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July 13, 2017

PAPAYA PROSCIUTTO AND BLUEBERRY SALAD WITH MAPLE SYRUP VINAIGRETTE

18 Comments
Succulent and sweet papaya and blueberries strike a nice balance with the salty prosciutto and feta cheese in this refreshing salad. Mixed greens and maple syrup vinaigrette completes this light but flavorful summer dish.


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Hi friends! I hope your summer is going well. Can you believe that it's already mid July? I hope you are getting all your summer must-do's in because Labor Day will be here before we know it. Yikes!

We have had some hot and very humid days. By humid, I mean feeling like you got dropped into a hot bowl of soup as soon as you step outdoors. Thank goodness for air conditioning is all I'm gonna say!

In this heat and humidity, I gravitate towards lighter and cooler meals. On many nights, salad IS my dinner. Even though I tend to have the same salad again and again, I like to switch it up every now and then. This papaya prosciutto and blueberry salad is my latest creation, and it is a definite keeper!



If you have not had papaya before, you need to give it a try at least once! It is a somewhat pear shaped topical fruit that has a center cavity filled with tiny black seeds. This fruit has a beautifully vibrant orange-tangerine flesh when ripe. The texture is similar to that of a mango, but unlike mango that can be fibrous, papaya is smooth and buttery. It is sweet and has been described as having a musky (in a totally good way!) essence. To me, it tastes like a cross between a mango and cantaloupe. It is just plain dang yummy!


In terms of size, papaya range from 6 to 20 inches long! My grocery store tends to carry underripe ones. A perfectly ripen papaya should be mostly yellowish-orange skin. Dark spots on the skin is perfectly fine. The fruit should feel slightly soft, and the skin may be a touch wrinkly. 

To ripen, place it in a ventilated area away from direct sunlight and rotate daily (my method). Alternatively, placing the papaya in a brown paper bag with a banana can help speed up the ripening process (I have not tried this method). From personal experience, a green papaya with some pale yellow takes 5-7 days to ripen on the counter.


After all this talk about papaya, you would think that I would have some good images of the unpeeled and unsliced fruit for you. But not so 😬!  I completely neglected to take photos (D'oh!!). Even though I had not planned to use the picture below, it is the only one that has a partial image of a cut papaya. But if you would like to see more, here is a link to some images I found on the web.


This salad is so good, I am craving it as I look at these photos! In fact, I am going to pick up another papaya today to make another salad. Since it requires a few days to ripen, I will have to wait—but the wait so worth it! Yum!! 

And, oh yeah, the maple syrup vinaigrette is the perfect finish for this salad. My secret ingredient, grated opinion, provides a nice zip to the sweet and mild dressing. This vinaigrette would go well with so many kinds of salads and would also make a great simple marinade. I'm going to keep this one in my go-to recipe box!


That's it for today, friends. Hope you have a great weekend!!







PAPAYA PROSCIUTTO AND BLUEBERRY SALAD WITH MAPLE SYRUP VINAIGRETTE


INGREDIENTS:
1  small papaya, about 2 1/2 pounds (using half for salad, about 1 1/4 pound)
1 (5 oz.) packet spring salad mix
6 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto
4 oz. feta cheese crumbles
1/2 cup blueberries
4 1/8-inch thick rings of a red onion



Maple Syrup Vinaigrette:



2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice  

3 /14 tbsp. vegetable oil    
2.5 tbsp. maple syrup   
2.5 tsp. freshly grated red onion  
1/16 rounded tsp. salt
1/8 rounded tsp. black pepper



INSTRUCITONS:

Peel papaya. Slice in half. Scoop and discard seeds in center. Slice into 1/2-inch slices. Set aside.

Assemble salad: place spring salad mix, prosciutto, feta cheese, blueberries, and onion slices in a large salad bowl or platter.

In a small bowl, add lemon juice, oil, maple syrup, grated onion, salt, and pepper. Whisk to combine. Drizzle over salad.

Makes 4 side or 2 main dish servings.


Sources: The World's Healthiest Foods
               Perdu Agriculture





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18 comments:

  1. OMG I love papaya! It's easily one of my favorite fruits. But I always just eat it plain. . .I have to make this salad and up my papaya game :). I love that you added feta too! Because salty sweet is everything! Have a great weekend, Thao!

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    1. We see eye-to-eye on papaya—a perfectly ripened papaya needs nothing else, so I can see why you would always eat it plain. I do the same, but changing it up was fun. I really love it in the salad. Enjoy your weekend, Kelsie!

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  2. Such a gorgeous salad! And I love all the different textures and flavors---sweet, salty, creamy, crisp. SO lovely.

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    1. Thanks, Liz! I wanted this salad to hit all of the senses. :)

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  3. This is a beautiful salad full of great color and summer flavors. Love the maple dressing. Great pics! Take care.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Stacey! I'm so glad you stopped by!

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  4. This salad is full of so many amazing flavors,it looks divine!

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  5. This is such a pretty salad! I love the papaya and the blueberry combo!

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    1. Thanks Kelly! That's sweet of you to say.

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  6. I'm craving this salad just by looking at it! I love papaya and the maple syrup vinaigrette sounds delicious!

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    1. Thank you Marie! Papaya is such an under utilized fruit. We need to bring it to the forefront. :)

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  7. OK, this looks INCREDIBLE. I love papaya and I especially love how you've contrasted it with the rich-salty prosciutto and then simultaneously complemented it with the blueberry and maple! YUM.

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    1. Thank you so much! I wanted to highlight the sweet and salty in this salad.

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  8. Oh my gosh, I am SO glad I found your gorgeous blog - what beautiful pictures and even more beautiful recipes! And now I am going to try papaya!

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    1. Thank you so much, Kate! You made my day!! I am glad to hear you are going to try papaya. Keeping my fingers crossed that you will like it!

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  9. It's crazy that summer is almost over! This salad looks delicious! I love papaya but I've never thought about putting it on a salad before. Have to try this soon, especially that maple vinaigrette :)

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    1. It sure feels like summer is over today! I can't believe that we are experiencing daytime temps in the 50's in late July!! This papaya salad will certainly put you in a summer state of mind no matter how cold it is outside! :)

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