My initial plan was to make a sweet and salty, spicy and bitter Vietnamese-style salad using green papaya and the chicken leftovers from yesterday. It turns out I didn’t pay attention at the market and bought a very ripe papaya, so I opted for a completely different dish with kale and pesto walnut vinaigrette.
It wasn’t what I envisioned from the beginning but I ended up with the flavors I wanted for this salad: sweet and salty and spicy and bitter. I’ll probably do it again. This is one result of many experiments that turned out successfully!
1. Info for Chicken Kale Salad with Papaya
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 45 mins
- Servings: 6
- Calories: 456 kcal
2. Ingredients for Chicken Kale Salad with Papaya
- 2½ pounds fresh baby kale leaves
- ½ ripe papaya, peeled and seeded
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 teaspoons lime juice
- 1 clove pickled garlic, finely minced
- 1½ tablespoons honey
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes
- ¼ cup kale walnut pesto
- 2 chicken breats, boiled
- ½ teaspoon white pepper, freshly ground
- Prepping the kale: Wash the raw kale thoroughly in several baths. Remove and discard any fibrous and older parts of the stems. Sprinkle with a bit of salt. Toss well.
- In a mini blender (or a regular blender if you don’t have a mini), combine the mustard, honey, lemon juice, red chili flakes and pickled garlic. Blend until smooth. Add 2 tablespoons kale pesto. Season with salt and pepper. Add the extra-virgin olive oil and flax seed oil and briefly pulse 2-3 times.
- Dice the papaya
- Cut the chicken into pieces.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the dressing and kale. Massage and toss well until well coated. Top with a line of chicken pieces and spread the papaya.
- Serve at room temperature.
- Bon appétit!