Strawberry Papaya and Grilled Chicken Salad

Strawberry Papaya and Grilled Chicken Salad

Well here we are! Oahu has welcomed us with sunny days, a fully stocked Target and light freeway traffic. We have even been blessed with visits from friends! I have to say, it is greatly appreciated to see a familiar face in an unfamiliar place.

We are in our new home, although it feels more like camping than a home. The first few days of sleeping on an air mattress and drinking wine out of plastic cups came with a hint of romance. Now it seems my limited kitchen and stiff back are starting to cramp my style. FYI when a moving company tells you it will take about a week for your container to arrive, they really mean 10 days. Plan accordingly.

I miss Maui. Yesterday my daughter took a sip of my perrier and said, “Ewww, it tastes like lipstick!” My mind was immediately flooded with a thousand memories of my own childhood. Sips off my mom’s diet coke, bites off her fork, all accompanied with the subtle taste of Estee Lauder.

I miss my mom.

Definitely time to take a break from peanut butter sandwiches and adult lego projects (thank you Office Max for selling us everything in 1000 pieces!) and cook something that reminds me of home.

This is my moms recipe, she adapted it from an old school Mama’s Fish House recipe. All you need to make this salad is a BBQ, a cutting board, a paring knife and a blender. Check.

One of my favorite things about this salad is almost all the ingredients are local so it’s ultra fresh tasting! Papayas, Oranges, Avocados, Macadamia Nuts, you could practically grow this salad if you’re that type of person.

This is also a great salad to make for a party because you can arrange all the ingredients on a platter, keep it in the fridge, then add the dressing and macadamia nuts just before serving. If you’d like to “beef” it up a bit, lay your ingredients out over a bed of spinach or arugula. Easy peasy.

Did I mention it’s also healthy?

Strawberry Papaya and Grilled Chicken Salad

2 Ripe Strawberry Papayas

2 Ripe Big Island Avocados

4 Local Oranges (I used blood oranges cause that’s what I had)

4 chicken breasts

Salt and Pepper

A handful of flat leaf parsley, chopped

1/2 Cups Chopped Macadamia Nuts

Papaya Seed Dressing (see below)

Season your chicken with salt, pepper and chopped flat leaf parsley. Grill and let rest at least 5 minutes before slicing. Cut your papayas in half and scoop out the seeds saving at least 2 TB for your dressing. With a paring knife, peel off the skin. Slice up your papaya into generous strips and set aside on a plate. Cut your avocados in half and remove the seed. Use a spoon to scoop out the entire avocado and then slice into strips about the same size as your papaya. Cut the skin off your oranges, making sure to get all the bitter white part off, then slice into wheels and add to your plate. If you want to be super fancy you can segment your oranges. Ohlala.

When you’re ready, layer all your ingredients either on a large platter or on individual plates alternating chicken, papaya, avocado… Arrange your orange wheels around and finish with the salad dressing and macadamia nuts.


Papaya Seed Dressing

Papaya Seed Dressing

This salad dressing is amazing. You will never buy papaya seed dressing again. Warning: if you do, you will be sorely disappointed.

Tip: If you wipe a little oil around your measuring cup before pouring in the honey it will slide right out, no sticky mess. (Thank you Michael Chiarello, genius!)

1/2 Cup White Vinegar

2 t Dry Mustard

2 t salt

1/4 Cup Honey

1/4 Maui Onion Chopped

1/2 Cup Olive Oil

2 TB Papaya Seeds

Add the first 5 ingredients to a blender or food processor. Slowly stream in olive oil. Then add papaya seeds and blend until it looks like cracked black pepper.