure. Guavas can be quite tart eaten out of the hand, so we recommend making guava puree for juice, pies, breads, sorbets and sauces. 

Lilikoi: Ah, passionfruit. We love it. It's a common flavor in juices, jellies and syrups. It makes a fabulous flavor for chiffon pie and curd. And when found on the hiking trail, bite off the end and suck out the juice, seeds and all, for a tasty trail treat.

Lychee: When in season, you'll find individuals on the roadside selling gallon-size bags. Stop. U-turn. Whatever you need to do--safely--to give these a try. Just be sure to ask the grower to show you how to peel (with your teeth) and eat them (suck the juicy, white meat off the inside seed)! Available year-round.

Rambutan: The hairy, prickly cousin to lychee deserves the same affection as the Lychee. Put them in your refrigerator and eat them cold. Available October - March.

Mango: There are countless varietes of mangoes grown in Hawaii. One popular one is Haden. Ripe mangoes vary in color from red and orange to yellow and green. They are harvested firm and ripen off the tree. A ripe mango should be firm and will give slightly to gentle pressure. Eat out of the hand or cubed in salsa or added to a smoothie. There are as many countless ways to eat mango as there are varieties. Available March - November.

Moya: This includes cherimoya, atemoya and soursop. Their sweet, creamy pulp combines the flavors of pineapple, papaya, passion fruit, banana, mango and lemon all in one. Go figure. But try it. Moya turn pale green or creamy yellow when they reach maturity. They are best picked firm and allowed to ripen at room temperature. A moya is ripe when it is soft to the touch and the stem end begins to split. Ripe fruit deterioriates quickly, so don't delay. Best served chilled, cut in half and eaten with a spoon. Available August - February.

Papaya: One of Hawaii's ubiquitous fruits. That's because they are so easy to grow. Papayas ripen from their bloom end toward the stem end, turning green to yellow. Most varieties are ready to eat when they are half and half in color. Papayas are delicious when eaten alone, maybe with a spritz of lime juice, and added to smoothies. Don't throw the seeds away. They make a delicious Papaya Seed Dressing. Kauai is known for its Sunrise Papaya. Don't settle for anything else. Available year-round.

Pineapple: Oh, come on. Really? Do we really have to tell you what pineapple is? Hawaii Gold variety is a trustworthy variety and so is the Sugarloaf variety, both grown on Kauai and both low acidity. Go for the "heavy for their size" pineapples and choose one that is already ripe or you'll be home gain before it's ready to eat. If the fresh leaves are dark green and the fruit gives off a sweet pineapply aroms, you should be good. Available year-round.

*Recommended Resources and Cookbooks

The Hawaii Farmers Market Cookbook: Fresh Island Products from A to Z
Endorsed by the Hawaii Farm Bureau and published by Watermark Publishing.
1088 Bishop Street, Suite 310
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
866-900-BOOK
www.bookshawaii.net

The Hawaii Farmers Market Cookbook: The Chef's Guid eto Fresh Island Foods
Endorsed by the Hawaii Farm Bureau and published by Watermark Publishing.
1088 Bishop Street, Suite 310
Honolulu, Hawaii 96813
866-900-BOOK
www.bookshawaii.net

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