Grilled Pineapple Salad / by lee tilghman

Today I am sharing one of my all time favorite summer recipes, stemming from my childhood. Grilled Pineapple Salad.

I grew up with a father who loved using the grill. Each weekend in the summer, my dad would go to the market to pick up a bunch of fresh vegetables, including peppers, squash, onions, and a big juicy ripe pineapple. Around 3PM he'd head outside to start the outdoor grill, getting it nice and hot.

He'd then cut the pineapple into circles and lay them on the grill. They'd come out 30 minutes later, piping hot, grill marks and all. They tasted like the sweetest, crispiest, smokiest rings of heaven on earth. I'd always load up my plate with tons of rice and pineapple, it was my absolute favorite.

I re-created the same dish from my childhood with a slight greener, more tropical, California twist. I combined the classic grilled pineapple with lightly toasted coconut flakes, juicy farmer's market figs, and freshly trimmed aromatic mint from my herb box. This recipe is incredibly easy and I encourage all of you to play around with your grills one last time before summer leaves us until next year.

Grilled Pineapple Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 package canned Dole Pineapple slices
  • 4-5 fresh figs
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1 green zucchini
  • 1 bunch fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup lightly toasted coconut flakes
  • 1 large heirloom tomato
  • 4 cups savoy spinach

Instructions

  1. Get your grill piping hot. I use my square skillet grill from Le Creuset for indoor grilling. If you are grilling outside, refer to the user manual instructions.  
  2. Place the pineapple directly onto the hot grill for 5 minutes on each side, or until pineapple begins to brown and show grill marks. Remove from grill promptly and set aside.
  3. Slice your zucchini length wise into 4-5 pieces and grill for 4 minutes on each side, then set aside.
  4. Slice your red onion, tomato, figs and avocado.
  5. On a large platter, arrange a layer of spinach. Then, place your pineapples on top. Follow with zucchini, red onion, fig, tomato, and avocado. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, coconut chips, and fresh mint. 
  6. For dressing, I like to mix 2 tbsp of olive oil with 1 tbsp lemon juice, salt, pepper, and a tsp of curry and drizzle on top immediately before serving. 
  7. Enjoy! Grilled pineapple also tastes amazing inside sandwiches, in tacos, and by itself!