Food always seems to taste better when you’re in Hawaii. Exotic tropical flavors refresh our senses and remove us from our gastronomic ruts. Here’s a salad dressing recipe that has Hawaiian origins, but can easily be made in anyone’s home. Not only is it a cinch to make, it uses normally wasted parts of a papaya – its seeds. Papaya seeds have a slightly bitter and peppery taste which adds an interesting element to the sweet-sour base of the dressing.
My sister, who is a fabulous cook, gave this recipe to me decades ago. She was my “go-to” source for recipes when I was a young bride, and sometimes even now.
Papaya Seed Salad Dressing:
1 cup tarragon vinegar
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 cup salad oil
1/2 medium onion, diced
3 tablespoons fresh papaya seeds, rinsed and drained
1. Cut the papaya in half lengthwise and scoop the seeds into a bowl. (If not using immediately, cover the bowl and put the seeds in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the salad dressing – hopefully within a day or two).
2. Place all ingredients into a blender. Blend until thoroughly mixed and smooth. Papaya seeds will resemble ground black pepper flakes.
3. Pour into a glass jar and chill for at least one hour before serving.
4. Shake or stir before serving.
Don’t forget to eat the papaya! Put each papaya half on a plate and serve it with a wedge of lime. There’s nothing quite like the fresh taste of papaya and lime! With their buttery flesh, papayas are not only delicious to eat, they are also an excellent source of antioxidants (carotene, vitamin C, and flavonoids), B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and fiber.