Home Contact Recipes About

My “I Love You All” Papaya Salad

Papaya salad on an Asian dressing

Blame it on the rain. – We were all set up at the market, us vendors, ready for the customers. But it was unusually grey and wet and unfriendly on that specific morning, and the clients very obviously were not in a rush. So we had time to walk between each others booths, and chat. And of course we talked (mostly) food. My friend from San Salvador told me about a meal a Chinese neighbor had fixed for her – a Thai version of green Papaya salad with chicken. She gave one of the green – not quite ripe – Papayas her neighbor is growing in Matlacha to me. I was fascinated and kept on tinkering about what I would be transforming my green gift into.

Later that day, my son came home from his farm job with a box of longish, yellow, beautifully glowing peppers I had never seen before. A little research made clear that they were Aji Amarillo. From Peru. – One more tempting country and cuisine. One that ignited my plan: I was going to make  salad of Floridian products that have their roots in South- and Central America, and an Asian style dressing. An ode to all of my international food and market friends.

unripe papaya

open papaya, with  seeds

Julienning the Papaya on a mandolin makes for a good crunch. I used Aji Amarillo, Serrano and Red Bell peppers, simply because I had those on hand. One can adjust the varieties to desire, creating a more or less spicy salad. I also added red and yellow Cherry Tomatoes, which turned out to be vibrant eye catchers. For more green speckles (besides the fine strips of Serrano), i put in fresh, chopped Cilantro and some green onions. Basil would work very well also, as would the addition of cooked green beans. By using sesame oil, lime juice, soy sauce and cooking rice wine, I kept the dressing simple yet tasty. This salad can be served as a light appetizer, a refreshing side dish or, complemented by fresh, grilled or dried shrimp, some cooked chicken, seared Tofu and a handful of toasted peanuts or cashews, as a healthy main dish.

Oh, and it works as a cooling meal on a sweltering hot day just as well as for a brightening and soothing bite on a rainy one. So no blaming here.

ingredients for papaya salad

Continue reading “My “I Love You All” Papaya Salad” »

Past Supper #16 – Courses

moist scrambled egg on toast

We started with little toasts of light, moist scrambled eggs, cooked in the same skillet the bacon had become crunchy, with parsley. Followed by a deconstructed, burrito free and reassembled Taco: Firm and chunky tomato soup, corn, rich guacamole, red kidney beans, dollop of sour cream, cilantro and black corn chip. Then crisp and soft, tangy and sweet at once langoustines with a foamy paprika & sriracha mayonnaise, japanese rice and seaweed salad. A minerally, fresh Sauvignon Blanc to start, a velvety and just perfect Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru 2003 thereafter. For dessert swiss chocolate, plain and delicious. – There’s days, when – although I love to cook – I like to officially be banned out of the kitchen. The meals that happen behind that closed door always are amazing, succulent and surprising. Yesterday was such a day.

deconstructed taco

Past Supper #5 – Chili

chili of beans, peppers and chicken

Black, small red & navy beans, red bell & jalapeño pepper, potato, tomato, onion, shredded chicken, cilantro, cumin. Best way to use up left overs and stay warm!