The next time you buy a fresh pineapple for your famous upside down cake or your Sunday morning fruit salad, don\’t throw the skin away: Use the hollowed-out shell as a bowl for a fun way to serve up savory chicken, pork, or seafood. Just follow these three tips for making perfect pineapple bowls, from finding a ripe fruit to sourcing just the right recipe.
1. Choose the right pineapple
Choosing a whole pineapple that\’s ripe and delicious can be a little trickier than finding worthy versions of other types of fruit, because pineapples don\’t continue to ripen after they\’re picked. “Ripeness is indicated by a bright yellowgold color on the skin that at the very least should be present on the eyes around the base of the fruit,” writes Mimi Sheraton in the New York Times. “The higher up that yellow color goes, the more evenly a pineapple will be flavored. That color, plus a pleasant, mild pineapple aroma at the base are the best guides to ripeness.” You\’re looking for a fruit that\’s slightly firm — not mushy, cracked, or leaking.
2. Cut it safely
To hollow out the pineapple and create the boat or bowl shape. Lay it on its side on a cutting board; if it\’s rolling back and forth, slice off a very thin piece of the edge to create a flat side so you can cut it safely. Start at the base of the fruit and cut through the flesh and leafy crown. (If you want to keep the crown for presentation purposes, you can take off the top third instead.) Slice around the inside of the pineapple to loosen the fruit from the edges of the skin; then make cuts across the pineapple longways and short ways without puncturing the skin. Remove the pineapple squares with a large spoon or grapefruit tool and scrape out the remaining fruit and juice into a prep bowl.
3. Fill it!
While dishes on the sweet side may be your first inclination for serving in a pineapple bowl — think yogurt and granola, or fruit salad — savory recipes are an unexpectedly delicious option. Use the sweetness of the pineapple to balance out the flavors of teriyaki chicken and rice, honey Sriracha chicken, slow cooker jerk pork, pineapple fried rice or shrimp and scallops with Thai seasoning — and the striking look of the finished recipe to impress the guests at your next party (or the family at your next weeknight dinner).