Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spring Pizza and Some Other Stuff...

This recipe is coming.  Be patient....

asparagus pesto pizza with ramps and a fried egg
     Usually when I come back from a trip I sigh, clasp my hands under my chin, and bat my eyes about what a wondrous culinary adventure I had and regale you with tales of my perfect family's perfect vacation.  Lemme tell ya.  This ain't gunna be one of those posts.  My son is going through an unusual developmental thing right now that, in an effort to afford him some privacy when he is old enough to read this blog I won't go into detail on, but I will say it made mealtimes challenging.  Couple that with a limited resort menu and a limited restaurant selection and I ended up having one good meal on the island.  

Pizzetta in Koloa, HI is definitely worth a visit or three.
     This was it.  I was so desperate for something edible I didn't even stop to take a picture beforehand.  It was the gnocchi at a place in Koloa called Pizzetta.  Get it.  And get the tiramisu.  Holy crud.

     Got back home, discovered a week's worth of mail had been stolen, and on top of that someone had been writing (and cleared) a couple checks.  So we've been in a whirlwind of account closures, police reports, and general feelings of violation for the past week.

     Top that with my husband's surgery on Tuesday that both of us were expecting to be more on the "not-terribly-extreme" end, and ended up being on the "much-more-than-we-bargained-for" end and I'm completely drained.

     This isn't a "poor me I can't do my blog" post.  It's a "WT actual F?!" post.

But to be fair we did have a really great time, even if it wasn't culinarily mind blowing.
Did I find a recipe to make again (better) at home?

I'll be making this breakfast burrito at home again soon!

Eat totally worth it $12 chocolate made on Kauai?
Hawaiian Chocolate grown and processed on Kauai, HI
 Yeah, man!

Sample a weird fruit we weren't sure how to eat?
A Cream Apple on Kauai
Yes. (It's a cream apple.  Next time we won't try to eat it w/o utensils....)

Did I get to eat my first manapua?
Purple Yam Manapua and Taro Chips Poolside in Kauai, HI.
Yes.  This is purple sweet potato.  It was a really good dessert.

Visit a Taro Chip factory?
Taro Chip Factory in Hanapepe, HI
 Yes.  This is it.  The factory.  It's awesome.

Taro Chips in a Factory in Hanapepe, HI
Yes.  Four different varieties of chips, taro, purple sweet potato, and potato and purple sweet potato with li hing mui powder.

Taro Chip Factory Exterior in Hanapepe, HI

Taro Chips, Sweet Potato Chips, Li Hing Mui flavored potato chips, and Li Hing Mui flavored sweet potato chips
And Oooooooh yes.  We loved all the flavors, but finally decided on two.  We paid the weathered little man, and as he was bagging them up, he stuck the other two varieties in the bag and said, "For you!"  If you are ever in Hanapepe (the town that Disney used as a model for the town in Lilo and Stitch) you have got to go by the chip factory.

Did we find what my husband called the best textured shave ice he's ever eaten?
Best Shave Ice on Kauai in Hanalae, HIYes. (From Wishing Well Shave Ice in Hanalae).

Did we rent a convertible?
Hail to the yes.  And we got it stuck in the sand because we're not used to driving two wheel drive cars...  Oops.  Fortunately a couple of locals took pity on us and helped us shove it out of the hole we dug ourselves into.

Did we see this?

Did we see a bunch of touristy stuff?
Small Rainbow inside Wimea Canyon
Yes. (Wimea Canyon)

Spouting Horn near Poipu, HI
 Yes. (Spouting Horn)

Kilauea Light House in Kilauea, HI
 Yes. (Kilauea Lighthouse)

Hanapepe Swinging Bridge
And yes. (Hanapepe Swinging Bridge)

Did we see a bunch of not so touristy stuff?
Hanapepe Bookstore
 Yes. (Talk Story Bookstore mural in Hanapepe)

Yes. (Gorgeous smelling barbecue on Poipu beach.  Dude came up a little later and chopped actual logs to feed the fire in this little thing.  No sissy lighter fluid filled briquets for kama'aina!)

Menehune Ditch Kauai, HI
 Yes.  (The Menehune Ditch, built to bring water from the mountains down to the fields at the base of the mountain.  Legend says the Menehune built it.  They are mythical men who helped the ancient Hawaiians build lots of things.  They seemed to have been especially active on Kauai.)

Double yes.

Would I do it all again?  Oh heck yes.

Would I skip all the returning home drama?


When we got home it was Easter and we spent the day with some friends.  This was my lunch contribution:

Spring Pizza with asparagus pesto, ramps, fried egg, goat cheese and thyme
What says Spring more than eggs, asparagus, and ramps?
  This is asparagus pesto on a pizza crust baked with ramps and topped with a fried egg, thyme and a mild chevre.

We also made these.  Avocado, asparagus pesto, cumin, dill, goat cheese deviled eggs.
  I'm unclear as to whether we had started drinking yet at this phase.  They were... interesting...  Make the pizza.  Maybe skip the deviled eggs.

Allium tricoccum, Ramps, Wild Leek
These are ramps by the way.  I extolled the virtues of ramps last year.  They are a wild leek native to the Eastern states.  I may or may not have tried to transplant a few into my back yard.  (Shhhh...)

Wild Leeks, Allium tricoccum, aka Ramps

I just realized that this is basically the same recipe I wrote last year.  Doesn't matter.  This time there's pizza crust and pesto.  I used the asparagus pesto recipe from Food and Wine.

Asparagus Pesto Pizza with Ramps and Eggs
1 batch of pizza dough
1/4-1/2 C Asparagus Pesto
4-5 ramps
1-4 eggs
1 Tbs goat cheese (for sprinkling)
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

Depending on the size of your pizza, you will need differing quantities of the ingredients.  The smallest amount is for a personal size, the largest amount works for a large, four adult size pizza.  Bake your pizza dough according to recipe directions.  I like to do mine at 500 on a pizza stone.  Bake until slightly browned, but not completely finished.  Your crust might puff up in the center like a balloon, that's perfectly fine, just push it down flat when you take it out of the oven.  Remove from oven, and top with pesto and ramps.  Cook a few more minutes until ramps have wilted.  In the mean time, fry your eggs in the butter until they have reached your perfect consistency.  I like sunny side up for this, but hard boiled would probably be great, too.  When ramps have wilted, remove pizza from oven, top with eggs and sprinkle with goat cheese and thyme.  

When I made this at my friend's house, I baked the eggs on top of the pizza.  That worked OK but it was hard for me to tell the eggs doneness so they ended up being over-baked.  It's just as fast and a little easier to run quality control if you fry the egg separately.

If you can't find ramps, or want to try this when their short season is over, you can sub green onions, garlic, or thin slices of leek.

The adults loved it and the kids were happy with their regular old pepperoni.

PS, On a quasi food-related Hawai'i note, we don't have cable so the only time my kids get to see it is when we're on vacation.  My 6-year old's new favorite tv show?  Diner's Drive-Ins and Dives.  "I like that guy.  He's funny.  He looks like he's about to cry all the time."  He also said, "I can feel in my mind what the food would feel like."  So there you go, Guy Fieri's target audience: 6 year old boys on vacation.


  1. Did you know that ramps are indigenous to the Chicago area? I can't remember the chef's name (foodie yes, watch food shows, um, no) but he made spring guacamole with ramps! (I had never heard of them before)
    So, when we visited Kauai 22 years ago we had a torrential downpour that wiped out the main road and we were extremely limited to our choices also....stick with Maui :-)

  2. Ramps grow all over the East and into the South and Midwest. Kauai is one of the wettest places on Earth! We usually stay on the south side so we don't get quite as much rain. Maui is a nice island, but I think my favorite is the big island. PS, was it Rick Bayless?

  3. Wow that looks like a good pizza and I so want to go on vacation. Sorry the welcome home wasn't so nice :( Hope things get better... sounds like mail fraud is getting common, got some tips from the neighbors that we should not put outgoing mail in our box or wait until just before mailman comes or put it in there but don't raise the flag. They also have lock mailboxes if you are worried your incoming mail will get taken. Anyhow... hope you guys are good!

  4. Dude. That SUCKS about the mail and the checks and the surgery and, just. . . all of it. Ugh. I hope you're hanging in there. At least the week is almost over and you can spend the weekend hopefully doing something fun.

    This reminds me of my trip to the Dominican Republic last year. Overall, the food was HORRENDOUS because we were staying at an all-inclusive place. Never again.

    Anyway, your photo of Wimea Canyon is stunning. Was the cream apple any good? What did it taste like? Does it have the texture of litchi fruit? It looks like it does from the picture but I've never heard of it!

    1. The cream apple was pretty good. I tried the peel first, which was a mistake. It was pretty sweet, more like a mango than an apple in texture. I can't say that it tasted like anything I'd had before, really. The "cream" didn't put me off as much as I thought it would. It's hard to see in the picture, but it leaked a white milky substance which reminded me of milk weed sap. But it wasn't bitter and gross like milk weed.


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