This salad was one I made with ingredients I had on-hand. I had two ripening pineapples, and didn't think I could handle eating plain pineapple for days in a row. Thus I wanted to find it an accompaniment for it. I think the bell pepper worked nicely, especially since this salad was better the next day when all the flavors had settled together and the bell pepper was still crisp. It reminds me of a mango salad a friend fixed in Ghana, combining sweet, tangey fruit with mellow yogurt and a little spicey heat. I'm not sure I'll be fixing this anytime soon, but it was a good.

1 pineapple
1 green (or red) bell pepper
1 Tablespoon white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
pinch of cayenne (optional)
1 Tablespoon plain yogurt
1/2 Tablespoon soy mayonnaise
3 Tablespoons coconut milk
juice of half a lemon
  1. Cut pineapple and bell pepper into 1-inch chunks. Sprinkle with sugar, salt, and pepper.

  2. In a seperate bowl, mix yogurt, soy mayo, & cayenne. Add to the pineapple and mix well.

Note on cutting a pineapple: I learned how to cut a pineapple from sellers in Ghana. Pineapple sellers are usually women who walk around with large stacks of pineapples balanced on their heads. When a customer purchases a fruit, they unload the large metal plate of pineapples, and use a machete to peel and cut the fruit into bite-size pieces that fall into a strategically held plastic bag. Stick a toothpick in the bag and you're ready to eat, all in under five minutes.

I don't have a machete (good thing, the phrase "wielding a machete" comes to mind and I do not feel quite up to the task), however, I do cut my pineapples in same manner:

  1. hold the pineapple at the base of the leaves (carefully, they can be prickly)

  2. remove the bottom by cutting straight across

  3. peel the body by cutting straight down from top to bottom, all the way around
  4. make vertical slits from top to bottom, cutting through the pineapple. the fruit will still be attached to the stem at the top where the leaves are but will dangle at the bottom

  5. now start at the bottom and cut horizontally across the pineapple, making cubes.

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