This recipe was sort of an accident. Have you ever started thinking about something or doing something and then, the more you thought about or continued to do that thing, the more entrenched you became in the very specifics of that thing? (I sincerely hope I am not the only person who possesses this particular trait…though I would not be at all surprised if I was). Well, that’s what happened with this salsa.
It started out so innocently. I found some lovely fresh pineapple at the market. When I got the pineapple home, I decided that I would eat it with my lunch. Then I decided that I would have some grilled fish for lunch. Then I decided that I would put the pineapple on the grilled fish. Wait, no. I would make a pineapple salsa, because I also had an aging jalapeño on hand that I wanted to use up. Hold on—if I am going to be grilling some fish, why not also grill the pineapple? Grilled pineapple is wonderful. I’ll do that.
I wonder what would happen if I also grilled the jalapeño? And these onions? Hey, look—I just spotted the bread on the counter and, man, doesn’t a sandwich sound great right about now? I know, I’ll grill everything! Fish, pineapple, jalapeño, onions, bread—everything!
And do you know that? I don’t think I have ever benefitted so much from a thought process that was not so much a process as it was a series of linked ideas that, lucky for both you and me, totally worked out. Obviously, this worked out for me because I had a phenomenal lunch that day. It works out for all of you, because now you too can have the same phenomenal lunch that I did, only you’ll have a much better idea of how things are going to turn out. They are going to turn out to be delicious, I promise you.
Last Year: Indian Spiced Smoked Spareribs
Grilled Pineapple and Jalapeño Salsa Recipe
1 or 2 fresh jalapeños (depending on how spicy you want your salsa, though I find that grilling the jalapeños greatly tempers their heat—I used 1 jalapeño, but I wished I had used 2), sliced in half lengthwise, seeds and ribs removed (or, for even more heat, set aside the seeds and add them in later when everything gets mixed in together)
¼ of a red onion, separated into layers
10 ounces fresh pineapple, sliced into long strips
¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
juice of ½ a lime
salt to taste
Heat an outdoor grill or a stovetop grill pan over medium high heat. Lightly oil grates. When grill or grill pan is heated, place onion layers and sliced jalepano on grill. Grill until the onions are soft and sweet and the jalapenos are just starting to turn dark at the edges, about 5 minutes, turning once. Remove from heat and set aside. Place pineapple strips on the grill, and grill until just starting to caramelize, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from heat and set aside. Allow all three ingredients to cool to room temperature.
When cooled, finely dice both onion and jalapeno. Dice pineapple in to ½-inch chunks. Combine in a medium bowl, along with cilantro, lime juice, and salt. Toss everything to combine, and add more lime juice and salt as you see fit.
To make a grilled tuna steak sandwich to accompany your salsa, heat your grill over high heat. Oil the grates. Take 1 large tuna steak and cut it in half horizontally, making two thinner tuna steaks. Season both sides of each steak with salt and pepper. Place tuna steaks on oiled grill and grill until the very middle of each steak is still pink, about 1 minute per side. As you cook your tuna steak, you will see the color change, becoming paler as it moves up the steak. When you grill the first side, you will know to flip the steak over when the pale color has moved about halfway up the steak. After you flip the steak it will only take another 60 seconds or so to finish cooking the steak. The fish will continue to cook a bit after you remove it from the grill.
To assemble a sandwich, place a grilled tuna steak on a piece of grilled or toasted bread. Top with slices of avocado, a large scoop of salsa, then place another piece of grilled or toasted bread on top. Slice in half for easier eating. So delicious.