pineapple carpaccio with mint and chilli

Lindsey Bareham

This is one of my go-to dinner party puds, ideal when I want something fresh and light that is quick and easy. It can be made at the last minute or hours in advance. It is only worth making with a really ripe, sweetly honeyed pineapple. But that is hard to tell and we have to hope that if a leaf can be pulled out without resistance, it is perfectly ripe. The slices and copious resultant juices are stunningly enhanced by scraps of fresh mint. Another very good addition, a combination I learnt to love in Mauritius but is popular in Thai cuisine, is tiny scraps of red chilli. You don’t need much and the heat is subdued by the sweet fruit. Do try it.

serves 4-6, prep 20 min, chill 30 min

1 very ripe pineapple
1 small red chilli
about 10 tender mint leaves

Trim and quarter the pineapple lengthways. Slice off the skin in long sweeps. Carefully dig out any hairy ‘eyes’. Slice off the woody core. Use a mandoline or a very sharp knife held by a steady hand to slice across the quarters in wafer-thin slices. Pile into a mixing bowl.

Split the chilli, scrape out the seeds, slice into skinny batons and then into tiny dice. Add to the pineapple. Shred or tear the mint over the top. Mix together with your hands, leave thus or spread out on a platter or in a shallow serving bowl catching any juices. Cover with clingfilm and chill for at least 30 min serving. It will be very juicy. You will not need cream.