Side Dish Saturday: Grilled Pineapple Salsa and Guacamole

I am always looking for side dishes that are as spectacular as the main course. These two recipes are naturally gluten free and completely vegan and are sure to please everyone, even those with dietary concerns. I have served them with everything from fajitas to quesadillas to fish tacos but they are great with just  a big bowl of tortilla chips. These bold, Mexican flavors are a wonderful complement to any meal. Try the salsa as a garnish for grilled fish or pork or spread the guacamole on a BLT instead of mayonnaise. The possibilities are endless!

Grilled Pineapple Salsa


1 or 2 Pineapples

1 Sweet Red Pepper, Small Dice

1 or 2 Jalapeno or Serrano Peppers

1/2 Red Onion, Small Dice

2 to 3 Limes, Juiced

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1/2 Bunch Cilantro, Chopped

Salt and Pepper to taste


Remove the top and bottom of the pineapple and cut around the sides so you remove all the skin and spines.

Working toward the core of the pineapple, cut slices 1/4 inch thick.

Season the pineapple with salt and pepper. Grill the slices briefly over high heat, 1 to 2 minutes per side.
Remove to a baking sheet to chill slightly.

Meanwhile, cut the onion and pepper into a small dice and place in a bowl.

Remove the seeds from the Jalapeno or Serrano peppers (or leave them in if you like it spicy) and dice small before adding to the bowl.

Add the lime juice and olive oil and toss to combine.

When the pineapple has cooled slightly, cut the slices lengthwise into long strips and then across to make a medium dice. Add the diced pineapple and any juices to the bowl.

Chop the Cilantro and add to the salsa. Mix well, taste and add salt and pepper if necessary.



5 or 6 Hass Avocados

2 Limes, Juiced

1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt

1/2 Tsp Cumin

1/4 Tsp Cayenne

1/2 Red Onion, Small Dice

4 Small Tomatoes or 2 Large

1 large clove garlic, minced

1/2 Bunch Cilantro

Salt and Pepper to taste


Cut the avocados in half lengthwise, working around the pit. Using the heel of your knife, remove the pit and discard. Scoop the flesh out of the skin using a large kitchen spoon and place in a mixing bowl. Immediately add the lime juice and toss to coat.

Add the seasoning and mash with a potato masher until it is the consistency you like.

Cut around the tomato to separate the outer flesh from the core and seeds where all the juice is.  Cut flesh into strips and then dice. Add tomato to the avocado in the bowl.

Dice the onion and chop the cilantro and add to the bowl.

Gently fold the ingredients into the avocado mixture with a spatula. Taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary.

Press plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the guacamole, making as much contact as possible and refrigerate until ready to serve.


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