With gorgeous stone fruits and summer-fresh berries flooding the farmer’s markets and grocery store shelves, it’s easy to overlook the wonders of fresh pineapple when it comes to summertime cooking. This fruit tastes of sweet, juicy sunshine, but the prickly fortress it is encased in can be somewhat of a deterrent.
And then there is the guessing game of “is it ripe or not ripe?” There are a few things to look for when purchasing the perfect pineapple. The crown should be bright green. If the leaves are brown and ragged, give it a pass. The rind should be firm, but yield to slight pressure. If the fruit feels hard as a rock, you likely don’t want to eat it.
And lastly, the base of the fruit should smell fragrant, like pineapple. No smell? No purchase. Pineapple doesn’t ripen any further after it’s picked, so look for the best one you can find. Once you get the pineapple home, wash it thoroughly before peeling. There are a few tricks here too (look for them in the recipe below), but if you have a sharp knife, it’s very simple.
Once you’ve liberated the tropical fruit from its rind, there are so many tasty ways to eat it. I’m definitely on Team Pineapple Pizza, especially if thin slices of jalapeño and crumbled chorizo are involved. And, I’ve never met a pineapple upside-down cake I haven’t liked. But the best way to eat pineapple in the summer, in my humble opinion, is when it’s charred on the grill then tossed into fresh and herbaceous salsa.
Sweet and tangy, this salsa is the perfect companion to grilled pork tenderloin, which has a hint of chili powder and honey. Once you make the salsa, I’m sure you’ll find other ways to serve it, but grilled chicken and fish tacos come to mind immediately.