The first time I had ambrosia was in my college’s dining hall salad bar, senior year. I saw the label “ambrosia” and noticed mandarin oranges, so I grabbed a scoop. FOOD OF THE GODS. Who knew mini marshmallows, mandarin oranges, pineapple, and coconut went so well together with whipped cream?
Since I’m sometimes interested in health (or since I always dislike the idea of cool whip and sometimes dislike the idea of washing my mixing bowl and beater), I used full-fat yogurt + honey + vanilla instead of whipped cream. Honey makes everything better! The tang of yogurt + honey really complements the pineapple and sweetness of everything else. I also added some green grapes and toasted pecans for color and texture.
This is one of those cut up everything, mix, and let sit sort of “salads”. More like a dessert which happens to live in the salad bar.
I wish I could tell you how to cut pineapple. If I wasn’t operating on such sleep debt I would have looked up several links/researched, then taken step by step photos of the process. But instead I just hacked at the pineapple and tried to cut out the eyes using a paring knife, which didn’t work great. The point is, you need your pineapple in bite size chunks. Canned pineapple would also work, but theoretically fresh will be better (because it’s not soaked in syrup).
My husband prefers ambrosia without pecans- I’ve made it three times since having the baby, with/without grapes and with/without pecans. I like the nuttiness that helps weigh down the salad, but that also keeps it from tasting like angels are breathing into your mouth, which is maybe the point of ambrosia. If you opt for pecans, chop em up and throw them into a frying pan on medium heat for a few minutes. I left them for as long as it took me to cut the pineapple and grapes. You can tell when they’re done because they’ll start smelling toasty and nutty and yummy.
So you’ve got half a pineapple, a big handful of grapes, a handful of pecans, about a cup of mini marshmallows, a can of mandarin oranges, and a cup of shredded sweetened coconut tossed together in a bowl. Now stir up your yogurt + honey + vanilla, and toss the whole thing with the dressing. Let sit for at least an hour for the flavors to meld, and enjoy. I think it’s better if you let it sit overnight so the marshmallows and coconut melt a little bit due to the acidity of the pineapple.
Ambrosia- cobbled together from the internet
1/2 fresh pineapple or a can of pineapple
1 c mini marshmallows
1 c green grapes, halved
1 c shredded sweetened coconut
1 c pecans
1 can mandarin oranges
3/4 c plain yogurt
1 TB honey
1 tsp vanilla
Toast pecans in a frying pan over medium heat until fragrant, maybe five minutes while you cut up the pineapple and grapes. Mix yogurt, honey, and vanilla in a small bowl. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and toss. Leave in fridge for at least an hour, preferably 6-8 or more.