Sunday, April 29, 2012

Pineapple fried rice, plus things in dirt

When I asked 101cookbooks what to do with the mizuna we got at the farmer's market today, I was surprised when this was what came up. But quite coincidentally there was a pineapple ready and waiting, because Lester found out that you can plant the pineapple top and it will grow another pineapple! Thus, pineapple fried rice for dinner. Add more or different veggies as you see fit—I would have added some thinly sliced carrot and some bite-sized chunks of green beans if they hadn't been a bit too far past their prime. The mizuna works well, with slightly earthy and bitter flavors to complement the tangy and sweet pineapple.

But before dinner, gardening time! We dug up a new, sunnier plot in the front yard and planted some starts from Spiral Gardens and the farmer's market folks. Pictured are Israeli cucumber, jalapeno, padron pepper, black brandywine tomato, tomatillo, and Rosalie's Early Orange tomato. Not pictured but also planted today: watercress by the drain spout, boysenberry behind the lemon tree, and an old-school herb called salad burnet next to the other flowering shrubs. Expect to see these guys popping up in recipes later in the summer.

1 c cashews
1/2 c coconut flakes
1/2 pineapple, cut into 1-cm slices
3 T soy sauce
1.5 T sriracha
1/2 T lime juice
2 T canola (or nuttier) oil
1 red onion, diced
2 eggs
6 cloves garlic, minced
volume of minced ginger equal to that of the garlic
1 green bell pepper, diced
2/3 c frozen peas
4 c cooked brown rice, at least a few hours old
1 bunch purple mizuna, leaves coarsely chopped
more soy sauce, hot sauce, and lime to taste

Heat a large cast-iron pan over medium-high (without oil). Toast the cashews and coconut without letting them burn, then transfer to a bowl and set aside. Add the pineapple slices to the pan and cook on both sides until grilled-looking, then transfer to a cutting board and chop into bite-sized chunks. Mix together the soy sauce, sriracha, and lime juice to make a sauce.

Add the oil and onion to the hot pan and saute for a couple minutes. Crack in the eggs and stir to scramble. Whenever things stick to the pan, from now until the end, add a splash of sauce (or a splash of water or oil if you run out of sauce). Add the garlic and ginger and saute for a couple minutes, then add the pepper and peas and saute for a couple more minutes. Add the rice and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom periodically. Turn off the heat and stir in the cashews+coconut, pineapple chunks, and mizuna. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.

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