We’re rolling in greens this month! Unfortunately, it’s not the type of green that’s going to pay for our dreadful Visa bill arriving next week. But it is the type of green that’s full of fiber and vitamins to keep us healthy and heart attack free when we do open up the envelope. We’re talking about having red romaine, green romaine, red oak leaf, green leaf and “everything mesculin” lettuce up to our ears! Growing and investing in $3 worth of mixed lettuce, and mesculin mix seeds feeds us throughout the months of January- April.
Every November, we make a wish and then toss a bunch of seeds over our shoulders (like tossing coins into the Trevi Fountain when we were in Rome) into the ground and pretty much just forget about it for the first few weeks. With the help of our sprinklers, this years plentiful rain and a better behaved white dog who doesn’t dig, our forgotten seeds are now exploding with baby lettuce. We’ve gotta start eating them now to help thin out the lettuce patch, so there’s bound to be lot of lettuce dishes to be posted here in the next few months.
It’s now Vietnamese Spring Roll season! Sitting on our counter is a fresh pineapple screaming out to be juiced, eaten or grilled. Lucky for us it’s still in good condition so today it’s going to be a pineapple pork salad for dinner. But when we’re both in hyper spirits, the kitchen kinda goes crazy beyond one dish. With lots of pork, pineapple and garden fresh lettuce, we started rockin’ and rollin’ with fresh Vietnamese Spring Rolls. When you’ve got so many left over ingredients, why not roll them up into some fresh Vietnamese Spring rolls for another salad course? The salad is so versatile, especially when you decide to roll them up into the spring/salad/summer rolls (call it what-cha want). For a veggie option, just add more pineapple, some cucumbers for crunch, carrots for color and herbs for flavor pleasure and you’ve got a feast of salad – in two ways.
Growing lettuce is a deal we can’t pass up because some knowing the price of some of these fancy lettuce’s, our diverse little harvest probably produces about a hundred dollars worth every year. We’ve even thought about setting out a table and having a lettuce stand to help pay for some of our heating bills this winter. Any buyers? or maybe we could sell some of our Vietnamese Spring Rolls!
Pineapple Salad and/or Vietnamese Spring Rolls Recipe
Yield: Serves 2-4
Total Time: 30 Minutes
This salad is just as tasty with out the pork so it’s perfect for vegetarians! Canned pineapple will work just fine, but if you have access to a fresh pineapple, go for it! Investing in a fresh pineapple adds so much depth of fruity freshness, not to mention plenty of fruit left over for more dishes.
- 1 pound thinly sliced pork chops or pork shoulder (omit for vegetarian version)
- 1 can pineapple rings or 1 fresh pineapple, carved & sliced into thin strips.
- 1/2 cup vegetable or grape seed oil
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 4 Tablespoons fish sauce or soy sauce
- 3 Tablespoons pineapple juice w/ about 2 1″ inch pineapple cubes crushed in juice
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- 1 teaspoon grated or crushed ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- shredded carrots
- rice paper sheets for springrolls
Pineapple dressing/dip Ingredients
- 1 clove crushed garlic
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons grape seed oil
- 4 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon chili flakes
- 4 table spoons pineapple juice
- 2 tablespoons minced pineapple
- Marinade: In bowl or plastic bag, mix sugar, fish/soy sauce, pineapple juice & crushed pineapple cubes, garlic , ginger and salt. Add pork, let marinade for about 20 minutes. For vegetarian version, us this same mixture to marinade pineapple slices for about 20 minutes.
- Make dressingdip. In blender, add garlic, water, grape seed oil, soy sauce, sugar, chili flakes, pineapple juice and minced pineapple. Blend well.
- Wash lettuce, herbs, slice cucumbers & carrots.
- In hot pan, cook pork on each side for about 1 minute or until cooked. For pineapple, quickly sear each side of pineapple slices for about 30 seconds, or until light brown crust appears. Remove from heat, let cool.
- For salad, assemble lettuce , pork, pineapple chunks and toss with dressing.
- For fresh springrolls, assemble lettuce, pork, pineapple strips, cucumbers, mint and/or carrots on rice paper for rolling. Click here: SpringRolling 101 for rolling instructions.
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More appetizers that you might enjoy:
- Thomas Kellers Cornets
- Crispy, curry crusted tofu and basil fresh springrolls
- Salmon and sweet corn cakes
- Roasted klondike rose potatoes with herb goat cheese, thyme
- Vietnamese stuffed squid
- Asian nachos with pork and/or wonton chips/prawn crackers
- Parmesan poppy seed crackers
- Baked walla walla sweet onion dip
- Panko crusted shrimp lollipops
- Zucchini blossoms stuffed with pork
- Purple kohrabi chips
- Tofu frites, fries and mojo’s
- Vietnamese Spring Rolls – Pineapple and pork fresh springrolls
- Roasted nuts with parmesan, black pepper, sea salt
- Vietnamese beef wrapped in wild betal leaves – Bo La Lot
- Turkey and bacon fried springroll
- Vietnamese green mangoes and chili salt dip