Fresh salsa is so much tastier than canned varieties that you will wonder why you haven’t been making it all along. You’ll also wonder why you’ve never used a pineapple as a salsa bowl. Fortunately, there is a bit of time to ponder such things while you watch the oven for signs of caramelization on the pineapple slices and blistered skin on all those juicy tomatoes that make up the base of this homemade salsa.
Once the ingredients have cooled, use a blender to pulse them a few times, and then make good use of the hollowed out pineapple by transforming it into a serving bowl. Save the lid as well. Pineapples have a whimsical shape that makes them perfect for a party tablescape. As guests begin to arrive, place the filled and lidded pineapple amid your tablescape. When dinner is served, just pop off the top. Definitely have some tortilla chips on hand, but serve this with pork, beef, fish, or shrimp to perk a dish up with roasted, smoky flavor.
1 whole pineapple
1 ½ pounds ripe tomatoes
1 white onion
1 jalapeño, plus more if desired for extra heat
4 garlic cloves
Fresh cilantro and salt to taste
If you plan to serve this salsa in the pineapple, or you want to make the job of coring and cutting pineapples a whole lot easier, I recommend using a tool designed expressly for this purpose. Many kitchen gadgets are unnecessary, but I find that a cherry pitter and pineapple corer/slicer are good investments even if only used on occasion. I’ve been making good use of mine lately. If you don’t have a corer, you can certainly use a knife to peel, core, and cut the pineapple into rings or thin slices, and the salsa will be just as delicious in any bowl.
Begin by coring and slicing the pineapple. Reserve the hollow shell. Cut the tomatoes in half, and quarter the onions. Halve and seed the jalapeño. Lightly oil a baking sheet, and place the cut fruit and vegetables on the sheet. Brush them lightly with olive oil. Peel the garlic cloves and place them with a drizzle of olive oil and a tiny pinch of salt onto a place of aluminum foil and fold so that you have a packet in which it will roast but not char. Add the packet to the baking sheet.
Roast everything in a 425 degree oven for about 45 minutes, checking occasionally and flipping the ingredients about halfway through. Not only does this ensure that they cook evenly, it allows the tomatoes to release much of their moisture. If some of the ingredients cook more quickly than others, it is fine to remove them from the baking sheet early.
Once the pineapples have caramelized, the tomato skins have blistered, and the jalapeño has a nice char, remove the oven and allow to cool. Place the cooled ingredients with the juice of half a lime in a blender and pulse a few times to combine. Season with salt and chopped cilantro to taste.