I came home from a TV shoot last week armed with a box of the most incredible pineapples. The client required a specific Costa Rican pineapple, but since Cayenne and Queen pineapples are the only varieties grown in South Africa, I scoured Cape Town to find the biggest and greenest Cayennes on offer which was the closest I could get to matching the brief. As it turned out they had shipped a few cases of the said Costa Ricans which fortunately arrived in the nick of time on set.
When I have a lot of excess produce around, I like to develop recipes.
So over the last few days I’ve whipped up frozen pineapple daiquiri’s, made loads of pineapple juice and I assembled this salad of pineapple carpaccio with a spicy ginger, mint, lime and chilli dressing. It was delectable. I have a few other pineapple recipes up my sleeves so watch this space.
The inspiration for this dish came from Gordon Ramsay who just happened to make it on an episode of ‘Ultimate Home Cooking‘ which I watched last week. His version was served with a vanilla infused salt which I think sounds amazing, but I wanted a little more.
I adapted my favourite dressing for a fruit salad, adding chilli to the infusion to give it a kick. Pineapple and chilli go so very well together. I garnished it with finely shredded fresh mint, pomegranate seeds and a smattering of Maldon salt flakes. The salt really does add value here (thanks Gordon).
- I medium pineapple, very thinly sliced
- 50ml water
- 20g sugar
- 1/2 red chilli, sliced
- small bunch of mint
- 5cm piece of ginger, peeled and sliced
- juice from half a lime
- 6 - 8 mint leaves very finely shredded
- 1/4 cup of pomegranate seeds
- pinch or two of sea salt flakes
- Make the dressing in advance.
- bring the water, sugar and chilli to the boil in a small pit and cook it for about 5 minutes until it starts to thicken into a syrup. Remove the chill.
- Pour the hot sauce over the ginger, mint and lime juice and allow it to cool. Strain and store in the fridge until required. Over night is good.
- Finely slice the pineapple as thin as you can and arrange the pieces fanned out on a platter.
- Drizzle the dressing evenly over the pineapple and scatter the mint and pomegranate to garnish.
- Sprinkle the salt - optional
The prep time does not factor in the time the dressing takes to chill
I look forward to connecting with you again in the future.
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