We love planning ingredient based dinner parties. These dinners require us to flex our creativity and skill in order to weave a single ingredient into a tasty, well balanced meal. In the past, our single ingredient dinners featured mango, strawberry, cherry and apple. Since it’s pineapple season, we created a delicious meal that features this tangy, sweet tropical fruit. We are excited to show you how we partied like a pineapple!
Pineapples are available year-round, but their peak season runs from March through July. Pineapples are low in fat and rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Their sweet and sour flavor works well with both savory and sweet dishes.
There are four varieties of pineapples:
Smooth Cayenne: grown in Hawaii | 4 to 10 lbs | orange rind and yellow flesh | known for juiciness, acidity and sweetness
Red Spanish: grown in Mexico, Puerto Rico and Central America | 3 to 6 lbs | orange-red rind | known for acidity and fragrance
Queen: grown in South Africa and Australia | 1 to 6 lbs | orange-golden rind | known for lower acidity, juiciness and sweetness than Smooth Cayenne
Abacaxi: grown in Brazil | 2 to 11 lbs | golden rind | known for sweetness
We recommend buying the largest, plumpest pineapple in the store. Peak fruit will have a dark colored rind, crisp, dark green leaves and be slightly soft. Avoid pineapples that have dark spots on the skin, which is an indication of overripeness. One medium sized pineapple will yield approximately three cups of pineapple chunks. We recommend investing in a pineapple corer to get fresh, perfectly shaped pineapple rings.
Crafting a menu with a single ingredient can be tricky. Some courses call for the main ingredient to be at the center of the plate, while at other times it plays a supporting role. Pineapple pairs well with other tropical fruits such as banana, mango, orange, raspberry, strawberry. It also goes nicely with basil, caramel, chili pepper, cilantro, cinnamon, coconut, ginger, lime, macadamia, pepper, rosemary and tamarind.
We selected a red and white color palette with pops of green and yellow. We used a fresh pineapple as the table centerpiece. We set the table with chic melamine tableware from Q-Squared.
Each place setting included a red and white appetizer plate, dinner plate and salad bowl. We rounded out the place setting with a crisp, red napkin and a shatterproof, stemless wine glass from Poolside Creations.
We began our meal with sparkling wine and assortment of pineapple appetizers: mini brioche toasts with pineapple salsa, dried pineapple rings, and rosemary pineapple mozzarella bites. It was a unique dining experience to taste pineapple in different preparations: fresh chucks, dried rings and delicious salsa.
Next, we enjoyed a refreshing pineapple spinach salad. This was a nice twist on the traditional strawberry spinach salad.
For the main course, we feasted on grilled lamb chops with a fresh pineapple and mint salsa.
We concluded our meal with a vanilla ice cream with grilled pineapple. When pineapple is grilled, the fruit takes on caramelized notes. If you have not tried this combination yet, we highly recommend it.
We loved incorporating pineapple into a single ingredient dinner party. For more seasonal spring and summer ideas, check out the list of fruit and veggies below.
Asparagus | Carrots | Celery | Chard | Chicory | Cucumbers | Garlic | Green Beans | Peas | Radishes | Tomatoes | Radish | Rhubarb | Watercress
Apricot | Black Cherry | Cherries | Gooseberries | Melons | Pear | Plum | Peach | Nectarine | Raspberries | Strawberries
Broad Beans | Cucumbers | Garlic | Green Beans | Peas | Radishes | Watercress
Bilberries | Blueberries | Cherries | Black, Red and White Currants | Gooseberries | Raspberries | Strawberries
“Be a pineapple: Stand tall, wear a crown, and be sweet on the inside” – Katherine Gaskin