Latin-style Cabbage Salad with Grilled Pork and Pineapple

This entree salad is inspired by our favorite version of the classic Costa Rican lunch known as casado, which consists of a cabbage salad, a piece of pork, and some rice and beans. Here we’ve put the pork right into the salad and added pineapple for sweetness and texture. We admit that we’ve cheated a bit by adding the chipotle, which is really Mexican, but we think its smoky heat is the perfect complement to the grilled fruit and meat.

Recipe courtesy of "Grill It!" by Chris Schlesinger and John Willoughby, copyright 2008. Used by permission of DK Publishing. All rights reserved.

Latin-style Cabbage Salad with Grilled Pork and Pineapple

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    1 pork tenderloin, about 12-14 oz (350-400 g), trimmed and cut into 1/2 in (2 cm) cubes 1 carrot, peeled and diced medium
    1 small or 1/2 large ripe pineapple, peeled and cut into 1/2 in (2 cm) cubes (about 1 cup) 1/2 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
    2 tablespoons olive oil 1 cup pineapple juice or orange juice, for the dressing
    Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, for the dressing
    3 tablespoons cumin seeds Juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 cup), for the dressing
    1 head green cabbage, cored and diced large 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic, for the dressing
    1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced medium Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste, for the dressing


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    • 1

      Make the dressing: On the stove top, bring the fruit juice to a boil in a small pan over high heat, then lower the heat and simmer until reduced to a syrupy consistency (25–30 minutes). Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Add the olive oil, lime juice, chipotles, garlic, and salt and pepper, mix well, and set aside.

    • 2

      Build a fire in your grill. When the coals are all ignited, the flames have died down, and the temperature is medium, you’re ready to cook.

    • 3

      Combine the pork and pineapple cubes in a large bowl, add the oil and salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Thread the cubes alternately onto skewers, then put over the coals and grill until the pork is well seared and done to your liking (5–6 minutes per side for medium). To check for doneness, cut into one of the pork cubes; the meat should be just slightly less done than you like it. Set the skewers aside to cool slightly.

    • 4

      Toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet over the fire (or on the stove top over medium heat), shaking them frequently to prevent burning, until they become fragrant and just a shade darker (3–5 minutes).

    • 5

      Combine the cabbage, red pepper, carrot, and cilantro in a large bowl. Push the pork and pineapple off the skewers into the bowl. Stir the dressing again, add just enough to moisten the salad ingredients (there will probably be some left over), and toss to coat. Sprinkle the toasted cumin seeds over the salad and serve.

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