Salsa de Piña Tatemada (Grilled Pineapple Salsa)

This balanced and bold salsa combines grilled pineapple with a garlicky, spicy habanero paste. Use a mortar and pestle to grind the garlic and chiles into a smooth paste. Use a chef’s knife to cut the garlic and chiles onto a cutting surface. Sprinkle with salt, then smash the mixture using the edge of the blade. Salt acts as an agent of abrasion and breaks down fibrous ingredients. Grill pineapple in large, thick rounds so that they don’t slide through the grill grates. Let it cool down and chop before adding the rest of the ingredients.


  • Three garlic cloves peeled
  • One medium-sized red onion, finely chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • One medium (about 3-pound) pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 3/4-inch-thick slices.
  • Two fresh habanero chiles stemmed.
  • Two tablespoons of fresh lime juice
  • One teaspoon fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley


  1. Preheat grill to high temperature (450degF – 500degF). Fold each piece of aluminum foil to form sealed packets. Place the onion and garlic cloves in two separate parts. Place packets on grill grates; cook, uncovered and turning them occasionally, for 15 minutes.
  2. Place pineapple slices and chiles onto oiled grates. Uncovered, grill until pineapple is well marked (flipping once), 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Flipping frequently, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board and allow it to cool for 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the pineapple to a large serving bowl. Add grilled onions and lime juice. Set aside.
  4. Add the grilled garlic and salt to a molcajete. Grind to a smooth paste. Add chiles and olive oil and grind until mixture is mostly smooth.
  5. Add the chile paste into the bowl with the pineapple mixture. Add parsley and salt to taste.

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