Monday, July 9, 2012

Papaya, Walnut, and Watercress Salad

   The relatively cool summer we've been having here in Sonoma took a turn to the warm side this last weekend and the last thing that anyone around here (me) wanted to do was to cook. My mom had surgery in San Francisco on Friday where the weather was cool and breezy. She came home on Sunday morning and it was drippy and foggy in the city, but hot in Sonoma with perfectly blue skies. I roasted a chicken for my parents the evening before she came home so that they could have a nice meal of cold chicken and salad on Sunday night.

   Cold chicken and salad are sort of natural go tos around here for hot summer nights. Roasting the chicken after it cools off in the evening makes an easy next day supper of lunch. As for the salad part, there are a million different salads one can make, however this Papaya salad is one of the tastiest and easiest. Minimal ingredients, and equally minimal prep time make for an ideal accompaniment.

   This salad is an adaptation of a number of refreshing South Indian raw fruit and vegetable dishes. This version is made with walnuts, but pistachios would be good too, also almonds, pine nuts, whatever. I happen to always have walnuts in the house and most people like them, so walnuts it was. The salad can be made a day ahead too as long as you hold off on the seasoning and dressing until just before serving.

Papaya, Walnut and Watercress Salad

Here's What You Need:

1 raw papaya
1/2 tsp of ground cumin
1/4 tsp of pepper (or to taste)
1/2 tsp of kosher salt
1 tsp of fresh lime juice
2 Tbs of chopped raw walnuts (or whatever nut you desire)
1 Tbs sultana raisins
1 bunch of watercress chopped roughly. Use a good sized handful.

Here's What To Do:

Wash the papaya then peel it and scoop out the seeds.
Chop the papaya into small pieces.
Toss in the chopped nuts and mix them in well.

Add in the raisins
Mix them well.
Just before serving add in the cumin, salt, pepper, and lime juice.

Add in the lime juice
Give everything a good stir then fold in the watercress pieces.

If you add too much watercress you may need to double the dressing recipe to make sure everything is covered. And that's it. Serve it with Yogurt Rice, more vegetable dishes or any roast fish or meat and you're done!

Simple, refreshing and a very easy dish that's a switch off from the usual salad.

   Coming up next, an easy chicken dish for a crowd. Follow along on Twitter @kathygori 


  1. It's not just warm here - it's downright oppressive! This salad would make things MUCH better!

  2. That looks amazing. I can imagine this over a creamy bed of yogurt rice... nom nom.

  3. A lovely combination of flavors. And really pretty, too!



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