** Update: These were a hit! I was glad I served the aioli on the side because my guests preferred them without. I see their point. On it’s own it is a great burst of three distinct, clean flavors. The aioli adds heat, which is nice, but does confuse the flavors a little bit.
In the beginning, there was a pineapple.
Two, actually. They were on sale at Fairway. It would’ve been unusual for me to buy just the one. But two? Waaaay out of character.
The issue that has always stood between me and fresh pineapple is that I haven’t known how to cut it. But my kids have been on spring break and I’ve had this fantasy that if I made fresh fruit readily available to them when they felt like snacking (which is constantly) they’d go for the fruit. Here was my incentive to finally learn how to cut up a damn pineapple or two. I turned to Serious Eats. I recommend you do the same. They aren’t lying about the badass factor.
My kids, of course, paid no attention to the fresh, ripe, juicy pineapple sitting on the kitchen table soooo I got interested in it. This is the problem with motherhood if wasting food isn’t in your DNA. I expect to lose five to ten pounds on the day my children leave for college.
So, I ate some pineapple. THEN I popped a fresh basil leaf on it and that kind of blew my mind. “How is basil and pineapple not a THING?” I asked myself. Then I googled it and found out it is a thing, just not a thing I’d been aware of. Then I started thinking about pineapple basil crostini as a starter when our friends come to dinner this weekend. Then I thought, “Why bread? We could ditch the bread and the pineapple can act like the bread.” Then my neurons started rapid-firing. “Shrimp,” I thought and got excited. “Chipotle aioli!” I thought and got even more excited but also wondered if I’d taken it one step too far. So I did a test run.
I started by making this chipotle aioli from Self-Proclaimed Foodie. Easy. Delicious. Then, I tossed the shrimp in some olive oil and garlic salt and roasted them in a 400 degree oven for 6 minutes. I layered a basil leaf on a thin piece of pineapple, popped the shrimp on top and there you have it.
What I’ll do when I actually serve them up for our guests (who I can’t wait to see!!!) is use smaller shrimp. It needs to be a dip-pop-and-reach experience. Dip it in the aioli. Pop it in your mouth. And reach for the next one.