Keeping Cool With A Fresh, Fruity Salad
Dustin Roberts was born and raised in Kahaluu, and now enjoys his job as lunch chef at Macy’s Gazebo in Windward Mall.
Dustin is grateful that chef Robert Tom at Job Corps Center in Waimanalo influenced his decision to go to San Francisco Treasure Island Job Corps Center, where he got his culinary arts training. Dustin also studied the fine art of making artisan chocolates under Lionel Clement at Nuubia Chocolat.
Before coming to Gazebo, he was the chef for Kualoa Ranch’s dinner show.
Dustin lives with and helps his grandparents Henry and Violet Roberts, who run a flower farm in Kahaluu. Henry was a police warden at the old jails, and also used to raise prawns in Waikane. He loves to “talk story” about the early days here in Hawaii.
In his free time, Dustin enjoys hiking, watersports, camping and fishing.
This recipe is dedicated to Dustin for his kindness to his family and for his dedication to his culinary career.
The grape is one of the oldest fruits in the world, dating back thousands of years to the earliest civilizations. The exact origin of the grape is not known, but it is believed to be Asia Minor, the Caspian Sea region, or Armenia. Some studies suggest that grapes were cultivated in Western Asia more than 7,000 years ago. Drawings found in Egyptian burial sites indicate that they may have been cultivated as early as 2,375 B.C.
Grapes vary in color from green to greenish yellow, reddish, blue-black and purple. The sweet, fleshy pulp is covered with a skin that has a thin powdery coating called the “bloom.”
Today, the largest grape-producing countries are Italy, France and Spain. Some varieties are seedless. Some common varieties in the United States are Concord, Flame, Ruby and Thompson.
Grapes almost always are treated with chemical substances and must be washed carefully before eating. To prevent the stems from drying out, remove small clusters of grapes with scissors rather than pulling grapes off individually.
Grapes are said to have numerous medicinal properties, such as diuretic, providing energy, good for the digestion and a laxative effect. They also are said to be of help in purifying the system, thanks to their invigorating and cleansing qualities.
SUMMER FRUIT AND RICE SALAD
• 2 cups cooked brown rice, cooled
• 1/2 cup seedless purple grapes, cut into small pieces
• 1/2 cup seedless green grapes, cut into small pieces
• 1 small can mandarin oranges, drained and rinsed
• 1 kiwi, peeled and diced
• 1/2 cup low-fat raspberry vinaigrette dressing
• 2 teaspoons chopped or slivered almonds
• 8 fresh strawberries, washed, stems removed and cut into halves
Put rice in a colander and rinse so rice does not stick together. Add grapes, mandarin oranges and kiwi; toss to combine. Pour dressing gently over all and toss to combine. Sprinkle with nuts just before serving. Garnish with strawberry halves.
Makes four to six servings.
Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.