Ensalada de Aguacate y Piña al Estilo Cubano
Cuba is not a country big on eating vegetables, so this salad is pretty famous as “Cuba’s salad.” However, I have changed a few things to add a little more balanced nutrition than the classic version has. I added some dark, leafy greens and took out the sugar. Since I can live on salads, this recipe is made for 1 serving. Multiply the amounts by how many people you will be feeding, and since it isn’t tossed, make each salad on its own large plate.
The classic dressing for this salad is made with orange juice, olive oil and vinegar. I decided to forego the expected and opt for the Puerto Rican Cilantro Garlic Salsa as dressing because I want to keep the sugar down in this recipe that is already sweet with roasted pineapple. The dressing is enough for 2-4 servings, depending how heavily you pour.
I paired my salad with some ripe figs and a small bowl of Spicy Lentils. Do you know that lentils have the most protein of any legume, and they are also high in soluble fiber so they keep you feeling full. Boil a big pot in 15 minutes and keep them on hand to pair with salads like this one.
1 cup organic iceberg lettuce (enough to fully line the bottom of your plate)
1 cup organic mixed greens (I use Organic Girl Super Greens)
1 half firm avocado, sliced
1/4 cup red onion, chopped or in rings (your preference)
2 slices of 1/2 inch thick pineapple with rind cut from half of a fresh pineapple
salt and pepper (to taste – I don’t use it)
1 cup chopped cilantro
1 tbsp. minced garlic
1 chopped Roma tomato
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1/4 jalapeno pepper
1/4 cup lime juice
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/4 cup good quality Spanish extra virgin olive oil
juice of 1/2 fresh orange (optional)
1. Place the pineapple slices in a dry skillet over medium high heat and cook until lightly browned on the surface. Turn over and cook the other side. In a heated pan, it may take 2 to 3 minutes per side or less, so watch carefully. Remove from heat when pineapple is done.
2. Line the bottom of a plate with organic iceberg lettuce. Place another layer of organic mixed greens on top of the iceberg lettuce.
3. On one side of the plate, arrange the slices of avocado like you are spreading a fan or deck of cards.
4. Cut the rind away from the pineapple. Cut each slice into 4 triangular slices, like little pizza slices. Arrange these on the side of your plate opposite of the avocado.
5. Arrange the red onions in the middle of the plate.
6. Place all the ingredients for the dressing in the blender and blend until liquefied. Pour the dressing into a cup or serving container and then pour as much as you like onto the salad.
7. Add salt and pepper or any other preferred spices if desired. Enjoy! Buen Provecho!
Note: You can also grill the tomato, sweet onion and jalapeno to give the salsa a more complex flavor. Grill it in the same dry skillet. Go ahead!