Soft, mild papaya really comes alive when you introduce it to sharp lime and fragrant coriander. Papaya is both richly antioxidant and helps with digestion of protein due to the enzymes it contains, making this salad a great companion for meat, fish or cheese. If your tummy likes heat, some finely chopped fresh chilli sets o all those cool clean flavours nicely.
Papaya, cucumber and lime salad
2 ripe papayas, peeled, halved and seeds scooped out
4 spring onions or ½ red onion
2 large handfuls of coriander leaves
2 tablespoons black sesame seeds
juice of 2 juicy limes
3-4 teaspoons raw honey
3-4 pinches of sea salt
Using a vegetable peeler, shave each cucumber into long strips (seeds and all) and put into a mixing bowl. Slice the papaya flesh into half moons and add to the cucumber.
If you are sensitive to FODMAPs, just slice the green parts of the spring onions, and if not, slice the white parts too, or use the red onion, finely sliced. Add the onions to the bowl with most of the coriander leaves, reserving a few for decoration.
Toast the sesame seeds in a dry pan over a medium heat for a few minutes, shaking the pan constantly, until they start popping and smell toasty. Set aside to cool.
In a small bowl, mix the lime juice with the honey and salt, check for seasoning and then pour over the salad, turning gently with your hands.
Arrange the salad on four plates and scatter with the reserved coriander leaves and the toasted sesame seeds. Eat immediately before the papaya softens and the lime oxidises.
Naomi Devlin is the author of Food for a Happy Gut, published by Headline and available in all good bookstores, from which this recipe is reproduced with kind permission.
Photo credit: Laura Edwards