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One of the goals of HCEF programming is providing students with new tastes and culinary experiences. Kingsburg Orchards (Calif.) and Armstrong Produce presented an HCEF Stone Fruit program for 65 Leeward Community College students and their instructors.
Chef San Shoppell, chef-owner of Destination Chef, demonstrated fresh and flavorful recipes using pluots and local produce. Chef San, a recent honors graduate of the Kapi’olani Community College’s Culinary Institute of the Pacific with both Culinary and Pastry Arts Degrees, led the 2009 ACF Student Team to the National Championship.
Bill Slattery, a Kingsburg Orchards produce veteran, provided background on the stone fruits produced in the San Joaquim Valley by five generations of family farmers. For more information and recipes visit Kingsburg Orchards.
The students participated in tastings of pluots, plums, apple pears, and peaches.
Grilled Stone Fruit and Tomato Salad
Chef San Shoppell, CC and CPC
Start to Finish Time: 20 minutes
4 Pluots – cut into wedges (about 1 ½ cups)
1 pint Cherry Tomatoes – cut in half
1 medium Sweet Onion – thinly sliced
1 cup Purslane Leaves
16 Fresh Mint Leaves – chiffinade
½ cup Feta Cheese crumbles
2-3 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinaigrette (recipe noted below)
Salt – to taste
Fresh Ground Black Pepper – to taste
(Note: Purslane can be replaced with arugla.)
Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Yield: ¼ cup
Start to Finish: 5 minutes
2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar (1 oz)
7 Tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (3.5 oz)
1 teaspoon Agave Syrup (or honey)
Salt and White Pepper To Taste
Short cut: shake all ingredients in a tightly covered jar
Here is what the students had to say about the program:
Yes, I liked learning about where our food comes from
I had a chance to taste new foods, the program inspired me
Yes, I learned about stonefruit and farm fresh fruits and their importance in the culinary world.
I learned about stone fruit varieties