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Caribbean flavors are some of the first I became comfortable recreating when I started cooking in my teen years. I love the combinations of spicy ginger, sweet fruit, and fresh herbs to balance out heavier foods like pork chops and short ribs. Since we are quickly approaching fall, I wanted to create a salad that can take you from warm summer days to cooler nights. And it pairs perfectly with grilled just-about-anything too!
I highly suggest ensuring you chop the sweet potatoes into even-size ½-inch chunks as recommended in the below recipe. I often see people following recipes quite well except in the preparation of the vegetables. I promise there is a good reason behind evenly chopping and mincing foods, even if it is a pain!
And have you yet to try fish sauce? It adds a savory element to AIP cooking that is hard to achieve without nightshades, soy sauce, or Worcestershire sauce. My favorite brand of fish sauce for my AIP pantry is Red Boat, and it can be bought on Amazon and at most higher-quality grocery stores.
To make this a complete meal, serve grilled marinated pork chops, shrimp, or chicken breasts atop this warm or room-temperature spicy salad. You can marinade the protein in olive oil, minced garlic and shallot, and lime juice. Add some coconut-braised leafy greens like kale or bok choy, and you will be treated to an incredibly flavorful ethnic-inspired meal that will make great leftovers!
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into ½-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon lard or bacon fat, melted
- 4 cups diced pineapple, divided
- 1 ¼ teaspoon sea salt, divided
- 1-inch chunk ginger root, peeled and chopped
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- ¼ teaspoon fish sauce
- ½ cup chopped cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoons minced chives
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- On one baking sheet, toss sweet potatoes with lard and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Spread 3 cups pineapple out onto second baking sheet.
- Bake sweet potato and pineapple for 40 to 45 minutes, tossing halfway through. Remove from oven and let cool slightly while you make the dressing.
- In a food processor, combine remaining 1 cup pineapple, ginger, remaining ¼ teaspoon sea salt, ginger, lime, and fish sauce until smooth.
- Transfer sweet potatoes and pineapple to a serving bowl and toss with spicy pineapple dressing, cilantro, and chives. Serve warm or at room temperature.