Friday, January 31, 2014

Papaya Salsa or Salad

Oh this is so good! Papayas are one of my favorite tropical fruits. I made this to go with "jerked chicken" patties. I'm still working on the jerk seasonings, but the salsa is divine! Makes enough for a salad for 2, or salsa topping for 4.

1 large, fully ripe papaya, peeled, seeds removed and diced
1/2 jalapeno, seeds removed, minced
1/4 c red onion, very finely diced (brunoise)
1/2 red or orange bell pepper, diced the same size as the papaya
1/4 c orange juice (I used 1 navel orange)
Kosher salt
Optional: 1-2 TB chopped cilantro or parsley

If you've never worked with papaya before:
Cut both ends off. Stand it up on the cutting board and using a small, sharp paring knife, cut off the peel, including the pale flesh just under the skin. That has a firmer texture and is less sweet.  Now cut the papaya in half lengthwise and use a cereal spoon to scoop out all the seeds and the bits of white membrane. Cut each half in quarters lengthwise  - you'll have a total of 8 strips - and then dice crosswise.

Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and add a couple of pinches of kosher salt. You can add the cilantro or parsley but this is really personal preference. I could do without it myself. Ignore the lime in the photo, that's for the jerk chicken patty.

Let it sit for 10 minutes. The salt will draw out some moisture from the papaya and pepper, which then blends with the orange juice and how good does that taste? Good enough that we ate the entire bowl between the two of us and there is none left for the other patties!

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