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Hale Aina Cookbook: Island Harvest

Throw a great dinner party with six gourmet recipes from Hale Aina Award-winning chefs.


(page 4 of 6)

Herb-Grilled Ono with Glazed Asparagus, Tomato Compote and Salsa Verde

Serves 4  

Merriman’s Kapalua

The flavors of this meal are fresh and unfussy, and every bite complements every other. Grilling adds a light smokiness to the fish. If you haven’t yet experienced the bold, surprising flavors of salsa verde (which is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tomato salsa), here’s your chance.

Locally grown: ono, asparagus, shallots, sugar, salt, cherry tomatoes, lemons, herbs.

Photo by: Ryan Siphers

For the Tomato Compote
 2     large shallots
¼    cup extra-virgin olive oil
3      tablespoons sugar
1 ½ tablespoons salt
¼    cup red wine vinegar
2     pints cherry tomatoes

For the Salsa Verde
1      garlic clove, chopped
½   teaspoon anchovy paste
1     teaspoon lemon zest, chopped
2     tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
1     tablespoon chopped chives
½   tablespoon chopped tarragon
½   tablespoon chopped oregano
1     teaspoon chopped cilantro
¼   cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the Fish
4     6-ounce pieces of ono
2     pounds local asparagus, trimmed of woody parts
¼   cup extra-virgin olive oil


1. Make the tomato compote:

Peel and slice the shallots thinly. Place in a nonreactive sauce pot and add the olive oil, salt and sugar. Cook over low heat, until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Add the red-wine vinegar and tomatoes, and bring to a boil. Continue to boil, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced by half and all of the tomatoes have popped. Set this aside to cool to room temperature.

2. Make the salsa verde:

Mix all of the ingredients together and season with salt and pepper.

Photo by: Ryan Siphers

3. Prep the asparagus:

Blanch asparagus quickly in boiling water until tender. Transfer to an ice-water bath to chill and drain.

4. Grill the fish:

Preheat the grill, and pull the fish out to temper for about 15 minutes. Brush the fish with a bit of salsa verde, and grill to preferred temperature (for ono, an interior temperature of about 140˚F is perfect).

5. Plate it:

In a sauté pan, heat the asparagus in the olive oil until hot, and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the asparagus to plates, and set the fish on top. Add a generous dollop of tomato compote, and spoon some salsa verde around the plate.


TIP: Local lemons, unlike most long-traveling varietites, aren't waxed—so zest away.


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Honolulu Magazine May 2018
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