A Sweet And Savory Salad

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - February 24, 2010
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Ocean House operations manager David Nagaishi

The Outrigger Reef on the Beach is home to one of my favorite restaurants, Ocean House.

David Nagaishi, operations manager for the restaurant, was born and raised on Oahu, and is a graduate of Kaimuki High School. He has been in the business nearly 30 years, with eight at Ocean House. It is evident he knows what he’s doing, and he does it well.

Ocean House restaurant’s beachfront location is absolutely breathtaking, even for kamaaina who are spoiled by beautiful weather and views. At breakfast, the sunrise view is dazzling, and equally spectacular is the sunset view for a romantic dinner.

Open daily from 7 to 11 a.m. for breakfast, “Sunrise Specialties” range from savory blue crab cake Benedict to sweet Belgian waffles and wild berry parfait. Dinner is served nightly from 5 to 10, with mouth-watering items such as coconut lobster skewers, Maui onion and tomato salad, pulehu prime rib, Parmesan-crusted opah and a delicate bouillabaisse loaded with seafood - to mention only a sample of the menu. All dishes are made with the highest-quality products, and the restaurant uses local ingredients when possible.


For reservations, call 923-2277. An online menu is available at http://www.ocean-housewaikiki.com.

I would like to thank chef Nick Sayada, who has graciously given me this Ocean House recipe to share with MidWeek readers.

CARAMELIZED PEARS AND ARUGULA SALAD WITH CANDIED WALNUTS AND PARMESAN SHAVINGS

* 2 firm Bosc pears, cored and cut into six slices each
* 2 tablespoons sweet butter
* 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
* 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
* 6 ounces washed and dried baby arugula
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* kosher salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
* 1/2 cup Parmesan Reggiano shavings
* 1/2 cup candied walnuts (recipe follows)

Place butter, sugar and vinegar in large sauté pan and over medium-high heat bring to a boil, stirring to combine. Add pear slices and cook on both sides for about four minutes or until sides caramelize.

Place three slices on each plate. In a large bowl, lightly toss arugula with lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on top of pears and scatter with Parmesan shavings. Place candied walnuts around the salad and serve.

Makes four servings.

For Candied Walnuts:

* 1 cup water
* 1 cup walnuts
* 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
* 2 tablespoons sugar
* dash of kosher salt and pepper Preheat oven to 325 degrees.


In medium saucepan, bring water to a boil. Remove from heat, add the walnuts and mix. Soak for two minutes. Drain and dry in a towel. In medium bowl, mix syrup, sugar, salt and pepper. Add walnuts and toss to coat. Line a baking sheet with nonstick baking paper or coat with cooking spray. Arrange walnuts on sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until caramelized. Remove from oven and cool.

Walnuts can be stored in an airtight container for up to 10 days.

(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.)

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