During the winter, we eat a lot of hardy squashes. Like most cooks, we usually cut them into wedges or cubes, throw them in oven until they’re caramelized and tender and call it done. During our stay in Sicily, Fabrizia Lanza made us a dish of grilled winter squash that forced us to look at the vegetable in a completely different way and showed off the depth and subtlety of Sicilian food. Cooking sliced delicata rings quickly over a grill produces squash that still has a bit of snap and a flavorful hint of its vegetal roots, one that doesn’t surrender completely to its sugary nature.
.25cupwhite wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper
Cut off one end of each of the squashes to reveal the seeds and core. Using a long-handled spoon, scrape out the seeds and discard (or save for another use). Cut the squash crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices.
Heat a grill or a grill pan over moderate heat. Do not oil the grates of the grill or the pan, but make sure they are very clean. Have a platter and a piece of foil on hand.
Dry-grill the squash until charred on one side, about 5 minutes, then use tongs to flip the squash and continue to cook until the slices are well browned and almost tender, about 5 minutes more. As the slices are grilled, transfer them to a platter and cover with foil. Season lightly with salt and keep tightly covered while you make the agrodolce.n sheet about 5 minutes before placing on a wire cooling rack until cooled completely.
Combine the shallots and olive oil in a skillet over moderate heat and cook, stirring from time to time, until softened and golden brown in spots, about 10 minutes.
Stir in the raisins, vinegar, sugar, 1 teaspoon salt and several grinds of black pepper and simmer until the mixture has reduced to a juicy glaze, about 2 minutes.
Immediately pour the shallot mixture over the squash and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour before serving.
ALOHA, The past six months have been unprecedented times, and particularly the last month or so has given us many reasons to reflect. Deep racial injustice against the Black community has long existed in the United States, seeping into every part of American life, including the food community and food media. No one can claim to be a mere bystander.
As a publisher, I have been trying to pause thoughtfully, considering what role we can play, as a local food and drink magazine, social media supporter and website, in the conversation about race, equality, and elevating diverse voices. We can all make a difference in fighting systemic racism and other prejudices, even over here in our small corner of the world dedicated to thoughtful local food and drink in Hawai’i and beyond our shores.
At edible Hawaiian Islands magazine, we have long been committed to sharing multiple narratives and recipes, representative of the beautiful and diverse makeup of the entire local community. Food traditions from across the Hawaiian Islands, among many other places, contribute to the way we think about food. Local food and drink traditions span multiple ethnic identities in our open-tented definition.
But we can do better, just like many other outlets. Here at edible Hawaiian Islands magazine, we remain committed to continuing to amplify diverse local food voices. I invite you to reach out by calling or emailing because we are always open to hear your ideas on topics you think we should be covering, conversations and feedback.
FIRST, ARISE AND CAST YOUR VOTE by mail before October 23rd or in person before or on Election Day November 3rd for qualified national and local candidates. This election is simply too important to sit out. Just like in many policy categories, there are serious food and agriculture proposals being tossed about with significant implications.
Next, put the number 2 pencil down and cast a vote with your fork and dollars. In this election, you can truly cast as many votes as you wish.
Vote with your dollars at farmers markets for vendors who grow food with care and consideration. Vote for LOCAL chef candidates by purchasing to-go and/or in-house meals in order to help them and their staff survive this winter. Tip well and make their gift cards a frequent purchase this holiday season.
Vote with your dollars for LOCAL food and beverage producers in grocery store aisles. Choose locally owned food retailers whenever possible.
Vote with your feet by visiting LOCAL retailers who create the retailing uniqueness of our cities and towns.
Vote smart, vote often during the entire course of this pandemic election season this winter supporting local candidates in all cases. Let’s make sure this one results in a landslide victory!
Readers who care about preserving local businesses will appreciate this new book by writer and garlic farm owner Stanley Crawford. In the fall of 2014, Crawford questioned US tariff exemptions for the country’s largest importer of Chinese garlic. This set off a massive legal battle, pitting his small New Mexico farm against the importer and its international law firms. In this compelling account of his David-and-Goliath battle, now in its fifth year, Crawford describes his personal and farming life under a cloud of lawsuits and administrative skirmishes. The unusual case was of such interest that it became the subject of a Netflix documentary, “Garlic Breath,” in the six-part series Rotten, released in 2018.
STANLEY CRAWFORD is co-owner with his wife, RoseMary Crawford, of El Bosque Garlic Farm in Dixon, New Mexico, where they have lived since 1969. Crawford was born in 1937 and was educated at the University of Chicago and at the Sorbonne. He is the author of nine novels, including Village, Log of the S.S. The Mrs. Unguentine, Travel Notes, GASCOYNE, and Some Instructions, a classic satire on all the sanctimonious marriage manuals ever produced. He is also the author of two memoirs: A Garlic Testament: Seasons on a Small Farm in New Mexico, and Mayordomo: Chronicle of an Acequia in Northern New Mexico. He has written numerous articles in various publications such as the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Double Take, and Country Living. For more information, please visit stanleycrawford.net.
1MediumKabocha SquashI used a kabocha and a pumpkin
1local onionrough chop
3local carrotspeeled & rough chop
2inchpiece of gingerpeeled and rough chop
4-6cupsVegetable or Chicken Stockdepending on squash size
1Canfull fat coconut milk
2-3tspsea saltto taste
Fresh ground black pepperto taste
Slice the squash in half and remove the seeds. Place on a sheet tray lined with parchment, skin up for 30-40 minutes or until tender. Set aside to cool. While the squash is cooling, prepare the other ingredients.
Sauté the onion in olive oil until translucent about 3 minutes. Add ginger and garlic, sautéing until fragrant 1-2 minutes. Add veggie/ chicken stock. Once squash is cool, scoop the flesh out of the skins and add to the warm stockpot. Add garam masala, sea salt and black pepper. Allow to simmer for 15 minutes to infuse flavors.
Using a Vitamix or high-speed blender carefully add the soup to the Vitamix in small batches (I fill about ½ way with hot liquids) I add about ¼ - 1/3 C full fat coconut milk to the blender while pureeing. If too thick, add a touch more of the cooking stock. Taste, and adjust seasonings before moving to the next batch, if needed.
OPTIONAL GARNISHES: Extra coconut milk to swirl on topPecansCilantroToasted pumpkin seeds
Lucky we live in Hawaii is a phrase we hear and see often, especially on social media. And because we are surrounded by the ocean we are lucky that salt is abundant. As you read through this issue and see that we have featured locally grown garlic we also wanted to share a way to preserve the garlic long after the season has ended.
Garlic & SaltUse 2 oz peeled garlic to 12 oz sea salt a 1:6 ratio
Peel Garlic (Cut root end off of cloves)
Pulse garlic cloves in a food processor until garlic is a paste
Using gloved hands, thoroughly mix garlic paste into salt until evenly incorporated.
Spread salt and garlic mixture in an even layer no more than an 1/2 inch thick on a parchment lined sheet pan and bake in a 180 Degree Fahrenheit oven until completely dry to the touch. (3-5 hours) (Alternatively, you can use a food dehydrator at its highest setting but it will take longer)
Allow garlic salt to cool outside of the oven, then transfer to a dry bowl and use gloved hands to break up any clumps.
Jar and seal in an air tight container.
TIP: Use within a month or bag and freeze for later use.Gida Snyder is based on Kauai and the Chef/ Founder of Slow Island Food & Beverage Co.MAKING THIS RECIPE? Share it with us on Instagram using #ediblehi so we can see what you’re cooking in your kitchen!
WORDS & PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF ANNA PEACH GROWING PUMPKINS AND SQUASH IN THE TROPICS
FARMING PUMPKINS IS A TEST of your patience, and part of that means leaving them on the vine longer than you may want to. They reward you with a bounty of tasty fruits that will store through the Winter without refrigeration. If you have properly fed and watered them, done your best to select the right varieties, and counteracted pests, they will thrive will a lot less care than more vulnerable edible plants. With squash, you do much of the work upfront, and then let them go.
One of the problems that growers face is this “hang time” where the vines, blooms, and fruits are vulnerable to anything from feral pigs, rodents, falling branches, floods, windstorms, theft, and insect damage. Throw in that some varieties can also get a sunburn that creates a scorched patch on the squash that will scar the fruits in such a way that it will not store and must be eaten immediately. A lot can go wrong in a season, but a lot can also go right. One of the ways that you can increase your success is by recognizing when to pick the squash fruits, and then explore how to cure them. In many climates, squash cure on the vine. What I mean by that is that the squash skin toughens, and the stem dries on the vine. The whole squash plant will die back, exposing pumpkins that were hidden below the once lush leaves. In Hawaii, and other tropical and sub-tropical areas, squash vines do not die back for a very long time unless you have stopped watering it or killed the roots of the plant. Leaving the question, “can I harvest them now?” on your mind.
When you grow annual squash plants that have become perennial due to climate, one of the biggest challenges is knowing when to pick. So many people pick way too soon, selecting shiny skinned fruits and then become unsatisfied with the flavor, or lack of flavor. There are traditional recipes in places like Italy and the Philippines, that call for immature fruits. If you are reading this, and have harvested your squash too young, consider those recipes as an option. If you are looking for mature, robust tasting squash, with a dense color and flavor, it is all about patience.
In Hawaii, squash takes a lot longer on the vine than in other zones. The cooling trade winds maintain temperatures that rarely rise above 80 degrees in upcountry and upper 80’s in lower altitudes. For squash, this is very mild. In California, for example, we worked harvesting heirloom pumpkins in the lower 100’s; somewhere around 110 degrees. Pumpkins are durable, but as harvesters, we felt vulnerable. When I first started harvesting the squash that I had grown in Hawaii, I did not know when to pick it. Through my research, I found an interesting bit of information from Naples, Italy. It described a technique where fruits were “cured” in the sun for 10-14 days, then moved to the shade for storage. I followed this recommendation religiously. It shocked people to learn that I had waited a full month before presenting these squash to chefs. My further experiments in aging squash brought them to optional flavor. A month or sometimes two months of aging created depth of flavor, and intensified flesh color that plated beautifully. I learned this by eating squash every day, cutting open both perfect, and damaged squash to study what is going on inside, and topping that off with reading online.
So back about the curing. Hawaiian landrace/heirloom varieties of kabocha squash are not necessarily orange or yellow. Many are greenish black, and they will remain that way from beginning to harvest. Try to look past the color, and more to the duration of time, and the skin appearance. A young fruit will shine with a glossy glow. Think of the Summer zucchini in the markets. If you take your thumbnail, and gently press, you can easily make an indent in the skin. You want to utilize this strategy when you first begin harvesting squash in Hawaii or other tropical zones. Some simple rules are that shiny, skin that you can indent with your nail means it is too soon to harvest.
What you will be looking for is a duller surface. Think paint finishes here: Glossy, semigloss, and matte. Make sure not to harvest at the glossy stage and focus on the other two stages. When you do harvest, do not break off the stems. Leave a couple inches of stem to dry on the pumpkin. This is like a “piko” or belly button for the pumpkin. Many of the squash that do not store properly were inadvertently damaged by the grower by removing the stem, which makes them vulnerable to an interior rot in tropical places. This is quite true in tropical and subtropical places, and more flexible in places where squash cure in the field. In general, I recommend leaving a couple inches of stem, let it dry, then once dry, you can clip it further before selling the produce.
After harvesting the squash, try moving them to a sunny, but protected table or part of the field where they can sit in the sun for 10-14 days. This toughens the skin and dries the stem. Then move them to a shady spot, or a storage shed with good air circulation. I found storing them in bushel baskets was not ideal for long term storage, but good for a couple of weeks if kept dry with good air circulation. Old tables under ironwood trees were my “go to.” In wet weather, you want to make sure to check on them, roll them around and check for any soft spots, or “wounds.” Eat any damaged ones as quickly as possible, as they will not be able to be stored for as long. It goes without saying that there are a multitude of types of damage that the skins can suffer. Time and experience will teach you which ones will store, and what types of damage causes internal rot in squash.
Knowing what you grow is key with squash. Some are closer to either the melon or gourd side of the family tree. They look different, taste different, and have different possibilities for use in the kitchen. I remember the squash Sibley (Pike’s Peak) C. Maxima was a real surprise. Presenting with a golden yellow flesh, and melon like perfume that intensified if left for a month after harvest. Know it, live it, and breathe it, and make note of your findings. These unusual heirloom varieties can be marketed with great success if you understand through firsthand usage, just what makes it special, and how to bring it to its optimal flavor, and color. [ eHI ]
FARMING NOTES BY CODY LEE MEYER INTRODUCED AND EDITED BY SARAH SCHULTZ
AFTER SEVERAL YEARS OF TRIAL AND ERROR FARMER CODY LEE MEYER IS GROWING GARLIC ON KAUA’I
BACK IN SUMMER 2016, on a trip to visit as many Kaua’i farms as possible, we stumbled across a Farmer named Cody Lee Meyer who was trying to grow local garlic. As most cooks in Hawai’i already know, along with quality cooking oil, sourcing local garlic is but a mere dream.
But Cody is tenacious and, lucky for us, never gave up. He took copious notes and , tried again and again, year after year, to find the magic formula. and he has had some success. Here he shares his edited notes of what variety seems to grow best on Kaua’i along with other helpful tips.
WORKS: purple stripe hardneck varieties like Metechi and Chesnok Red DOESN’T WORK: softneck varieties (most commonly found in grocers)
January through June
Best performance was witnessed in sand mixed with compost; garlic prefers loose soil versus soil that compacts easily (like clay). Loose soil allows the bulb to grow easily.
Put garlic seeds in the fridge months before planting. I typically put them in the chiller/fridge in the first week of October. When the seeds (cloves) begin to put out roots, it’s time to plant. This can happen anytime between early January to late February. Each garlic variety has its unique awakening time in the fridge based on, what I believe, is solar declination. Seeds must be in a dark, low-humid, and cold (35-40°) area of the fridge for the hibernation period.
I usually layer garlic seeds (bulbs) in reusable black totes, with cloth and a cup or two of rice in between each of the layers to absorb moisture. Check bulbs once a week to look for mold or root development. Rotate bulbs in tote if necessary.
When roots begin to form, pull out of the fridge. Separate bulbs into cloves, then separate big cloves from small cloves. I suggest planting big and small separately, as small cloves will yield only small bulbs or a ‘green garlic’ for harvest. Bigger cloves equal bigger bulbs. Do not peel all the skin off of the clove, as the skin protects the seed. Plant the cloves roughly one inch into the soil, roots down, and cover gently. I plant them roughly one shaka-width apart.
After a couple of weeks, a garlic shoot will appear out of the soil, followed by more leaves in the weeks to come. Now, here’s the fun bit: You can let the garlic do its thing covered in dirt and harvest what’s magically pulled out of the soil, or you can increase bulb size by uncovering the soil around the bulb (but do not expose the roots), and remove the brown leaf that’s at the very bottom of the plant and peel it from the bulb every couple of days. This decreases tension on the bulb, allowing it to grow with ease, and the sun exposure changes the bulb’s skin color from white to purple. I learned this from one of our Filipino landscapers; she said that’s what they do in the Philippines to make their bulbs three times bigger. (Big thanks to her.)
Garlic does not like weeds. Weed routinely to make sure garlic gets all the nutrients and water.
Irrigate every 3–4 days during growing season (January-ish to late April), unless it’s very dry. Luckily, on Kaua’i, our seasons pair well with the garlic’s water needs. In other words, no need to irrigate if it rains. Garlic likes to be dry a few weeks before harvest. This year, I planted the Chesnok Red in mid- January, cutting the scapes and halting irrigation in mid-April. It rained a few times and when it rained heavily for days, I kept removing the soil around the bulb to expose it to sunlight. I believe this keeps the garlic from getting soggy underground and becoming moldy or rotting.
Field curing happens when there’s no rain for a couple of weeks and the garlic can simply dry naturally in the field.
If rain is on the horizon and you are satisfied with bulb size, go ahead and pull out of the ground. Store in a dry, warm area to cure for a couple of weeks. You can keep the leaves intact and the soil on.
Cut the garlic flower a few days after it appears. The garlic flower is strong and spicy, great for culinary uses. Cutting the flower causes the plant to focus energy on the bulb and not seed/flower production, which supposedly increases bulb size by at least 20% and retains the spiciness.
A bulb that’s ready for harvest will show dimples, which indicate clover formation. Some bulbs will be uni-bulb, or one giant clove, which makes peeling that much easier.
Synopsis: I’ve planted over 30 varieties of garlic since 2012 at five locations on Kaua’i. Hardneck purple stripe garlic varieties are the only ones that have worked consistently. I found they like a south-facing slope with full sun. Sand mixed with compost and red dirt showed the best results yet.
Garlic has a mind of its own and knows when daylight is getting longer during the winter and spring. Even in the fridge, it knows. It typically terminates by the summer solstice, too, which makes me think garlic understands an electromagnetic wavelength from the sun that farmers need to become more aware of. It’s a pain to peel back that bottom leaf every few days, especially when we’re talking thousands of bulbs, but it helps increase the overall size and harvest weight. Garlic has never been an easy crop to grow in Hawai’i, but it does grow here. I will continue to experiment with this crop until the day I die, not only because I’m as stubborn as they come, but I’m also always trying to plant the impossible and fill the kitchen cupboard with 100% homegrown ingredients. [ eHI ]
The edible Hawaiian Islands Test Kitchen received several shipments of garlic from Farmer Cody Lee Meyer throughout the 2020 harvest season. Instead of keeping all the garlic for ourselves, we shared it with home cooks, farmers, and chefs all across the state. We asked each person to rate the garlic by answering the following questions:
General thoughts on the garlic appearance, size, and color.
Thoughts/opinions on raw garlic.
Thoughts/opinions on cooked garlic.
Would you buy local garlic for your business?
Care to share a recipe or how you used the garlic?
Sign up for our blog, follow us on Facebook, twitter, or Instagram as we trickle out comments and recipes from everyone who participated. Cody Lee Meyer Timbers Farm Manager Timbers Kaua’i Ocean Club & Residences 3770 Ala’oli Way Lihue, Kaua’i Hawai’i
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