Exactly one year ago, I was exactly 13 days away from getting married. Which means I was probably about 7 days away from a 6-day stretch of sleepless nights, last-minute anxiety about silly, arbitrary things that I’ll never care about again like place-cards and the perfect pair of spanx, and exactly 14 days away from waking up in awe after the absolute best day of my life. My cup ran over like crazy that day, and it spilled over into the next 12 as my newly minted husband (husband!) and I traveled to Hawaii and soaked up all of the sun, sand, and culture our bursting hearts desired.
Looking back a year later, its hard to put the sheer bliss of it all into words. It’s at once humbling and magical to have all of your favorite people stop their lives for a day in order to celebrate you – just you, and the fact that you found your favorite person of all. By the time we arrived in Hawaii, we were both coasting on cloud 9, exhausted, and deliriously happy. The first time I stepped out into the Hawaiian sunshine, smelled the air, and took in the lush mountains, I almost burst out laughing. It was too beautiful, too colorful, too everything. I was in love with this place, and this guy next to me, and I couldn’t have imagined anything sweeter.
Every day in Hawaii was an adventure – even if that adventure was simply finding a new beach to laze on, or a new, tropical cocktail that tasted infinitely better by simply being sipped slowly in the sunshine (…at 10am). We paddle-boarded with sea turtles, hiked rainforests, stood on the edge of a volcano, discovered local small towns filled with amazing people, snorkeled what felt like miles of shoreline, and of course, ate and drank and ate and drank and then ate and drank some more. The beauty of Hawaii’s cuisine is in its freshness, and we loved discovering the local flavors as much as the beaches and mountains. Everything tasted as though it has been picked or caught just moments before it landed on our plates. There’s no doubt in my mind that I will never taste a better mai tai, a more delicious fish taco, or a sweeter, fresher pineapple than I did over those 12 days on Maui and Kauai.
I’ve always loved pineapples, but it wasn’t until I had one in Hawaii that I learned what they’re truly meant to taste like. They’re firm and tart and sweet and juicy and just so good. It’s safe to say that I personally ate more than half a dozen pineapples during our trip – I simply couldn’t get enough of the stuff (and it didn’t hurt that almost every mai tai is served with a delicious, glistening slice).
So when summer rolled around this year, I wanted to revisit those flavors. A twist on the classic, this pineapple salsa has all of salsa’s classic flavors – tangy onions, acidic tomatoes, and spicy jalapeños – but with an added layer of tart sweetness. The result is a little bit of everything – sweet and tangy, salty and spicy, but above all, fresh. Because it doesn’t need anything but a few fresh fruits and veggies to come together into the perfect pairing for just about anything – like, say, a taco, or some homemade corn chips, a mai tai, and an afternoon in the sunshine. And while the pineapples in Philadelphia don’t taste quite like they did in Hawaii, I like to think I can still recall the taste enough to appreciate those same flavors in this delicious salsa and let them take me back to those 12 days of absolute heaven.
- 1 fresh pineapple
- 1 red onion
- 2 jalapeno peppers
- 1 quart tomatoes
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1-2 fresh limes
- Salt and pepper to taste
Remove the top and bottom from the pineapple, then cut away the rind as well as the core. Dice the pineapple into bite-sized chunks, no larger than about 1/2-inch pieces.
Dice the onion, tomatoes, garlic, and jalapeno peppers.
Place in a large bowl. Juice the lime(s) and pour over mixture. Toss to evenly combine, and season with salt and pepper.
Its best to let the salsa sit for at least 30 minutes before serving to allow the flavors to combine.
If you are sensitive to hot peppers, be sure to remove the ribs and seeds from the jalapeno pepper, as that is where the heat lives. Or, feel free to leave out the jalapenos altogether, or opt for a milder pepper.
- 10 corn tortillas
- olive oil spray
- to taste sea salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Slice tortillas into wedges of 8.
Spray both sides of wedges with olive oil and place on ungreased sheet pan.
Sprinkle with sea salt and place in oven.
Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown.