Hawaiian-style sweet-and-sour roasted pineapple with bell peppers (4 servings)

pineapple.jpg

I saw this recipe in the May-June issue of Vegetarian Times and knew right away that I had to make it, despite the clunky title.  This was dinner tonight, served over jasmine rice.  The peppers and onions are just popping up for harvest, and while I cringe a bit to think of how far the pineapple travelled to get to my plate, I have to admit it was damn good. Damn good, kids.  This sweet/smoky/tangy combination typified a sticky summer night for me.  This dish was easy to make and contains very little fat.

You will need:

  • 1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into cubes
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, julienned
  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and cut into thin slices (I actually used just half an onion)
  • 1 Tbsp dark sesame oil
  • 1 Tbsp dark brown sugar
  • ~1/2 Tbsp freshly grated ginger (opt.)
  • salt and pepper
  • rice, couscous, quinoa, or whatever else you want to serve it over

Steps:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Prep and cut the pineapple and veggies if you haven't done so already.
  2. Spread out the pineapple, pepper, and onion in an ungreased 13x9 glass baking dish.  Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with sugar, ginger (if using), and a dash of salt and black pepper.  Toss (with a big spoon or your hands) to coat.
  3. Roast the mixture for 30-45 minutes, stirring once or twice during roasting time.  The pineapple and veggies should be lightly browned when done.  Serve over rice or another grain, if desired.

The original recipe suggests sprinkling the mixture with coconut flakes and lime juice once it's finished roasting, but I skipped that step.  (Bryan doesn't like coconut and I didn't have a lime.)  I guess mine was less Hawaiian than the original, but I certainly don't think the flavor suffered because of it.  My favorite part was definitely the pineapple, which caramelized on the outer edges and absorbed the smoky sweetness of the sesame oil.  Next time, I would slice the onion and pepper more thinly and/or roast the mixture for closer to an hour, simply because I wanted the end product crisper than it turned out.  I think you could add black beans to the rice for a heartier main dish, but the way I made it tonight was perfect since we weren't too hungry.  I'll definitely make this one again this summer!

Speaking of seasons, I just found a June-November produce guide for Pennsylvania.  (It also confirms my suspicions that the cantaloupes I saw at market today can't be local just yet...)