By Riki Shore
Although not local to any of the 48 mainland states, pineapple is a great winter fruit. It’s high in manganese, vitamin C and bromelain, an enzyme that aids in digestion.
Pineapple’s sweet-tart flavor is a welcome addition to many dishes: it can be used as a marinade for pork, baked with sugar and vanilla for dessert, or sliced raw for snacking.
When I buy pineapple, I test it for ripeness first by plucking a center leaf from its top, which should come off easily. Then I turn it upside down and sniff the bottom, which should smell sweetly of ripe pineapple.
Once home, I slice off the top and bottom so I have a level cylinder. Standing the fruit on its bottom, I trim off the rough skin all the way around. Then I cut the pineapple in quarters vertically. Still holding the quarters upright, I remove the tough inner core from each quarter. Finally laying the wedges on their sides, I cut each into 1/2-inch chunks.
Cut pineapple keeps for several days, covered, in the fridge. We snack on it and stuff it in lunchboxes and add it to stir-fries. The one pictured above, which I ate for breakfast, came together with some leftover pork carnitas and fresh veggies that I had on hand. If you like spice, add some sriracha or other hot sauce to kick it up.
1/2 yellow onion
1/2 cup sliced pineapple
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a small skillet.
2. Slice the onion thinly and add it to the skillet with the salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until the onion is just starting to brown, about 5 minutes.
3. Add the pineapple and cook, stirring, until it begins to brown, about another 4 – 5 minutes.
4. Add the pork and spinach to the skillet. Cook just long enough to heat the pork and wilt the spinach. Serve with sriracha, guacamole, or pickled red onions on top.