04 March 2014

Hawaii in my mind...

Who's fed up with winter weather?!  When March approaches and winter is nowhere near over (which is every March in the Rockies), my mind wanders to some of the glorious trips I have made to warm places. Today's instrument of denial: Hawaii.  I visited back in 2006 and again in '08, and it continues to inspire my fantasies every winter!

On my first stay, I stumbled upon the amazing Saturday farmer's market in Honolulu on the edge of the university campus.  The variety of fruits and vegetables I never even knew existed was revolutionary for me. And while I cannot find the majority of those fascinating edible plants here on the mainland, the goal of keeping bright colors on my plate in large quantities, coupled with the sublime fusion of Asian and island flavors, has inspired me to develop and come back to this salad again and again.

Hawaiian Hot Pot

Serves 3-4
1 cup short grain brown rice
1 (large) head bok choy (cut in half lengthwise)
1 Vidalia onion (cut into 3 lengthwise)
1 Bell Pepper (cut in half and remove the seeds and stem)
½ fresh Pineapple
2 cups boiling water
4 tablespoons white miso paste
1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger

¼ cup Soy Sauce
2 tablespoons Rice Wine Vinegar
¼ teaspoon Dried Ground Ginger
2 teaspoons Sesame Oil
Chili Garlic Paste (optional, to taste)

Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat on the stove. If it's not non-stick, use a little cooking spray to keep veggies from sticking. 

Cook the brown rice according to package directions. Combine boiling water, miso paste, and ginger, whisk thoroughly to incorporate, and keep warm.  You can also make the dressing in a medium bowl by whisking all ingredients together and set aside.

Add the veggies to the grill when it's hot and grill until they get grill marks and begin to soften (about 5 minutes on each side).

Remove the veggies from the grill and chop them when they have cooled enough to handle. In either a large serving bowl or individual bowls, place the cooked rice topped with grilled vegetables.  Drizzle dressing on top and pour the miso broth down the side of the bowl so you have a mound of rice and veggies surrounded by a little lake.  Dig in!