Beautiful Exotic Fruit Salad Served in a Papaya Boat
Fruit salads are lovely, but this exotic fruit salad served in a papaya boat takes the appearance and taste to a whole new level.
The flavors work together, so each bite is an absolute treat.
Of course, using the papaya as a bowl makes it look like a fancy treat.
This is a simple dish to make, so you can easily put it together anytime instead of just waiting for a special occasion.
There are two basic types of papaya that we can buy at the grocery store.
Mexican papaya are large and can weigh up to 10 pounds, while smaller Hawaiian papaya are more of a single serve or 2 person fruit.
Hawaiian papaya tends to be more sweet while Mexican papaya can be musky.
Strawberry papaya is a type of Hawaiian papaya that has a beautiful pinkish color and sweet flavor.
The size is convenient and the taste is exquisite.
Dragon fruit are becoming more popular and easier to find, which is a very good thing.
This fruit is in the cactus family, but the plants look very different than the nopal cactus that has both fruit and large, edible paddles.
Also, there are no cactus spines on the dragon fruit, so they are easy to handle.
For this recipe, I used a yellow dragon fruit (megalanthus), but you can use a red skinned one, too.
Dragon fruit with red skin can be either white or bright pink on the inside, so check the label at the grocery store to see which one you are getting.
They are similar, but the yellow ones are my favorites.
The little black seeds in yellow dragon fruit have a bit more of a crunch and the over flavor is deliciously refreshing.
However, I never met a dragon fruit I didn’t like and would be happy to eat any kind.
Prickly pear are the fruit from nopal cactus and they have rightfully earned their prickly name.
Like the rest of the cactus plant, the fruit has sharp spines on the outside and you really don’t want to get pricked.
This type of cactus grows well in Southern California, so I often see it growing on the side of the road or near hiking trails.
I’ve also got some growing in my backyard.
The paddles (nopales) are edible and so is the fruit.
Other names for prickly pear include tuna (the Spanish name), cactus pear, Indian fig, mission cactus or Barbary fig.
The seeds are edible, but are hard and large.
Some choose to swallow them, while others prefer to spit them out.
How to Handle Prickly Pear
If you are picking it fresh, you need to be very careful harvesting and handling the prickly pears.
Gloves are a must.
When you buy prickly pear in a store, most of the spines have likely been removed.
It’s still good to be careful, since there may be some tiny spines left.
Hold the prickly pear on both ends where there aren’t spines while you carefully remove the peel to reveal the brightly colored fruit inside.
The first time I handled prickly pear it was concerned I’d get poked, but I didn’t.
Now I’m just mindful that there may be spines, but it really is easy and feels like a ‘normal’ food handling process to me.
The absolutely easiest way to use pomegranate arils is to purchase ready-to-eat ones that have already been removed from whole pomegranates.
If you are using a whole pomegranate, start by slicing off the top and bottom of the fruit.
You’ll be able to see how the sections are divided inside.
Score the outside layer of the pomegranate from top to bottom where the sections will separate.
Pull gently apart to get easily managed sections, so that the arils will pop right out.
The finger lime (caviar lime) is an Australian citrus fruit that has recently made it’s way to North America, which is a good thing.
The insides of the finger shaped fruit look a bit like caviar and can be used as a garnish and for the citrusy flavor.
They taste similar to, but not exactly like, regular limes.
If you don’t have access to finger limes, you can use regular lime juice in this recipe.
It won’t be exactly the same, but it will be delicious.
Every year in honor of the Halloween season, Melissa’s Produce celebrates with freaky fruit.
The fruit is all delicious, but it looks and or tastes a bit out of the ordinary.
You can use the fruit creatively to serve up something spooky and fun, which is a great way to encourage people to try new things.
Check #FreakyFruit and #FreakyFruits on social media to get some festive ideas.
This fruit salad is made with an assortment of their featured freaky fruits.
Exotic Fruit Salad Recipe
Yield: 4 Servings
Prep time: 10 minutes
Chill time: 15 minutes
2 Strawberry Papaya
1 Dragon Fruit
1 Prickly Pear
4 Finger Limes or 1 “Regular” Lime
¼ cup Pomegranate Arils
1) Cut strawberry papayas in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds to form the papaya boats. Then scoop out some of the flesh to make the bowls a little bigger. Cut the flesh you removed into chunks to be added to the salad.
2) Peel the dragon fruit and prickly pear and cut into chunks. See above for tips to safely handle the prickly pear, if you are new to using them.
3) Place the chunks of strawberry papaya, dragon fruit and prickly pear into a mixing bowl. If using a “regular” lime, drizzle it’s juice on top of the fruit. If using finger limes, juice 3 of them into the salad mix and reserve the 4th to use as garnish.
4) Use tongs to gently toss the fruit together in the bowl.
5) Assemble your fruit salad boats. Fill each of the boats with the salad mixture. Top with pomegranate arils.
6) Refrigerate for 15 minutes or so to allow the flavors to meld together.
7) Serve and enjoy!
More from Mama Likes To Cook
Check out the rest of my vegetarian recipes, so you can get more great ideas for baking, cooking, blending and juicing.
- Strawberry Feta Spinach Salad
- Arugula Apple Salad with Blue Cheese
- Orange Pomegranate Salad
- Mandarin Salad with Sriracha Peanut Dressing
- Sugar Snap Pea Salad
- Fig and Fennel Salad with Lemon Dressing
- Vegan Mexican Avocado Salad
- Zucchini Mushroom Salad
- Blue Cheese and Roasted Pear Salad
- Roasted Beet Citrus Salad
- Pistachio Golden Beet Salad
- Grilled Corn Salad
- Authentic Caesar Salad
- Blueberry Blue Cheese Salad
- Berry Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
- Fennel Salad with Feta
- Edamame Peanut Salad
- Strawberry Fennel Salad
- Mediterranean Orzo Salad
For a beautiful assortment of kitchen necessities and food gifts for the whole family, check out the current deals at these online stores.
- Miss A $1 Kitchen Tools
- Great Jones pots, pans and baking dishes
- The California Wine Club
- Wine of The Month Club
- JoyJolt Glassware
- Seven Sisters Scones
- Southside Market
Are you ready to have some delicious fun in the kitchen?