On Saturday, I bought my first fresh pineapple ever. I really felt like a COOK with that thing in my basket! Well, I wanted to do more than just munch on it (although that would be nice, too), but i also didn't want to waste my lovely pineapple on a big recipe that might not pan out well. I found a delicious and perfect compromise in this recipe from www.epicurious.com I HAD to share because this lovely little recipe from 1998 only had 3 reviews over there, including mine!
The combination sounds odd, but it's great. The flavors are best if you let the dish sit in the fridge (or not, if you want to eat it closer to room temperature) for a while before eating. Don't you DARE use dried basil, and be careful -- the tartness 'burned' my tongue!
PINEAPPLE WITH BASIL
This recipe can be prepared in 45 minutes or less.
1/2 ripe pineapple (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, or to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
Garnish: fresh basil sprigs
Peel and core pineapple. Cut pineapple decoratively into bite-size pieces. In a large bowl gently toss pineapple with sugar, lemon juice, and chopped basil. Serve pineapple garnished with basil sprigs. each serving about 61 calories and 1.5 grams fat
I'm bumping this because it turned up in my recent search for basil recipes. I was looking for ways to use some basil (the only thing that really did well in my garden this year -- along with the mint). I was planning on making it as written, but while cutting some watermelon for the kids, I decided to use watermelon balls, pinapple chunks, basil and a little mint. I also used lime juice since it was handy, but I don't think that made much difference. DH and I loved it. So much so that we used some of the remaining pineapple to make a variation on the following salad for dinner tonight. We used boiled shrimp in place of the lobster, a jalapeno since we had one from the garden (seeded it it since it smelled potent), used about half the amount of oil and used olive oil, and added some blanched snow peas cuz I felt like it. It was so good and so pretty!
LOBSTER AND PINEAPPLE SALAD WITH BASIL AND MINT
It's best to serve this lobster salad right after you make it, rather than preparing it in advance. If the salad stands for more than half an hour, pineapple enzymes will alter the texture of the lobster meat.
Active time: 30 min Start to finish: 30 min
2 (1 1/4-lb) live lobsters (we used about 3/4 lb shrimp for 2 servings, boiled them then shelled and cooled them)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 firm-ripe baby pineapples with leaves, halved lengthwise (we used regular fresh pineapple -- about 1/2 cup for 2 servings)
1/4 cup peanut or vegetable oil (can easily be reduced by half)
1 garlic clove, smashed
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon Asian fish sauce
1 tablespoon sugar
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 teaspoon minced fresh serrano chile, including seeds (we used a jalapeno out of the garden -- one of our very few)
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
Special equipment: a serrated grapefruit knife
Plunge lobsters headfirst into an 8-quart pot of boiling salted water. Loosely cover pot and cook lobsters over moderately high heat 9 minutes from the time they enter water, then transfer with tongs to sink to cool.
Remove meat from claws, joints, and tails. Discard (or save for another use) tomalley, any roe, and shells. Cut meat into 1/2-inch pieces and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
While lobsters are cooling, cut pulp in 1 or 2 large pieces out of each pineapple half with grapefruit knife, then discard core and cut pulp into 1/2-inch pieces. Scrape juice and any remaining pulp from pineapple shells with a spoon (to form 1/4-inch-thick shells) into a fine sieve set over a bowl and drain until you have 2 to 3 tablespoons juice, about 2 minutes. Discard solids.
Cook oil and garlic in a small saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring, until garlic is golden, 2 to 3 minutes, then discard garlic. Add garlic oil to pineapple juice along with lime juice, fish sauce, and sugar, whisking until sugar is dissolved. Add shallot, bell pepper, pineapple pieces, chile, and herbs. Toss lobster with pineapple mixture and serve mounded in pineapple shells.
• If you can't find baby pineapples, you can substitute 1 cup pineapple pieces from a firm-ripe regular pineapple.
Makes 4 servings.
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