© David Loftus
Pukka Pineapple with Bashed-up Mint Sugar
Buy yourself a ripe pineapple. It should smell slightly sweet and you should be able to remove the leaves quite easily. Cut both ends off and peel the skin with a knife, removing any little black bits. Then cut the pineapple into quarters and remove the slightly less tasty core, which I usually discard or suck on while preparing the rest of the dish. Finely slice your quarters, lengthways, as thin as you can. Lay out flat in one or two layers on a large plate. Don’t refrigerate this—just put it to one side.
Take the plate to the table after dinner with a tub or bowl of yogurt that can be passed round, then return with a mortar and pestle with the sugar in it. Your fami- ly or guests will probably think you’ve gone mad, especially if you ignore them while you do this, but pick the mint leaves and add them to the sugar. Bash the hell out of it in the mortar and pestle at the table. You’ll see the sugar change color and it will smell fantastic. It normally takes about a minute to do if you’ve got a good wrist action. Sprinkle the mint sugar over the plate of pineapple—making sure you don’t let anyone nick any pineapple before you sprinkle the sugar over it. What a fantas- tic thing. If you have any leftovers, you could always make a piña colada with them.
• 1 ripe pineapple
• optional: plain yogurt, to serve
• 4 heaping tablespoons sugar
• 1 handful of fresh mint