Maricel E. Presilla's Cuban Avocado, Watercress, and Pineapple Salad

By • April 16, 2013 10 Comments

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Author Notes: Next to spicy shrimp, or slow-cooked pork tacos, or black beans and rice, it's an altogether surprising and welcoming side. You'll want to eat it by the platterful, as will your guests. Adapted from Gran Cocina Latina: The Food of Latin America (WW. Norton, 2012)Genius Recipes

Serves 6 - 8

  • 2 bunches watercress
  • One 2 1/2 pound pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into four 1-inch thick slices
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar or fresh lime juice
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 large Florida (West Indian) avocado or 2 Haas avocados
  • 1 small red onion (5 ounces), thinly slivered lengthwise
  1. Prepare the watercress: Place the watercress in a colander and rinse under cold water to remove and grit or sand. Discard any yellowing leaves and remove the tough stems; for this salad, you want only the leaves and tender stems. Pat dry with paper towels and refrigerate while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  2. Broil the pineapple: Heat the broiler. Place the pineapple slices on a baking pan and sprinkle sugar evenly on top of them. Broil about 4 inches from the heat source, turning once, for 5 to 10 minutes on each side, until golden brown. (You can line your pan with aluminum foil for easier cleanup, but not parchment -- it may catch fire.) Let cool, then cut into 1-inch cubes. Set aside.
  3. Prepare the dressing: Place the garlic, olive oil, vinegar or lime juice, cumin, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and whisk to combine. Taste for seasoning. Set aside.
  4. Peel the avocado: Cut the avocado(s) lengthwise in half around the pit and remove the pit. Place the avocado halves cut side down on the work surface and slice lengthwise into 1-inch-wide wedges. Peel each segment by hand or with a paring knife, and cut into 1-inch cubes.
  5. Assemble the salad: Place the watercress in a medium bowl and toss with half the dressing. Arrange on a large platter. Add the pineapple and avocado to the same bowl and toss with the rest of the dressing. Mound the pineapple and avocado over the bed of watercress. Garnish with slivers of red onion and serve immediately.
  6. Add the pineapple and avocado to the same bowl and toss with the rest of the dressing. Mound the pineapple and avocado over the bed of watercress. Garnish with the slivers of red onion and serve immediately.

More Great Recipes: Avocadoes|Fruit|Salads|Side Dishes|Olive Oil

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Comments (10) Questions (0)


about 2 years ago chiefkief

Paired this salad last weekend with Suzanne Goin's pork burgers and everyone loved it! We grilled the pineapple instead of broiling it and the char was a nice touch.


about 2 years ago parker

I've been making this salad all summmer - and everytime I serve it, I get asked for the recipe. I have trouble finding watercress, so last night I used arugula and it worked well.


about 2 years ago Kelly Thos. Shay

This salad was amazing - made a perfect vegetarian meal!


over 2 years ago OrchidGirl

Just made this, it was yummy! For easy prep, I bought a whole peeled, cored pineapple from whole foods and just sliced it. I used mixed spring greens instead of watercress as that is what we had. I used lime juice as the acid in the dressing. Great sweet spicy combo.


over 2 years ago EmilyC

This is a lovely salad. I used arugula as that's what we had, and served it with pork tenderloin. A keeper.


over 2 years ago mellielovesred

The flavors in this salad are amazing. I can't stop making it! Love the caramelized pineapple bits with the spicy greens and the dressing.


over 2 years ago Hector Alejandro Farias

JUST MADE IT... AWESOME!!! but i was reel, i had no a Watercress , so i used Butter lettuce., the dressing... TERRIFIC i licked the measure cup! GRACIAS for such a simple and exotic recipe!



over 2 years ago AntoniaJames

AntoniaJames is a trusted source on Bread/Baking.

This plus some homemade black beans -- I've been making them recently using the Wells' Genius lentils method, cooking much longer, obviously -- would make such a good lunch. I am definitely making this soon. ;o)


over 2 years ago Ouida Lampert

Would you provide a link to the cooking method (I've searched, to no avail)?


over 2 years ago ctgal

I have everything!! I'm thinking adding some good fresh Florida shrimp (that's where I live). Tomorrow!! Thanks so much. Sounds divine!