Nothing says summer like the heady scent of sweet ripe pineapple wafting above the isles of the Queen Victoria Market. The golden fruit is piled high, fitting together like a beautiful hexagonal puzzle just waiting to be picked and made into something with a tropical bent.
Originating from South America, the pineapple found its lifelong soulmate in rum when the fruit was kept aboard sailing ships to keep scurvy at bay and sailors would wash it down with a welcome ‘pony’ of rum. Eventually it travelled to the Caribbean and beyond where it danced its way into Latin American and Asian cuisines and embraced fiery chillies, lime juice, red onion, mint and coriander in tropical salsas and salads for our culinary pleasure.
Pineapple also loves pork and the two go together like peanut butter and beetroot sandwiches – a little bit salty, a little bit sweet – but it works, trust me.
In this salsa recipe, the pineapple soaks up the rum. The brown sugar and butter caramalizes and crisps up the edges for a sweet chewy hit which is balanced by the heat of the chilli and the tartness of the red onion. If you’re not fond of pork, this salsa goes equally well with fish added to fish tacos and as a side to jerk chicken. Omit the herbs and chilli and you could also use the spiked pineapple as a topping for pavlova, trifle or as a cake filling.
Spiked Pineapple Salsa with BBQ Pork
8 small pork loin fillets
2 tblsp butter
2 tblsp brown sugar
4 tblsp spiced rum
1 whole fresh pineapple, chopped
1 red birdseye chilli
½ red onion finely chopped
10 mint leaves shredded
1 tblsp fresh coriander
1 lime juiced + lime zest
- Slice away skin of pineapple then cut into small chunks and set aside.
- Add butter, brown sugar and rum to small frypan then add pineapple once the butter has melted and sugar dissolved.
- Fry the pineapple, turning over every minute or so until the edges start to caramalise and brown, approximately 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Add coriander, mint, chilli, onion, lime juice and zest to pineapple
- Cook pork loins on the barbeque then top with pineapple salsa and serve.