Cuban Watercress Salad with Pineapple and Avocado and Grilled Cuban Pork Brochettes

Watercress Salad

In this salad, peppery, nutrient-rich watercress is balanced by sweet, broiled pineapple, creamy avocado, candied nuts and a Caribbean dressing of citrus and mango.

Serves: 4
Time: 30 min
Difficulty: easy

Ingredients

Cuban Watercress Salad with Pineapple and Avocado
1 pineapple, peeled, cored and quartered
1 T sugar
2 lg avocados, ripened, peeled and pitted
2 bunches watercress
1 sm red onion, thinly julienned
1/2 c Candied Cashews (below) or other nuts, such as pecans
Orange Mango Dressing (below)

Candied Cashews
1 c raw, unsalted cashews
1/2 t ea salt and black pepper
pinch cayenne
3 T agave or honey

Orange Mango Dressing
2 garlic cloves
2 T agave, or 4 t sugar
1/8 t ground cumin
1 t salt
1/4 freshly ground black pepper
1/2 ripe yellow mango, peeled and chopped
2 T fresh lime juice
3 T orange juice
1/4 c extra virgin olive oil

Grilled Cuban Pork Brochettes
8-10 garlic cloves
1 t ea freshly ground black pepper, allspice, cumin, salt, turmeric, smoked paprika and dried oregano
pinch cinnamon
1 T brown sugar
1 T olive oil
2 T lime juice
1/4 c orange juice
1 lb pork tenderloin or loin, cut into bite-size cubes
4, 8" bamboo or metal skewers
1 lime, wedged

Steps

Cuban Watercress Salad with Pineapple and Avocado
Preheat oven broiler. Place pineapple pieces onto baking sheet and sprinkle evenly with sugar on all sides. Broil 5-8 min, until golden brown, flipping once. Cool and cut pineapple into bite-size cubes. Cut avocado into similar-sized cubes. Rinse watercress and discard any large, tough stems. Drain well and pat dry, then chill and reserve. In a large bowl, toss all ingredients with just enough Orange Mango Dressing to coat. Transfer to platter and drizzle with remaining dressing. Garnish with extra nuts as desired.

Candied Cashews
Heat oven to 350 degrees. On non-stick sheet pan, toss together all ingredients and spread into a single layer. Bake 6 min, until color begins to develop. Stir and bake another 4-6 min more, carefully not to burn. Cool 1-2 min; remove from pan and allow to cool at room temp, breaking clusters apart as necessary.

Orange Mango Dressing
In a food processor or blender, combine garlic, agave, cumin, salt and pepper. Add mango and juices and puree. Add olive oil and emulsify. Chill until ready to use.

Grilled Cuban Pork Brochettes
Combine garlic, spices, sugar and olive oil in processor or blender to create a paste. Add juices; mix well. Pour marinade over pork cubes and refrigerate 1-2 hours (marinating longer can cause a bitter flavor). Skewer pork, approx. 1/4 lb per skewer or 5-6 cubes. Grill over hot coals or flame 3-4 min per side until internal temp reaches 145 degrees. Serve immediately with lime.