Dip into something tropical with this delicious pineapple salsa

This zesty salsa is sure to be the star of the buffet table at any summer barbecue

Pineapple salsa: perfect for barbecues

Pineapple salsa: perfect for barbecues

 

It’s the season for barbecues and social communal meals, often enjoyed in the garden, on a beach or on picnics. Between family celebrations, Communions and the likes, it has been a busy few weeks, with even more to come.

The key to these large get-togethers with family and friends is always delegation. The best thing a host can serve up is a relaxed atmosphere where everyone feels welcome and confident that they’re going to eat some really delicious food. This is only possible when everyone pulls together or when you employ someone else to do the catering.

List making is essential when it comes to planning feasts for a crowd. I always love serving some relaxed platters of starters for people to eat as they mingle. Olives, nuts, hummus and vegetables, or some sort of salsa and tortilla chips. Little tasty morsels of full-on flavour to whet the appetite and get everyone in the mood for the main course.

I love bringing something nice to someone else’s house and while desserts are usually the showstoppers, you do need savoury too. Last year I made watermelon my cooling salsa ingredient of choice, but lately I’m being swayed by the tropical sweetness of pineapple. Similar to mango, it works so well in a lime-spiked salsa with plenty of coriander, and it takes well to a bit of chilli too, so feel free to add finely diced jalapeños or dried chilli flakes as you see fit.

It’s fun to serve the salsa in a pineapple boat for bringing to potluck dinners – and no need to panic about getting your dish back! Simply cut the pineapple in half and scoop out the insides for use in the salsa.

There’s something wonderfully Victorian and flamboyant about pineapples. They still represent the tropical, tastes of foreign lands and exotic adventure. Accompanied by the incredible sharp burst of flavour that you can only get from fresh pineapple, this salsa is sure to be the star of the buffet table. It is great with barbecued chicken or pork, as with pork burgers or chops. I love to serve it with tortilla chips too, or in warm soft flour tacos. It’s really good with grilled fish or barbecued prawns and tuna fish.

This recipe only uses half a pineapple. I usually cut the remainder into chunks and freeze them on a tray then place in a Ziploc bag once frozen. I do the same with mango, avocado and banana. They can be added straight into a smoothie for frozen creaminess and sweetness, balancing out spinach or kale leaves. A smoothie with pineapple, mango, banana, Greek yogurt and spinach is great with a handful of mint leaves. So refreshing and kids love it too.

If you do manage to source an organic pineapple, then why not make tepache from the leftover skin. It’s a delicious Mexican fermented drink made by submerging pineapple skin in brown sugar water. After a few days, remove the skins and bottle the fermented probiotic drink along with some mint leaves. During secondary fermentation it will get bubbly and even more delicious. Serve over ice for a delicious soda alternative during warm weather.

PINEAPPLE SALSA

Serves 4

Ingredients 

1 pineapple

Half a red pepper, diced small

Half a yellow pepper, diced small

1 small red onion, diced small

15g coriander, finely chopped

Juice of 1 lime

Half a tsp finely diced jalapenos (optional)

Sea salt

Method

1 Halve the pineapple straight through the top down to the base.

2 Use a small sharp knife to carve the pineapple flesh out.

3 In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients and stir well. Season with salt to taste.

4 Serve immediately or keep in an airtight container for up to three days.  

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