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

April 16, 2013

Test Kitchen-Approved

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 to 8
Prep time: 25 min
Cook time: 20 min

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches watercress
  • 1 (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
In This Recipe

Directions

  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:
Salad|Cuban|Cumin|Fruit|Lime Juice|Pineapple|Vinegar|Watercress|Avocado|Serves a Crowd|Father's Day|Memorial Day

Reviews (11) Questions (0)

11 Reviews

chiefkief August 25, 2013
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.
 
parker August 19, 2013
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.
 
Ceallach T. May 30, 2013
This salad was amazing - made a perfect vegetarian meal!
 
OrchidGirl May 15, 2013
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.
 
EmilyC May 5, 2013
This is a lovely salad. I used arugula as that's what we had, and served it with pork tenderloin. A keeper.
 
mellielovesred April 27, 2013
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.
 
Hector A. April 19, 2013
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!<br /><br />haf!
 
AntoniaJames April 18, 2013
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)
 
Ouida L. April 21, 2013
Would you provide a link to the cooking method (I've searched, to no avail)?
 
Pat H. September 2, 2017
I see this was awhile ago, but if you're still interested try searching Patricia Wells' Green Lentil Salad. Worked for me :)
 
ctgal April 17, 2013
I have everything!! I'm thinking adding some good fresh Florida shrimp (that's where I live). Tomorrow!! Thanks so much. Sounds divine!