Salted Pineapple and Basil Salad
The hot weather may have departed but good fruity salads are still on the menu, aren’t they?
The real star of the show here is the pineapple tossed in salt and left to chill with basil. I added in cucumber and blueberries to make it more of a lunch. It worked out so well that I decided to take photos and post it as salad. But you could easily turn this into a purely sweet dish by leaving out the cucumber and blueberries. I know that blueberries are sweet – but it somehow tastes sweeter with just the pineapple.
The salt doesn’t disguise the sweetness of the pineapple it heightens it. I just love it. What it won’t do though is neutralise the bromelain. Bromelain is the stuff in pineapples that can be used to tenderise meat – or strip your tongue raw. And to me it seems like there is no way of knowing which pineapple is going to contain more or less of the stuff.
The first time I salted raw pineapple chunks it was because I believed that it would stop it from burning my tongue. It didn’t burn my tongue and it tasted great. But I’ve since learned that actually this was just a coincidence. Most of the bromelain is in the core/stem/centre-fibrous-bit so you can cut that out to reduce the problem.
I’ve also found that if I’ve left the pineapple to ripe in a window where it gets a good dose of direct sunlight this seems to help. But this might be a pure coincidence once again.
The dressing for this salad is the basil infused salted pineapple and cucumber juices that collect in the container while you leave this to chill for a couple of hours.
Which brings me to something I’ve meant to say for years on twimii – the best dressings fruit salads are fruit juices. OK carbonated drinks like 7up or ginger ale or cava or whatever can be very good too. But generally the most gorgeous, most simple and most healthy dressing for a fruit salad is simply some complementary fruit juice.
I actually took photos of fruit salads years ago to make this point – and then totally forgot to actually post it. Ah, the human brain! What a marvel…
But back to this bowl of pineapple yumminess.
- 1 ripe pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into chunks
- 1 cucumber, sliced into small chunks
- 125g blueberries
- 15 - 20 fresh basil leaves, torn or shredded
- 1/2 teaspoon best quality salt, finely grounded
- Toss the pineapple chunks in the salt and then combine with the rest of the ingredients. Leave to chill in the fridge for an hour or more before serving.