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05/15/2012

~ Pineapple, Avocado, Tomato and Onion Salsa!!! ~

PICT0038Seven year ago, uh, seven long years ago, my husband Joe sliced the tops off of three grocery-store-bought pineapples.  He planted them in large pots.  He brought them indoors, into our heated garage, for the Winter, which as they grew was quite a chore.  He pampered and spoiled them outdoors through the Pennsylvania Spring, Summer and Fall seasons.  For seven years, I have complained vehemently about the space these massive, heavy plants take up, not to mention the mess created by the amount of water they require and drainage they produce. Today, with three happy, healthy, homegrown, perfectly-ripe pineapples to harvest and enjoy, I make a sincere apology to my husband:

"You really can grow pineapples in Pennsylvania!"

PICT0003As for the first pineapple, we ate that one, just as it was, and, it was the best pineapple we ever tasted. It might have been the best pineapple we ever tasted because he grew it, but I don't think so.  Like any other vine- or tree-ripened fruit, eating it right after picking, especially if it is from your own backyard (or deck in this case) is a cathartic experience!

As for this second pineapple, today's pineapple, I have decided to share one of my favorite salsa recipes with you.  This salsa is going to be the topping for my next blog post ~ Taco's al Pastor: "Shepherd's-Style" Pork Taco's~, which will be found in Categories 2, 3, 13 or 19. This old and famous Mexican dish, pork marinated in a spicy pineapple-adobe sauce is one you won't want to miss!

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3  cups medium-diced pineapple (1, large pineapple)

1 1/2  cups medium-diced Hass avocado, (2 Hass avocados)

1  1/2  cups medium-diced tomato (how many will depend on the size of the tomatoes)

3/4  cup finely-diced red onion (1/2-1 onion depending on its size)

3/4  cup minced cilantro leaves

1  jalapeno pepper, seeds and rib sections removed, minced (optional)

3  tablespoons fresh lime juice (1 1/2-2 limes)

1  teaspoon fine sea salt

  6a0120a8551282970b01538f6da0b2970b-320wi 6a0120a8551282970b01543340f918970c-120wi~ Step 1.  If you don't have a pineapple slicer, which is a nifty, inexpensive gadget that makes short work of getting a pineapple sliced and cored ($20.00):

Using a large chef's knife, remove the top and bottom from the pineapple.  Slice down the sides to remove the tough skin.  After that, using a paring knife, be sure to remove all of the brown, nubbly spots.  Slice the pineapple into 1/2"-3/4" slices and dice the slices into bite-sized 1/2"-3/4" pieces.  That being said, if you want to buy a whole fresh pineapple at your market that has been pre-peeled and cored, you have my blessing.  Place the diced pineapple in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

PICT0017~ Optional Step.  I love grilled pineapple, and, I love this salsa made with grilled pineapple.  If you do too, grill the pineapple slices on both sides, turning only once, just until grill marks appear, about 2 minutes per side.  Remove from grill and let cool prior to dicing and adding to the salsa.  Proceed with the rest of this recipe as directed.

6a0120a8551282970b0154332f91e4970c-320wi~ Step 2.  A perfectly ripe avocado will be slightly soft, yield to gentle palm pressure and literally, cut like butter.  Slice the avocados in half working your way around the pit. Separate the two halves with a gentle twist.  The pit is cleanly and easily removed by holding the pitted half of the avocado securely in the palm of your hand.  Using a chef's knife, give the pit a somewhat forceful tap with the center of the knife blade.  One gentle twist of the knife and the pit is out.

6a0120a8551282970b014e894fa38b970d-320wiTo quickly cube a pitted avocado, for applications like this salsa: Simply score the soft flesh into desired sized cubes and scoop them out with an ordinary tablespoon.  

Note:  If you are not using your avocado immediately, make sure you brush, squirt and/or toss it with fresh lime juice to delay discoloring (turning grayish-brown) for up to an hour.

Add the cubed avocado pieces to the diced pineapple in the mixing bowl.

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~ Step 3.  Prep the tomato, onion, cilantro and optional jalapeno pepper as directed, placing each in a large mixing bowl as you work. Add the lime juice and sea salt. Give the mixture a quick stir.  While the salsa is technically ready to eat, it is even better if covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated 1-2 hours prior to serving: 

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Pineapple, Avocado, Tomato and Onion Salsa!!!:  Recipe yields 6 cups of salsa.

Special Equipment List:  cutting board; chef's knife; paring knife; pineapple slicer (optional); tablespoon; large spoon; plastic wrap

6a0120a8551282970b014e8960cdd8970d-800wiCook's Note:  For another great salsa made with fresh pineapple, try ~ My Sweet 'n Spicy Summer Tropical Fruit Salsa ~, which can be found in Categories 1, 4, 8, 10, 13 & 14!

6a0120a8551282970b015433345133970c-800wiYou can find my recipe for ~ Holy Guacamole!  It's the First Day of Summer! + (Everything You Need to Know about the Avocado!) ~ in Categories 1, 4, 8, 10, 13, 14 or 15!

"We are all in this food world together." ~ Melanie Preschutti

(Recipe, Commentary and Photos courtesy of Melanie's Kitchen/Copyright 2012)

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