Summer is quickly fading, and I’m going to miss this year’s seasonal treats! Pineapple was amongst one of our favorites this summer and I have just a dab left now, frozen, for probably one last smoothie or two is all. But as one season ends, another begins! I promised a dear, good friend that I would not start my “pumpkin obsession” until after Labor day, and I am counting the days! But for now, just enjoying the last warm afternoons of bright sunshine, grilling out, the first leaves turning fiery red and brilliant lemon drop yellow, and appreciating each day for what it is. As simple as the pleasure of watching a butterfly suddenly cross your path out of nowhere, same are the simple unexpected pleasures of a beautiful side dish that accompanies so well out of the blue with almost no effort at all, the main entree and pairs and compliments each other like a cool breeze on a hot day. Elegance in simplicity, that’s not only eye-catching, but tastes as refreshing as it looks! The sweet-tart rice paired with my Barbecued Blackberry Ribs perfectly, and was a nice, light side dish that with added grilled chicken, could easily make for a meal in itself! The juicy tart pineapple, delicate crunch of the peas and sweet tender onions folded so nicely into the lightly buttered rice! If you don’t care for peas, pea pods would work well, as would a little sautéed bell pepper and a crunch from added cashews or water chestnuts would be fun, too. But this time, I kept it simple. And it was wonderful just “as is”. So if looking for an easy, delicious side dish to accompany your grilled specialties for this upcoming holiday weekend, you might want to keep this one in mind! Have a great day all!
FRESH PINEAPPLE RICE with SWEET BABY PEAS ‘N ONIONS
1 (6 oz.) can pineapple juice + enough water to equal 2 cups pus 1 Tbl. water
1 cup uncooked white rice
1/2 tsp. salt
2 Tbl. butter, divided
1 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh pineapple, cut into small bite-sized pieces
3/4 cup frozen sweet baby peas, unthawed
In small measuring pitcher, add can of pineapple juice. Add enough water to make 2 cups. Add 1 more Tbl. water. Pour into medium-sized saucepan. Add rice, salt and 1 Tbl. butter. Cover, heat to simmering over high heat, turn down to low and simmer 15-18 minutes until tender. Remove and leave covered. Set aside for 5 minutes.
While rice is cooking, in small frying pan, melt 1 Tbl. butter. Add onion and sauté 5 minutes. Add pineapple and sauté another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in baby peas. Set aside.
When rice is done, gently fold pineapple/pea mixture into rice. Serve hot.