So what to do when I’m not ready for the vacation to be over–but it is. I just spent two weeks eating amazing food from 5,000 miles away and now it’s time to go back to eating local and in-season.
This week’s CSA bag included a lot of greens, a head of purple cabbage, a lot of herbs, and broccoli.
I decided that gave me enough to work with and I would set to recreating some of the bright tropical flavors we had enjoyed.
I started with a treat I had brought back in my suitcase, some Maui onions. These are sweet delicious onions similar to Vidalia onions. I caramelized them and tossed them with a small amount of soy sauce and lime juice at the very end.
Next I turned to the slaw. I had a head of purple cabbage, green onions, and bunches of fresh cilantro and mint. I chopped all of these and whisked a dressing of peanut butter, soy sauce, rice vinegar and sesame oil. (proportions were about a half cup each peanut butter and vinegar, a tablespoon soy sauce and two tablespoons sesame oil.)
The vegetables were all locally grown and in season and the dressing gave it the tropical flavor. The cilantro and mint worked together to give it a great taste.
The fish was simply seasoned and grilled so that the flavor of the fish did most of the heavy lifting. I garnished it with the Maui onions and some sesame seeds.
The final tropical touch was a fresh papaya which was neither local, nor–I suspect–in season when it was harvested. It goes against everything the CSA stands for but really gave it that tropical touch!
I squeezed fresh lime juice over it and garnished with chopped cilantro.
It was a nice fusion of ingredients from this region and flavors from afar. It was a great summertime meal with bright sharp flavors and an appealing mix of colors and textures.