A Pineapple Salsa Recipe, and How To Prepare Fresh Pineapple

Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple is one of my favorite fruits.  Generally speaking, I love fruit, so this may come as no surprise.  Pineapples long fascinated me with the way the turned up in weird places: the pediments of houses, carved into furniture, ceramic figurine.  I learned, when I took a course in American Architecture several years ago, that the pineapple began as a symbol of hospitality in the 17th and 18th centuries. No wonder I kept noticing it turning up in such odd places.  Europeans discovered them on Columbus’s second expedition to the New World.  The fruit itself had migrated all over the Americas as indigenous populations moved around.  So, the pineapple became a very popular fruit for sailors to bring home from overseas trips.  It’s chock full of vitamin C, so they ate it to ward off scurvy.  Often, men returning home from sea would leave a pineapple outside their front door to let everyone know they were home (life was harder without Twitter).  Many people would be gifted with the rare fruits.  But how bewildered might you be if you were presented with this?

How To Prepare Fresh Pineapple 1

Well, that’s where I’m here to help you.  Preparing a pineapple is actually pretty easy, as long as you have a sharp knife.  And, the flavor of a fresh pineapple – it’s amazing.  I’m not about to knock canned pineapple, because I almost always have some around.  But, fresh pineapple is healthful and inexpensive for the amount of fruit you get.

How to Prepare a Fresh Pineapple 1

Take the pineapple, and cut the top off.  Then slice off the bottom.  You now have a fruit that is stable.  Set it on end, and slice the peel off the pineapple.  When all the peel is sliced off, inspect the fruit and pick out any remaining dark eyes with the tip of your knife.

How to Prepare a Fresh Pineapple 2

You will then have a cylinder of pineapple.  Lay it on its side and slice it into round 1/2″ thick.  Then, with a sharp paring knife, cut the hard core out of each slice.  You will be left with pineapple rings!  You could eat these as is, grill them, cube them, cook them down into sauce.

However, we’re going to turn some of this fresh pineapple into pineapple salsa.  I grilled spicy pork tenderloin for tacos (recipe forthcoming!), and topped it with this pineapple salsa and fresh guacamole.  Amazing!  The pineapple salsa is sweet and spicy, with succulent pieces of fruit that tame the wild heat of a spicy marinade.  It’s simple to make, and it can be made ahead of your main course.  I made mine earlier in the day, but it could be made the day ahead.  We polished this batch off the following day with the leftover pork and it was still delicious.  In addition to the usual fruits and veggies in this salsa, I dress it with honey and lime juice whisked together.  This prevents the fruit from drying out, and it makes the flavor a little more complex and fruity.  It’s also best to use a knife to chop the salsa components, to keep the pineapple cubes intact.

Fresh Pineapple Salsa

  • 1 C pineapple, in small dice
  • 1/2 C red onion, in small dice
  • 2 jalapenos, seeded, deveined, and minced
  • 1 T cilantro, chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 T honey
  • juice of 1 lime

In a medium bowl, combine the pineapple, red onion, jalapenos and cilantro.  Stir well to mix homogenously, and season with salt, pepper, and the ancho chili powder.  In a small bowl, whisk together the honey and the lime juice.  Pour the honey-lime mixture over the salsa and toss well to combine.  Chill until ready to serve, then toss again before serving.

Makes 1 1/2 C of salsa.

Pineapple on Foodista

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50 thoughts on “A Pineapple Salsa Recipe, and How To Prepare Fresh Pineapple

  1. I love the astringency of pineapple in a fruit salsa, especially when served with meaty fare.

    Do you think you’d always add the honey?

    • Yes, I love the tang of fruits in salads and salsas. I am not sure about the honey – I think I would unless the pineapple were particularly syrupy or sweet. It didn’t add too much sweetness, but I used a mild flavored clover honey. I definitely wouldn’t go for anything stronger than that.

  2. Pineapple salsa is the tip of the iceberg. (So cliche, I know.)

    Pineapple vinegar is the next step in the chain of progression. Most recipes do a ratio of 1:1:2 (pineapple to vinegar to sugar). The one I’m most familiar with is Daisy Martinez’s which you can view here. Daisy’s recipe doubles the amount of pineapple, substitutes spices in place of the sugar and uses a fraction of cider vinegar.

    Use as you would for salsa. Also good in salad dressings or in ceviche.

    • I am so glad you sent me this. I am looking forward to my next pineapple so I can try this recipe out! And then, to start developing my own. Daisy’s recipe certainly looks flavorful – I love the addition of the habeneros.

  3. Trimming the pineapple fruit can be a real challenge. Thanks for the explaining the procedure. Its true that , pineapple is a royal fruit in many countries. I love it , ‘cos it helps in reducing my body fat:)
    Salsa looks so delicious. will try it soon.

    • Thank you! It was really perfectly ripe. I was so happy with it – I was afraid it might be underripe. You never know with thick-skinned fruits. Just when you think you’re safe, one disappoints. But not this one!

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