I think my favorite thing about Pineapple Salsa is that it tastes amazing year round. Decent pineapple is pretty easy to find these days, (I get mine at Costco) and even if it’s a little underripe, caramelizing it brings out its natural sugars, and makes it taste fantastic. Even my husband who isn’t a huge fan of pineapple likes it if it’s been caramelized first.
Good tomatoes for a fresh salsa have such a short season that I’ve really gotten into salsas made from anything but tomatoes, (although as a side note, fire roasted canned tomatoes make a pretty good winter salsa). Mango salsa is another winter favorite if you aren’t a pineapple fan either. I love topping all sorts of things with salsa, so having several salsas that are good year round is key.
So what on earth do you do with pineapple salsa, especially if you make the full sized batch below which makes 5 cups! I have a few suggestions after trying to figure out how to use up so much salsa after all my recipe testing. You can use it any way that you would normally use a tomato salsa, (think chips and salsa) but also as a topping for any kind of creamy enchilada, Ancho Chicken Taco Bowls, or these Chipotle Rubbed Shrimp Tacos. It’s also really good as a topping for these Tostones with Cilantro Chimichurri as a replacement for the mango salsa.
I also started using it as a topping of sorts for salads. I have a Latin inspired salad coming your way soon with quinoa, pineapple salsa, jicama, and a coconut lime dressing. And one final thing that I haven’t tried just yet, but I have a feeling it’s going to be great, is to use this pineapple salsa as a replacement for the usual tomato salsa in a Crockpot Salsa Chicken recipe. I’ll let you know how that turns out, but in the meantime, don’t shy away from the crazy amount of salsa because you can totally use it up. And if you’re just not feeling like that much salsa, you can always freeze it in portions for later.
You can caramelize your pineapple 2 different ways, you can either grill it, (which is a little less cleanup) or you can sear it in a cast iron pan. Either way it’s pretty easy, and you’ll find yourself wanting to eat piece after piece of these yummy caramelized cubes.
For the salsa, I like the chop up about 1/2 of the pineapple slices into nice bite sized cubes, and the rest I just chunk up to put in the food processor. This gives you the quickest results because the food processor does most of the work, and then you stir in a little texture with the hand chopped cubes.
- 1 whole pineapple, 3 pounds
- ½ cup red onion, finely chopped, 3 ounces
- ⅓ cup minced cilantro
- 1 small red bell pepper, stemmed and cut into small dice, 6 ounces
- 2 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
- Avocado oil for brushing the pineapple
- Preheat the grill over medium high heat, or if you're cooking inside, heat a cast iron pan over medium heat.
- Cut the top and bottom off the pineapple, and cut away the skin from the sides, you should have around 2 pounds of pineapple remaining, Cut the pineapple into circular slices, ½" thick, leaving the core in.
- If you're grilling the pineapple, lightly brush the sides with a small amount of avocado oil. If you're cooking it in the cast iron pan, add 1-2 teaspoons of oil to the pan. Sear the pineapple slices on the grill or in the cast iron pan, about 2-3 minutes per side, or until caramelized and golden brown.
- While the pineapple is cooking, prepare the rest of the salsa ingredients.
- When all the pineapple is done caramelizing, cut the fruit away from the core. Place half of the fruit into a food processor with the rest of the salsa ingredients. Pulse the salsa together, leaving small chunks of pineapple. Cut up the remaining pineapple into small bite sized chunks and stir them into the salsa for texture.
- Add sea salt to taste if necessary, I didn't add any to mine, but natural salt levels vary with produce and you might find you need a little extra.
- Serve the salsa immediately, or refrigerate for up to 10 days.
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