Sunday, September 16, 2012

Papaya and Quinoa Salad

Just a few days ago, Mark and I stopped at the mall. Of course, I was sucked in to Williams-Sonoma (one of my favorite stores). I wish I could buy everything in the store - it's a kitchen dweller's dream. They always have something cooking that smells delicious and a seasonal sample. Fall is in the air, and at Williams-Sonoma in full force. I left with a pumpkin ice cream starter mix that I cannot wait to try (more on that in a future post). For now I'm going to share this delicious and healthy Papaya and Quinoa Salad from the great new cookbook we also found while at Williams-Sonoma.

If you read this blog often, you probably think all we ever do is eat dessert. While it is true that dessert is probably my favorite part of any meal (and I think it's completely appropriate to have dessert at every meal - even breakfast), we actually do eat savory and healthy food in our house quite often. I am very excited about trying the many fresh and healthy recipes in this new cookbook, The Sprouted Kitchen. First up - Papaya and Quinoa Salad with Mexican Caesar Dressing. More delicious recipes to come...


Papaya and Quinoa Salad with Mexican Caesar Dressing
for the dressing...
juice of 1/2 lemon (The Sprouted Kitchen calls for Meyer lemon, but I just had a normal lemon)
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
handful of fresh cilantro leaves
1/3 cup extra-vigrin olive oil
salt to taste

for the salad...
1/4 of a large papaya, diced
1 head romaine lettuce, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup roasted and salted pepitas
1/2 cup cooked and cooled quinoa (I used rainbow quinoa. The Sprouted Kitchen calls for red quinoa, but rainbow was much cheaper at my market, so I went with rainbow and it worked just fine.)

While you're cooking the quinoa, dice the papaya... Start by cutting the papaya in half lengthwise.  Scoop out and discard all those little black seeds and the stringy flesh around them.
 Then, slice long strips. Cut smaller sections across that strip, but don't cut all the way through the skin.
 Run your sharp knife along the bottom of the strip to remove the chunks from the skin.
 Collect the diced papaya in a bowl for the salad (or just for snacking).

To make the dressing, combine all ingredients except the olive oil in your food processor or blender and pulse to combine. Add the oil in a steady stream while continuing to pulse. Season to taste with salt. I just used the magic bullet (great as-seen-on-tv purchase). For a small amount like this, it's much simpler and way less clean-up. Just toss all of the ingredients, including the oil, into the cup, twist on the bladed lid, press down into the magic bullet base for a few seconds, and done!

Add lettuce, papaya, onions, and quinoa to a large bowl and toss to combine. Add about four spoonfuls of the dressing and toss to coat everything. Taste and add more dressing if you like. Divide the salad into two bowls and sprinkle with pepitas. Enjoy!

This made two meal-sized portions for Mark and me, but you could divide in four and use as an appetizer salad.

recipe from The Sprouted Kitchen cookbook by Sara Forte

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