We have a new dressing to celebrate sustainability and local support. It’s our Roasted Pineapple-Tamarind Vinaigrette, and it is seriously delicious!! For the first time, we’re showing YOU how to make one of our dressings at home! Here’s a little of the story behind our special salad and dressing.
It Started with Maui Sunflowers
The sunflower field in our Central Valley, with its impressively tall stalks and stunning pops of yellow waving in the breeze, captured all kinds of attention a few years back. The land grew sugar cane for decades, and suddenly, here were sunflowers. Why? Learn more about the significance of the field in this sunflower blog from local resource Maui Inspired.
Our co-owner/chef Travis Morrin (who’s also a pro photographer BTW) was drawn to the winter bloom, capturing some gorgeous photos and unforgettable drone footage, which connected us with Pacific Biodiesel and Maiden Hawaii Naturals, who asked to share the visuals.
They harvest those fields several times a year to create Maui Sunflower Oil. Expeller-pressed with no additives or preservatives, the premium culinary oil is made fresh from seeds harvested from the sustainably-farmed sunflowers on the Valley Isle.
“Hawai’i is the most isolated population on the planet, making our food supply extraordinarily vulnerable to supply chain disruptions, natural disasters and other emergencies,” explains Pacific Biodiesel co-founder Kelly King. “It is critical to support our local farmers and local food producers.”
Pacific Biodiesel® is working to expand regenerative farming and renewable fuel operations to increase food security and help Hawai’i achieve a clean energy future. The local company even organized an event to raise money for food security! On Earth Day, the Sunflower Farm Music Fest brought people and musicians together for a fantastic time.
A Sustainably-Sourced Salad
To show our support, we debuted the Maui Sunflower Salad on Earth Day in conjunction with this great event. It features a bounty of local harvest vegetables and fresh ingredients from dedicated suppliers like Kumu Farms (a range of produce), Kahanu ‘Āina Greens (sunflower sprouts) and Maiden Hawai’i Naturals (farmers of the Maui Sunflowers).
“From the launch of Fork & Salad in 2016, we’ve remained committed to our motto of #EatLocalEatHealthy,” explains Chef Travis, who was inspired to craft the new salad and dressing. “Our team still picks up fresh produce at the farms twice a week, and we love aligning with other Hawai’i businesses that truly make supporting local their way of life.”
With spring mix, roasted eggplant, bell pepper, zucchini, cucumber, carrot, sunflower seeds and sprouts, the salad pairs perfectly with a special Roasted Pineapple-Tamarind Vinaigrette, crafted with Maiden Hawai‘i Naturals Maui Sunflower Oil.
This whole endeavor is truly aligned with nature — the salad is only available from Earth Day through the harvest of the Spring 2023 sunflower bloom, likely four to six weeks.
In our video above, Chef Travis shows you how to make our Roasted Pineapple-Tamarind Vinaigrette at home! You’ll find the ingredients and steps on-screen during the video, but here’s the recipe written out as well…
Roasted Pineapple-Tamarind Vinaigrette Recipe
Yield: 1 Quart (approx.)
1 c. (packed) roasted Pineapple Chunks (see instructions below)
1 tbsp raw local sugar
1/2 c. Pineapple Juice
1/4 c. Agave (vegan) Sweetener
12 oz. bottle of Maui Sunflower Oil
1/3 c. Tamarind Paste
Bunch of fresh Mint
1 heaping tbsp. of chopped fresh Ginger
2 tbsp. fresh Red Onion
1/2 c. Rice Wine Vinegar
1 tsp. Yellow Mustard Powder
1 tsp. Salt + Pepper mix (to taste)
- Dice a Maui Gold pineapple into large pieces, toss 1 cup’s worth in local cane sugar & roast in an oven preheated at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, until caramelized.
- Add roasted pineapple with juices, red onion, ginger, tamarind, agave, pineapple juice, rice wine vinegar, yellow mustard powder, salt & pepper to blender.
- Blend for 1 minute, then carefully remove blender lid and stream in Maui Sunflower Oil until fully emulsified (combined with other components). Replace blender lid and turn on high for last 5-10 seconds. Consistency should be slightly thickened and coat the back of a spoon.
- Keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Enjoy and #EatLocalEatHealthy