Charred Papaya Salad with Tamarind Vinaigrette
Thomas J. Story
AuthorCharles Olalia

In the heat of summer, you want a salad that won’t wilt. Sweet papaya and earthy kale pick up smoke on the grill. Smaller, tender bunches of kale work best. L.A. chef and recipe developer Charles Olalia keeps the papaya slices and kale leaves whole to minimize prep work when camping, but you can cut them into smaller pieces after grilling if you are cooking at home. Leaving the skin on the papaya keeps it from falling apart on the grill.

How to Make It

1

Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high (about 450°). Trim off the most fibrous base of the kale stalks. Grill papaya slices until grill marks appear and papaya is slightly caramelized, about 3 minutes per side. Set aside. In a medium bowl, combine kale, olive oil, and salt and toss to coat. Grill kale until slightly charred and partially wilted, about 3 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.

2

Place a medium cast-iron pan on the grill or side burner. When pan is hot, add shallot and peanuts and cook until toasted but not burnt, about 5 minutes.

3

In a medium bowl, combine tamarind mixture, honey, olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, ginger, and salt. Whisk until thoroughly combined.

4

Transfer papaya rings to a serving platter, top with wilted kale, and drizzle with vinaigrette. Garnish with peanuts, shallots, and nasturtiums, if using.

Ingredients

 1 bunch kale
 1 large Hawaiian sweet papaya, seeded and cut into 3⁄4-in. rings
 1 tbsp olive oil
 ¼ tsp kosher salt
 1 large shallot, sliced and separated into rings
 2 tbsp shelled, unsalted peanuts
 Nasturtium blossoms (optional)
TAMARIND VINAIGRETTE
 4 tbsp tamarind paste, dissolved in 4 tbsp. hot water, seeds removed
 3 tbsp honey
 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
 2 tsp Dijon mustard
 1 tbsp lemon juice
 3 tbsp finely chopped peeled fresh ginger
 ¼ tsp salt

Directions

1

Heat a gas or charcoal grill to medium-high (about 450°). Trim off the most fibrous base of the kale stalks. Grill papaya slices until grill marks appear and papaya is slightly caramelized, about 3 minutes per side. Set aside. In a medium bowl, combine kale, olive oil, and salt and toss to coat. Grill kale until slightly charred and partially wilted, about 3 minutes per side. Remove and set aside.

2

Place a medium cast-iron pan on the grill or side burner. When pan is hot, add shallot and peanuts and cook until toasted but not burnt, about 5 minutes.

3

In a medium bowl, combine tamarind mixture, honey, olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, ginger, and salt. Whisk until thoroughly combined.

4

Transfer papaya rings to a serving platter, top with wilted kale, and drizzle with vinaigrette. Garnish with peanuts, shallots, and nasturtiums, if using.

Charred Papaya Salad with Tamarind Vinaigrette