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My earliest memories of Caesar Salad involved family nights out at Duke’s, which, during my youth only had a few locations open in Hawaii. During the occasional family night out, my parents would almost always order the Caesar Salad, which came with a thin slice of cheesy garlic bread and a fillet of grilled Mahi.

At home in Kapaa, side salads swam in Caesar dressing as roughly cut tomatoes and herbed croutons floated among the greens. When the Costco finally opened up on Kaua’i, holiday breaks back home during college on the Mainland usually included a trip to the food court where I’d chase a $1.50 hot dog and fountain drink with a Caesar Salad. The portion was, as with most of Costco’s merchandise excessive; the salad was big enough to feed me three times over.

While they may not be the healthiest of food memories, Caesar Salad reminds me of family time in the islands.

Today, where I now call San Diego home I forego croutons in favor of nutritionally dense toppings like the diced avocado and sliced apple that Candice Kumai’s recipe calls for –with one exception, Rare Form’s Butternut Squash and Kale Salad; a go-to lunch spot on the rare occasion I make it Downtown. While the item was still on the menu, they adorned their salad with freshly warm, buttery croutons that killed any desire to top my salads with the store bought stuff moving forward.

As for the Caesar Salad, I prefer to make it at home and enjoy putting different twists on the classic recipe, like this recipe from my friend Jill Haapaniemi, a food photographer and recipe developer based in Melbourne.

In her version, Jill lightens up the dressing with greek yogurt and tops with soft to medium-boiled eggs for a bit of satiating protein.

Enjoy!

caesarsalad

(Photo: Jill Haapaniemi)

CAESAR SALAD

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After returning from a recent trip to Colombia full of cheesy arepas and other fried foodie finds I indulged in on the streets of Cartagena (and not to mention one too many Club Colombia’s), it’s time for a reset. I live in kale country after all, and it’d be a shame to not take advantage of the colorful and nourishing produce easily available here in Southern California.

Plus, with family from Hawaii and the East Coast arriving in a matter of days I’m going to need all of the energy I can muster to keep up with the gregarious bunch.

To help me out, I’m turning to another one of Haaps & Barley’s fresh, seasonal recipes, like this salad using winter greens, pomegranates, beets and more.

Enjoy!

winter-greens-salad

By Haaps & Barley

WINTER GREENS WITH BEETS, POMEGRANATE AND APPLE

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As someone who enjoys minimal time in the kitchen, the ingredients I turn to tend to be easy to prepare and versatile, like mushrooms. In an omelette, tossed in a salad or sautéed in pasta, mushrooms are always there for me when I need to feed the hunger pangs, and fast.

In this week’s recipes for Curious Passport, Jill of Haaps & Barley shows us how to make this earthy veggie with garlic and thyme over toast for a satisfying snack.

Enjoy!

Mushrooms on toast

By Haaps & Barley

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