Look no further than this pineapple salad to jazz up your summer barbecue, paired with salty prosciutto and minty maple vinaigrette – a mouthwatering way that helps you lose weight.
Pineapples have been publicised for their fat-burning properties, they contain the bromelain enzyme thought to split fat – not true I’m afraid. But it does help in digesting protein, has low calories, and is fibre rich to make you feel fuller longer which makes it perfect to incorporate into your weight loss plan.
Can I use tinned pineapples for my pineapple salad?
STOP! Move away from the canned fruit aisle in your supermarket and head to the fruit and veg section instead then pick up a fresh aromatic pineapple.
The best way to tell if a pineapple is fresh is by its smell, it has to have sweet fresh pineapple juice smell, no smell means that is not ripe and a fermented smell means that it is over-ripe.
All joking aside, canned pineapples are just too sweet to use in this salad, we are adding a touch of maple syrup in our vinaigrette and so we don’t really need any added sweetness.
Canned pineapples have been packed in juice and are full of sugar, are high in carbs and have more calories. The canning process also destroys many of the nutrients that can be found in fresh pineapples including a key anti-inflammatory enzyme called bromelain.
How to cut your pineapple
- Lay the pineapple on its side, hold it firmly and cut off the crown and bottom.
- Stand the pineapple up and, slice the prickly skin away, cutting from top to bottom.
- There will be brown circular “eyes” left in the pineapple flesh which are inedible. Use a small paring knife to gouge them out.
- Slice your pineapple in half or quarters and cut out the tough central core and discard.
- Then cut into bite-sized wedges.
How to make this salad
1To grill the prosciutto
Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Place the prosciutto in a single layer on your tray but don’t overcrowd it as they won’t crisp properly (I used two baking trays).
Place in the middle part of your oven and cook for 10-15 minutes until they are crispy (this will depend on the thickness of your prosciutto).
Be careful you don’t burn them and keep in mind that they will get crunchier as they cool.
When they are cooler, place them on kitchen paper to absorb the oil, if they soak up the oil they will be difficult to crumble. When done, crumble your prosciutto into medium pieces.
2Grill your pineapple
Trim your pineapple and cut it into bite-sized wedges.
Preheat your barbecue or char-grill pan to medium heat.
Then grill your pineapple chunks until they become golden brown with a slight char.
For your barbecue, you will need to use the flat plate to do this.
For your char-grill pan, do it in batches and do not overcrowd the pan they will stew and won’t get a nice char.
3Make the mint maple vinaigrette
Wash your mint leaves and pat dry, then place in a small food processor or high-speed blender, add the olive oil, the apple cider vinegar and maple syrup, season with sea salt and cracked black pepper.
Blitz your vinaigrette until well combined we want to break up the mint into tiny pieces then taste and adjust seasonings.
4Make up the salad
Wash the salad leaves under cold running water, remove any damaged or wilted leaves then either pat or spin dry in a salad spinner to remove excess water. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
Add your grilled pineapple and your crumbled prosciutto to your mixing bowl (keep 1-2 tablespoons aside to use as a garnish).
Season with salt and pepper, pour over your vinaigrette then toss until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings according to your taste.
Arrange the salad in a salad bowl, scatter the reserved prosciutto on top to garnish and serve immediately.
Some tips & pointers
- You can cut and grill your pineapple a couple of days in advance and keep in your fridge, just take it out a few hours before making your salad to bring it to room temperature.
- Make the vinaigrette a day before and keep in the fridge, it will not be the same vibrant green colour but it will still taste good.
- Make sure that you cook your prosciutto until golden brown and crisp, then pat with paper towels otherwise it will not crumble but become rubbery.
This pineapple salad pays tribute to the sweet flavour of caramelised pineapple, great with the salty prosciutto, fresh greens and minty maple vinaigrette! It pairs perfectly with BBQ pork chops as well as with ham steaks, kebobs, grilled chicken and seafood such as barbecue prawns.
Some more salad recipes to try:
(Times are an estimate and will depend on your skill level)
- Salad Spinner
- Barbecue or Char Grill Pan
- High Speed Blender or Small Food Processor
- 100 grams mixed lettuce leaves (approximately 3 cups)
- 500 grams pineapple (approximately ½ a medium pineapple)
- 12 slices prosciutto (approximately 200 grams)
- Sea salt & cracked black pepper
- ⅓ cup olive oil (extra virgin)
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- ⅓ cup fresh mint leaves
- 1 tbsps maple syrup
To grill the prosciutto…
- Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F). Line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Place the prosciutto slices in a single layer on your tray but don't overcrowd as they won’t crisp properly, cook for 10-15 minutes until they are crispy
- When done and cool, use kitchen paper to absorb the oil, then crumble into medium pieces.
To grill your pineapple…
- Trim your pineapple and cut it into bite sized wedges.
- Preheat your barbecue or char-grill pan to a medium heat.
- Then grill your pineapple chunks until they become golden brown with a slight char.
- For your barbecue you will need to use the flat plate to do this.
- For your char-grill pan, do it in batches and do not overcrowd the pan they will stew and won’t can get a nice char.
To make the mint maple vinaigrette…
- Wash your mint leaves and pat dry, then place in a small food processor or high-speed blender with the remaining vinaigrette ingredients and blitz until combined.
To make up the salad…
- Wash the salad leaves and either pat or spin dry in a salad spinner to remove excess water. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Add your grilled pineapple and your crumbled prosciutto (keep 1-2 tablespoons aside to use as a garnish).
- Season with salt and pepper, pour over your vinaigrette then toss until well combined.
- Arrange the salad in a salad bowl, scatter the reserved prosciutto on top and serve immediately.