grilled pineapple and paneer salad with basil and pine nuts ...
I love pineapples and I love paneer. I grow my own fresh basil so this is the most natural salad for me all the time. Yes this is a very frequently repeated salad at my place but when I forget about it I really do. And then I start missing it. And then I make it for a week every single day. Actually I keep looking for fully ripe pineapples just for this salad. The deep yellow, slightly soft and sweet pineapple slices make this salad something else. Grilling does some magic to the sweet supple pineapples slices. And yes, to the paneer cubes as well.
The salad is not much of a recipe in fact. You just have to grill the pineapple slices and paneer cubes over gas flame or barbecue grill if you have set that up (I cannot think of a barbecue in this Indian summer), and toss them up with a mix of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. Or just use any dressing you like. I often do it with chaat masala or just salt n pepper. Adding herbs of choice and a few nuts at times is what I do. I have loved fresh rosemary in this salad too and finely chopped coriander greens as well. Mint goes with all fruits if you ask me. So go by what you have around, just the pineapple should be really ripe and the paneer should be fresh, preferably home made paneer.
You just have to place a grid or whatever contraption you use for grilling over gas flame and arrange the pineapple slices over it. Turn them when lightly charred and then do the same with paneer slices or cubes. Take care to place the hot grilled paneer cubes into a bowl that contains a tsp of EVOO and toss it immediately, otherwise they stick together. The milk proteins in paneer have a tendency to stick when hot. When you are done with grilling, just toss everything together with your choice of dressing/seasoning, herbs and nuts.
I used fresh Thai basil here and a mix of EVOO and balsamic vinegar. Salt should be minimal in my opinion, but adjust seasoning after mixing well.
Use fresh mozzarella if you can get. I add specks of feta cheese when I want to add a little saltiness without the addition of salt in this salad.
I know you are getting my point. The salad is versatile and you can make your own favorite version when you want it. Do let me know if you try this. May be I will come up with a new version of this salad very soon. There are times when I buy 3 pineapples for the week. You see where I am coming from :-)