four summer recipes fresh from the garden

Michelle Liu
June 04, 2024

Celebrate the start of summer with local produce and National Fresh Fruit and Vegetables Month! Avocado, mango, taro, and watermelon are all in season in Hawaii. If you make all four of these recipes, you can enjoy a full meal: an appetizer, entree and a side, and dessert!

This isn’t your typical guacamole. The chile crisp elevates this dip and adds a hint of spice. We recommend eating it with tortilla chips.


  • 3 avocados
  • ½ lime, juiced
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup tomatoes, diced
  • ½ cup feta, crumbled
  • 2 Tbsp. chile crisp
  • Tortilla chips

Roughly mash avocados, leaving small chunks. Mix in lime juice and salt. Spread avocado on plate. Top with tomatoes and feta. Drizzle with chile crisp. Serve with tortilla chips.

The mango is the star of this dish! It pairs well with the salmon, which is light and flaky, and has a hint of sweetness from the honey.


Dry rub

  • 1 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • ⅛ tsp. cayenne powder
  • ½ tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • ¼ cup butter, melted
  • 1 Tbsp. honey
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 salmon fillets (about 3 pounds total)

Mango medley

  • 2 mangoes, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
  • ½ to 1 jalapeno, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Lime juice to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

In a small bowl, mix all dry rub ingredients together. In another bowl, mix melted butter with honey and lemon juice.

Coat salmon fillets with dry rub and pour on butter sauce. Let salmon rest for 15 minutes so they can come to room temperature before baking.

Place salmon fillets on baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes.

While salmon is baking, mix mango medley ingredients in a bowl. Refrigerate until serving.

Top salmon with mango medley.

Think of these as Hawaii’s version of pajeon! They’re crunchy and slightly sweet. We enjoyed these with sweet chile sauce, but ketchup would also be a great dip.


  • 1½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cup water
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ cup green onions, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. shoyu
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 medium taro, shredded
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 2 Tbsp. avocado oil
  • Sweet chile sauce

Prepare the batter: In a large bowl, whisk together flour, water, garlic, green onions, shoyu, and sugar until smooth. Mix in shredded taro and carrots.

Heat avocado oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, pour half the batter into the skillet and spread into one giant ½-inch thick pancake. Cook 4-5 minutes on one side or until golden brown. Carefully flip fritter and cook for another 4-5 minutes on other side.

Once golden brown and crispy on both sides, transfer fritter to a plate and repeat with the rest of the batter.

Slice into smaller pieces. Serve immediately with sweet chile sauce.

When I first mentioned watermelon pizza to my taste tester, he was skeptical. But we both enjoyed this refreshing twist on one of our favorite fruits! The coconut yogurt added an extra burst of flavor. Feel free to top with your favorite berries.


  • 1 watermelon
  • 1 cup coconut yogurt
  • ½ cup strawberries, sliced in half
  • ½ cup raspberries
  • ½ cup blueberries
  • ½ cup pomegranates

Use a sharp knife to cut off a slice of watermelon right down the middle, about 2-3 inches thick.

Spread an even layer of yogurt around the watermelon, leaving a bit of empty space around the edges (where the “pizza crust” is).

Layer fresh fruit on top.

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