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Grilled Shrimp and Pineapple Salad with Vanilla and Chile de Arbol Vinaigrette

Grilled Shrimp and Pineapple Salad with Vanilla and Chile de Arbol Vinaigrette

Ensalada de Camarón y Piña a la Parrilla con Vinagreta de Chile de Arbol y Vainilla 

Recipe Yield

8 servings

Cooking time

25 minutes

Rate this recipe

5 from 3 votes


For the vinaigrette:

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove peeled
  • 1/2 vanilla bean chopped, or about a 2″ piece
  • 1 to 2 chiles de arbol stemmed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup safflower or corn oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp kosher or sea salt or more to taste
  • ground black pepper optional
  • 1/4 tsp sugar or more to taste

For the salad:

  • 4 fresh pineapple slices peeled, about 1/2″ thick
  • Safflower or corn oil to brush the pan or grill
  • 1 lb large or extra large shrimp, fresh or thawed from frozen, rinsed, peeled, deveined
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp safflower or corn oil
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 12 oz mixed spring salad or your choice of mixed baby lettuces
  • 1/2 cup red onion slivered

To Prepare

To make the vinaigrette:

  • Heat the olive oil in a saucepan set over medium heat, until hot but not smoking. Add garlic clove, vanilla bean and chiles, and cook about 15 seconds, stirring constantly. Be careful not to let them burn, remove the pan from the heat and pour its contents into a mixing bowl to cool.
  • Combine the safflower oil, red wine vinegar, salt pepper, allspice and sugar into the same bowl. Pour all the mix in the blender, puree until smooth, and reserve. The vinaigrette will be textured as the vanilla bean will not let itself be entirely pureed. But that makes it even more delicious! If you will not use the vinaigrette in the next couple of hours, cover it and refrigerate. It will keep for a week, but re-emulsify or thoroughly mix, before using.

To grill the pineapple:

  • Heat a grill pan, a grill or nonstick skillet over medium heat until hot and lightly coat with safflower or corn oil. Place the pineapple slices and cook for about 4 minutes per side until they are slightly charred. Remove from heat. Once they are cool enough to handle, cut in half, remove the core and cut into strips along the grain. Reserve.

To make the shrimp:

  • Sprinkle the shrimp with salt and pepper. Heat the butter and oil in a saute pan over high heat. Once the butter sizzles, add the shrimp, you may need to do it in batches so they they don’t overlap, and cook for 1 to 2 minutes per side. They should have plumped up and changed color on both sides, but be careful not to overcook them. Remove and reserve.

To assemble the salad:

  • Place the greens in a salad bowl. Drizzle some of the vinaigrette and toss, so that they are lightly coated but not soaked. Assemble on individual salad plates. Divide the shrimp, pineapple and red onion on top of each plate. You may drizzle a bit more of the vinaigrette on top and serve.


4comments inGrilled Shrimp and Pineapple Salad with Vanilla and Chile de Arbol Vinaigrette

  1. Donna

    Feb 16

    What is Chile de Arbol and where do I find it.

    1. Pati Jinich

      Feb 27

      Hey Donna, Chile de árbol is a very spicy, yet incredibly flavorful dried chile. It is small, but elongated and thin. It has a deep and shinny orange-red color and it is used in many, many ways. It is often crushed for very spicy table salsas, though it is also used to add flavor and a bit of heat if not opened when cooking, amongst others.
      It goes by other names like bravo because of its heat (aggressive), and pico de paloma (doves peak) or cola de rata (rat’s tail) because of its thin and pointy physique. It is also called Sanjuanero, I have still yet to find out why. It is eaten throughout Mexico and can be found almost anywhere in the US, especially in Latin or Hispanic Markets 😉

  2. Jaclyn

    Jun 28

    I have been making this salad for years, and it is fantastic. It is super quick to make but has an incredible depth of flavor from the dressing and textures. If I have a really sweet pineapple, I blend about a half cup of it into the dressing (as well as topping the salad with the grilled pineapple). Thanks Pati!

    1. Pati Jinich

      Jun 28

      Yummy, great idea Jaclyn, thanks for sharing 😉

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