CHILLED AVOCADO AND GINGER SOUPTINI
PINEAPPLE-VERBENA GRANITA Makes 4 servings
Makes 4 servings ½ cup almonds, blanched and lightly toasted 1 cup coconut milk (unsweetened) 3 large English cucumbers 1 large avocado (save the pit) 4 tablespoons pickled ginger, chopped 3 tablespoons rice vinegar 2 cups vegetable stock Dash Tabasco, or chili oil to taste 2 tablespoons lime juice ¼ cup sour cream Chives or green onion for garnish Place almonds in a blender with the coconut milk and pulse until smooth. Using a knife, peel the cucumber down to the seeds. Chop skin and flesh; place in a juicer until liquefied. Strain almond and cucumber mixtures through a strainer and discard solids. Put cucumber juice and almond-coconut milk in the work bowl of a food processor with the avocado and ginger. Pulse to purée. Mixture will be thick. Add vinegar and the rest of the ingredients (except sour cream) and whirl in the food processor till well puréed. Remove mixture from the work bowl and pour into a large serving bowl. Chill in the refrigerator for three hours or overnight. Divide avocado soup among four small martini glasses. Garnish with dabs of sour cream and a sprig of chive.
1 cup water 2/3 cup brown sugar 1 small bunch of verbena leaves or 2 stalks of lemon grass, diced 2/3 cup coconut milk (unsweetened) 4 cups fresh pineapple, peeled and cubed Simmer water, sugar and verbena in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Strain through a colander to remove the verbena. Pour coconut milk through a strainer and place solid portion of the coconut milk with the fresh pineapple in the work bowl of a food processor. Save the coconut liquid for another use. Purée solid coconut milk with the fresh pineapple until smooth. Add the hot sugar syrup to the pineapple purée and pulse until smooth. Transfer the mixture to a shallow metal or plastic dish about 9 by 13 and place in the freezer uncovered for about 4 hours or overnight. Once you remove the granita from the freezer, use a fork to break up or grate the frozen fruit into a smooth mixture and refreeze for 2 hours. To serve, break up the granita with a fork and serve in ice cream cones or wine goblets.
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