Hot-cha-cha Pineapple Avocado Salad

A spicy little taste of the tropics

Sweet, spicy, juicy, creamy, crunchy…oh yeah baby. Serve me up some paradise!

Feeling hot hot hot? Wanna be cool cool cool? Yes my pretties, you can be both with this little taste of the tropics. This salad, when made exactly as directed, is on the spicy side, so use your discretion on the habanero. You can easily sub in jalapeno for less bite. You know your people. Or, if you live with a bunch of mild-mannered, mild-salsa-eating Yankees go for it with the habanero and get all the leftovers for yourself.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbs. fresh orange juice
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 habanero chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 large Florida avocado or 2 medium Haas avocados, sliced 1/4 inch thick lengthwise, then cut crosswise into halves or thirds (here’s a clinic on finding ripe avocados)
  • 1 small pineapple (about 2-1/2 lb.), peeled, quartered, cored, and sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick (and here’s what you need to know about selecting and prepping pineapple.) PS I am among the freaks who enjoy eating the fibrous core. 
  • scant handful of chopped, toasted almonds, cashews or macadamia nuts (optional)


Whisk the oil, lime and orange juices, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/4 tsp. pepper in a medium bowl. Add the onion and habanero and toss. Set aside at least 10 minutes and up to 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, shingle the pineapple and avocado on a very large flat platter or 2 smaller platters. Using a fork, scoop the onion slices out of the vinaigrette and scatter them over the avocado and pineapple. Drizzle the remaining vinaigrette over the entire platter. Sprinkle with nuts if desired.  Season with a little salt and serve within 1 hour.

Bringing it:

This salad is easy to bring anywhere, deconstructed. It’s also a great salad to bring and prep on a weekend away, because the whole elements travel well and do not need refrigeration. Yes, that means more room in the cooler for vitals.  (I’m looking at you, frozen daquiris and Hero Slaw.)


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