This Papaya Salad Recipe with Avocado will seriously blow your mind. With a Prickly Pear Vinaigrette and Finger limes, it explodes with the flavors of exotic, tropical fruits. And it’s every bit as delicious as it is beautiful! This is definitely one of those dishes that might as well be a painting. Well, at least an edible one. 😉
It’s one of my recipes that came together as much by color as it did by flavor.
I started with the stunning Prickly Pear Vinaigrette (pictured below), and from there, my first requirement for each ingredient was that the color would look beautiful with it, and the second was that (of course) it was also good flavor fit.
Sometimes the color profile is equally as important as flavor and texture.
The truth is, if it doesn’t look good, we’re not as interested in eating it. And as it turns out, really vibrant colors — especially reds — are actually appetite stimulants.
What’s in this recipe?
- Avocado and papaya
- Butter lettuce
- Finger limes
- Prickly Pear Vinaigrette (extra virgin olive oil, prickly pears, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar)
Any time you can use one of your ingredients as a serving vessel, it’s a great idea. It makes this Papaya Salad more exciting and appealing.
Can you make Papaya Salad ahead?
Yes, for the most part.
- The vinaigrette can be made well ahead, a week even.
- You can prepare the papayas the night before, by slicing them in half, removing the seeds, and storing them wrapped in plastic in the refrigerator.
- The lettuce can be prepped, wrapped and refrigerated the night before also.
- Everything else, including cutting and adding the avocado, vinaigrette and finger limes should be done just before serving.
If you can’t get your hands of Finger Limes or Prickly Pears, you can use one small lime (drizzling half of the juice on each half of the salad), and any dressing you like (preferably something fruity.)
More recipes with Papaya and Avocado:
Papaya Salad Recipe with Avocado.
- 1 large papaya (I used a Strawberry Papaya)
- about 1 cup loosely packed butter lettuce, washed and dried, roughly chopped
- ¼ to ½ medium-sized avocado (about 1/2 cup), cut into bite-sized pieces
- about 2 tablespoons Prickly Pear Vinaigrette (click here for the recipe), divided
- 1 large or 2 small Finger limes (click here for Finger lime information)
- Slice the papaya in half, lengthwise. If it wobbles when the round side is down, slice a sliver off the bottom to create a flat surface.
- Use a wooden spoon to remove all of the seeds, and create a clean hollow center. Place each one on a small serving plate and set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, gently toss the lettuce and avocado with about 1½ tablespoons of the vinaigrette. Add about half of this mixture to each papaya half.
- Cut the finger lime in half, horizontally, and squeeze/press out the about half of the "citrus caviar" on top of each salad. (More about finger limes here.)
- Drizzle about half of the remaining vinaigrette over any of the exposed papaya on each salad.
- Serve chilled, with a fork and spoon (for the papaya).