Break Up Hearty Winter Dishes with Pineapple

My recipes get a little heavy over the winter. I make rich sauces, lots of mashed potatoes, and heavily roasted meats to warm up my diners. Luckily, the winter growing season is packed full of bright produce to help us cut through all the richness! Pineapple is one of my favorite items of the season because it can be utilized in both sweet and savory dishes, and it’s an unexpected tropical burst of almost-citrusy juice in an otherwise cold weather palate. Pineapple’s intense, fruity sweetness pairs perfectly with spicy chilies like habaneros, and it also complements earthy herbs like mint, cilantro, and even star anise. The high acid and sugar content of pineapples makes for perfect marinades and tenderizers for meat.

Whether added to a favorite barbeque sauce recipe, or muddled with oil, garlic, onion, and herbs, these fruits transform grilled, roasted, fried, or broiled proteins. Saving half of your marinade and adding extra chopped pineapple to the batch doubles as a bright, fresh sauce to spoon on top. Fresh pineapples are also sturdy enough to hold up in decadent Thai or Indian curries. Similarly, they can be roasted or braised alongside fish and allowed to caramelize deeply until they turn almost jammy. You can also try pickling pineapple for a snappy garnish on tacos. And of course, pineapples are lovely muddled in fresh winter cocktails. Try pairing them with spiced rum or brandy and a spritz of lime juice for an unexpected nightcap.

About the Chef

Stephanie Goldfarb is a Chicago-based chef and national food television personality specializing in seasonal, globally-inspired cuisine. Recognized as the winner of Food Network’s America’s Best Cook competition, and a celebrity chef on Kitchen Inferno and NBC’s Food Fighters, Goldfarb delivers unique and relatable culinary experiences to discriminating and casual diners alike. As the owner of the successful Seven Species Supper Club & Catering, she enjoys the challenge of building brand new menus each month that inspire both repeat clients and newcomers, and seeks opportunities to utilize new ingredients, techniques, and approaches in accessible ways.