Salads, Starters & Sides
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Zesty Fruit Salad with Chili, Mint & Cilantro

I’ve always had a partiality for salads. Any kind of salad – except those that are absolutely drowning in dressing. You know the ones… I’m not talking coleslaw here.

Salads are exactly what I love about summer. Light, fresh salads with endless possibilities for creating them. This week I took home a nice big chunk of seedless watermelon…you know, one of those ones where you see the sugars crystalizing. Amazing. Crispy, sweet and oh so delicious. I was thinking I’d like to make something of a fruit salad, but one that would also serve a good dinner side, rather than a dessert. So throwing in a cucumber and some fresh herbs should do the trick. Mmmm that papaya is looking pretty good too. How about putting a spin on it and adding some chili and peanuts? Now I am thinking Asian flair. So low and behold, a crunchy, colorful, tasty and refreshing fruit salad with tropical Asian flavors. Best thing, it also doubles as a great salad to take to your next BBQ or picnic.

Whenever I buy a papaya, I also use the seeds in the dressing. They are a great replacement for pepper and have some pretty outstanding health benefits for your liver and digestion. Okay, I did read a peculiar fact that they also have contraceptive properties. Turns out, both men and women on the Indian subcontinent and in parts of Southeast Asia have long eaten papaya seeds as an effective and safe contraceptive. Interesting. It appears that for men, one teaspoon of papaya seeds per day over three months is fully effective at reducing a man’s fertility to a big fat null…not sure if male readers will see this as a good thing or a bad thing. No worries mate, it’s claim is temporary!

ZESTY FRUIT SALAD WITH CHILI, MINT & CILANTRO
Serves 6-8

INGREDIENTS:
1 ripe papaya, peeled, cut in half (seeds removed and set aside) and cubed
700 g seedless watermelon, peeled, cubed (about 1/4 medium-sized watermelon)
2 baby cucumbers (or 1/2 English cucumber), cut into half moons
1 fresh red chili pepper, seeds removed, cut into thin strips
juice of 1 organic lemon
sea salt, to taste
1/4 cup roasted peanuts (60 g)
2 tablespoons fresh chopped mint
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro

METHOD:
1. Using a handheld mixer or mortar coarsely grind the papaya seeds (they are used instead of pepper).

2. In a large bowl, add all ingredients. Mix together with lemon juice, salt and papaya seeds and serve.

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