Whenever I travel, I’m always on the lookout for new recipes to try at home, as travel is such a great resource for food inspiration.
During my latest cruise on Carnival Vista, there was a salad on the Lido Deck that really tickled my tastebuds and made me smile. Yes, I discovered recipe inspiration at the buffet! The Lido Deck on Carnival has taken on much more of a “marketplace” kind of feel, with fresh fruits and salads, while keeping some of our indulgent favorites too.
This simple salad is made up of three main ingredients — grilled pineapple, tart green apples, and shaved fennel — with a bit of sweet red pepper as garnish. It was so easy and fun to recreate at home and the fennel is a refreshing change from using mixed greens as the main veg for a salad.
When I tried it at home, taking a little extra time to grill the pineapple helped caramelize the natural sugars in the fruit, bringing out the sweetness and toning down some of the acidity. Our local grocer sold pineapple already cut with the core hallowed out, making it easier to slice into rings. But if you have a hard time finding fresh pineapple, canned pineapple rings will work too.
Also, fennel has such a refreshing crunch and slightly sweet flavor, I’m surprised I’ve never tried it in a salad before! It’s usually served roasted or grilled, but shaving it thin with a mandolin slicer is a great way to prepare it raw for a salad.
Combine the sweet pineapple with the crisp fennel and tangy green apples — and you’ve got a unique and colorful summer salad!
|Grilled Pineapple & Fennel Salad|| |
- 1 pineapple
- 1 fennel bulb (approx. 2 cups, shaved)
- 2-3 medium sized green apples (approx. 4 cups, sliced)
- 4-5 sweet baby bell peppers, diced
- 1 lemon, juiced
- ½ cup rice wine vinegar
- ½ cup coconut oil blend
- 1 tbsp coconut oil blend (for grilling pineapples)
- 1 tbsp fresh minced ginger
- ¼ cup honey
- Wash and dry all your produce to prep for slicing and dicing.
- Cut the green apples around the core, and then slice into smaller, ¼ inch pieces. Place into a bowl and squeeze the lemon juice over the apples, mixing the apple slices and lemon juice with your hands to make sure they’re thoroughly coated. This prevents the apples from turning brown. Set aside.
- Next, remove the green stems from the fennel bulb. Cut ½ inch slices of the thin leaves at the top to set aside for garnish. Then, using a mandolin slicer or sharp knife, carefully slice the fennel bulb into thin strips.
- For the baby bell peppers, since they’re small, I find the easiest, most efficient way to cut them is to slice off the bottom so you can stand them upright with the stem facing up. Then, slice into strips from the stem down. From there, you can easily dice the strips of baby bell pepper.
- Arrange the green apple and fennel on each serving plate, and sprinkle with baby bell peppers and fennel leaves.
- Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat and add 1 tbsp of coconut oil blend. Slice the pineapple into rings, and then sauté on each side until slightly browned. Remove from heat and let them cool for 5 minutes.
- While the pineapple is cooling, mix together your honey ginger salad dressing. Add the rice wine vinegar, ginger, honey, and coconut oil blend to a bowl and mix together with a whisk. (I like to use a coconut oil blend since it is liquid at room temperature.)
- One little tip about the ginger, you can use a grater to mince fresh ginger, or look for a tube of pre-minced ginger in the produce section of your local grocer to save some prep time.
- Place one or two slices of coconut on each salad plate, drizzle with honey ginger salad dressing, and serve!
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