The summer bounty is still rolling in with fresh tomatillos, stick cabbage, starfruit and my favorite sweet potatoes from Kolo Kai Farm! To me, this dish exemplifies Kauai! It is layered with flavors, colorful, simple and fresh!
I love growing tomatillos during summer. They are low maintenance and so abundant. For me, it is somewhat of a replacement for the tomato which I and many others have difficulty growing due to the fruit fly. I now almost prefer the savory tartness of salsa verde to traditional tomato salsa. We usually only plant one plant as it sprawls and wants to take over. It is so prolific there is only need for one! We started this one from seed, transplanted it to a well composted area with at least 3 feet of growing space, and used a balanced fertilizer (Charfish from the Big Island).
Plants that are in the ground for three months and produce a vegetable are known as heavy feeders. They require more phosphorous and potassium than a plant that is only producing leafy greens like kale or lettuce. Leafy green plants are know as light feeders and prefer more nitrogen. If you have ever tried to grow tomatoes, eggplant or squash and you have lots of leaves but no vegetables it might be because there is an imbalance of too much nitrogen and not enough potassium and phosphorous. Using an organic balanced fertilizer and matured compost will usually correct the imbalance. I also use spirulina tea that adds minerals and promotes microbial activity. My father-in-law Tom, in San Jose, brews his very own compost tea and grows 2 lb tomatoes!
Sautee onion until carmelized. Add garlic and sautee til lightly golden. Quarter larger tomatillos and half the small ones. Saute with onion and garlic until soft and tender. Simmer on low about 10 minutes. Transfer to glass container to cool. Once cooled add juice of 1 lime and half a bunch of fresh chopped cilantro.
Cooking the sambal can be done a day or two to save prep time if needed. The flavor is even better the next day.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
2 large sweet potatoes
4 Garlic cloves unpeeled
Scrub and rinse potatoes removing any dirt. Cut into 1 inch cubes. Toss in baking dish with garlic, olive oil and salt to taste. Roast 30 minutes at 350.The garlic cloves will be for a garnish. They pop right out of their skin and add a delicious, rich garnish.
Please see my earlier post on stick cabbage for description. This might be hard to find. Kale, chard, or collard greens are a fine substitute.
1 bunch dark leafy greens rough chopped2 scallion
Saute scallion in olive oil and salt until a few of the pieces have a little char on them. This gives an almost grilled flavor to them. Add greens and a little more salt and oil. Sautee until wilted.
Swordfish is a mild fish, simple to cook with a wonderful texture. It’s somewhat meaty and therefore often grilled and used for soups and chowders. It is also wonderful pan seared with light seasoning. Most swordfish for the U.S. is caught in Hawaiian waters. It is most abundant January through May but usually available year round. I purchased the swordfish from the Hanalei Fish Market which usually has a great selection of fresh, local wild caught fish.
Two 6 oz swordfish filets
Season filets lightly on both sides with cumin, coriander and salt. Return to refrigerator and let sit for 2-3 hours. 15 minutes before cooking remove fish and let sit to room temperature. Pan sear fish on both sides on med high heat for 2-3 minutes on each side. The better the sear color the better the flavor.
For plating this dish start with a bundle of sweet potatoes in the middle of the plate. Add sauteed greens on top, then swordfish. Top swordfish with sambal and a few pieces of fresh starfruit and the unpeeled roasted garlic. The garlic is fun and delicious to peel and eat and enjoy with your meal.
Thanks for visiting! A Hui Hou!