Pawpaw, a.k.a. papaya, is a fruit commonly eaten in tropical climates – like Nigeria. Though I was never a huge fan growing up – especially when there was always a ripe pineapple or mango nearby – every time I see one, I’m brought back to being a kid and playing under the hot Nigerian sun.
Now seeing as today marks the first official day of fall (and I was recently gifted a giant papaya that I’m yet to use), I’ve decided to relive the warmer days by playing around with pawpaw, but in a way that makes the transition into this cooler season a tad bit smoother.
Today I’ve oven grilled pawpaw along with Brussels sprouts, sautéed them in brown butter with some prosciutto, served with arugula, ricotta cheese and various toppings before tossing in a raspberry-pawpaw vinaigrette. The result was a hearty salad made from a summer ingredient – perfect for transitioning into fall. Take a look!
Yields 2 Servings
1-2 cup Brussels sprouts, cleaned
Olive oil, as needed
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp Cajun spice (optional)
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp prosciutto, diced
½ a papaya, cubed
Olive oil, as needed
½ cup raspberries
½ cup papaya, cubed
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup red wine vinegar
1 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp honey
¼ olive oil
2 tbsp ricotta or cottage cheese, split in chunks
1 cup arugula, spinach or cilantro (optional)
½ cup grapes, quartered
½ cup grape/cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 radish, thinly sliced
1. Boil water in pot
2. Set oven on high broil (or prepare grill if you have one)
3. Boil Brussels sprouts for about 5 minutes. Drain water and toss in oil, salt, black pepper, coriander and Cajun spice (if using). Slice in half and place on oiled oven tray. Broil in oven for approx. 5 minutes (if using grill, turn every few minutes and cook until lightly charred).
4. If you don’t like prosciutto as is, heat pan and sauté over high heat until golden. Set aside.
5. Toss cubed pawpaw (including that of vinaigrette) in a little oil, spread on oven tray and place in oven about 5 minutes. Set aside (separate ½ cup for vinaigrette).
6. Make brown butter (see Homemade Valentine Nuts: Sweet and Savory #3). Sauté Brussels sprouts in brown butter for about a minute then add prosciutto and pawpaw. Lower heat and let flavors marry an additional minute. Set aside and let cool.
7. Place all ingredients for vinaigrette except oil into blander. Blend until smooth. Slowly drizzle oil while blending until vinaigrette is well blended (carful as vinaigrette may splash while blending).
8. Place Brussels sprouts, pawpaw mix in bowl, add arugula/spinach/cilantro (if using), grapes, tomatoes and mix with a little bit of vinaigrette.
9. Plate and add cheese and radish garnish to finish