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There really is nothing more refreshing in the heat of the summer than tropical fruit. A couple of days ago it was mango, today pineapple. The directions for cutting, peeling, and coring a fresh pineapple are at the bottom. But first, you shall find a recipe for a wonderful and seasonally bright salad. To make it more of a main course salad, just add grilled chicken or pork.

Caribbean Salad with Pineapple Vinaigrette

8 slices bacon, chopped
1/4 cup pineapple juice
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 hearts romaine lettuce, chopped
1 cup diced fresh pineapple (directions below)
1/2 cup chopped and toasted macadamia nuts
3 green onions, white and green portions, minced
1/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted

Place chopped bacon in a large skillet.  Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown, stirring often.  Drain and paper towels and set aside.

In a jar with a lid, combine pineapple juice, red wine vinegar, and oil.  Cover and shake well.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

In a large bowl, toss together the lettuce, pineapple, macadamia nuts, green onions, and bacon.  Pour dressing over salad and toss to coat.  Garnish with toasted coconut. Serve immediately.

Serves 8

To cut, peel, and core a fresh pineapple:

Set the pineapple down on its side.

Cut off the leafy crown.

Cut off the bottom of the fruit.

Stand the pineapple up on its base.  Slice the pineapple skin off around the edges from top to bottom. Leave as much of the pineapple flesh intact as possible by following the curved shape of the fruit. Once the majority of the skin is off, go back with a paring knife and remove the brown “eyes” on the sides of the flesh.

Now cut straight down through the center of the pineapple core, cutting the pineapple in half.

Next cut each half in half through the core, creating four equal sections.

Place each quarter section on its side with the core side up. Slice across the section just under the core to remove it.

There, now you have a cleaned-up peeled and cored pineapple ready to dice for the recipe or just slice into wedges and enjoy.

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