This super easy Caribbean papaya salad recipe comes from the island of St Maarten, and it tastes fantastic with BBQ chicken, shrimp or other grilled meats/seafood. With thanks to P&O Cruises for the opportunity to learn about Caribbean cuisine.
I know it’s a bit early in the year to be sharing recipes for summer BBQs, but we’ve just recently returned home after an amazing eight-night Caribbean cruise with P&O Cruises. We’re still in summer holiday mode, despite the heavy snowfall we’re experiencing in Shetland, and I’ve been super excited to share this gorgeous easy papaya salad recipe with you all.
Our third shore excursion, after boarding the cruise ship Azura in Barbados and visiting the islands of Tortola and St. Kitts, was on the tiny Caribbean island of St Maarten. There, we were treated to an Island Delights tour, where, at one of the stops, we enjoyed a cookery demonstration.
We learned how to make this gorgeous papaya salad, Colombo chicken and a rather indulgent banana flambe made with locally brewed spiced rum. More blog posts with video will be up soon, once we’ve had a chance to edit all the footage.
In the meantime, here’s a papaya salad recipe that might inject a bit of Caribbean summer vibe into these cold UK winter days!
INGREDIENTS FOR THIS CARIBBEAN PAPAYA SALAD RECIPE
- fresh papaya – one or two, depending on the size
- red onion – half a large one, or a whole small one
- spring onions/scallions – one good-sized one or two smaller ones
- fresh coriander leaves (replace with mint or basil if you don’t like the taste of coriander)
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- the juice of one lemon
- 60 ml/ 2 oz/ 0.3 cup good quality olive oil – I use Pomora
HOW TO MAKE THIS CARIBBEAN PAPAYA SALAD RECIPE
Step 1: cut your fresh papaya in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and cut the flesh (not the peel) into one-centimetre dice. Place in a small bowl.
Step 2: peel and finely dice the red onion and add to the bowl.
Step 3: finely dice the spring onion/scallions and add to the bowl.
Step 4: squeeze over the juice of one lemon.
Step 5: pour over your good quality olive oil.
Step 6: add your fresh herbs, season well to taste and toss gently to mix. Leave to sit for 20-30 minutes at room temperature for the flavours to develop.
This is a remarkably versatile salad and you can mix and match your Caribbean fruits as desired. Why not add melon, or cantaloupe, pomegranate or mango? If fresh coriander is not your thing, you can substitute fresh basil or even mint.
It’s perfect with Caribbean jerk chicken cooked outdoors on the BBQ (which we also tried in St. Maarten, photo below!), or grilled seafood and shrimps.
The Caribbean diet is a combination of African, Amerindian, British, Spanish, Dutch and Indian flavours due to the influence of the people who explored and migrated to the area hundreds of years ago.
It’s an intense and flavoursome diet, with a focus on bright colours and freshness. It’s also a diet rich in plants and low in red meat.
The Caribbean diet is also very high in seafood, supplemented with a little chicken or goat served as a side or garnish, rather than centre stage like our Western diet. Salt is used sparingly, and herbs and spices are used to flavour dishes instead, often in the form of marinades.
POMORA NEW EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
When we returned home from our cruise, our quarterly delivery of Pomora olive oil had arrived. It was the arrival of this gorgeous, freshest, unfiltered olive oil that spurred me on to recreate this papaya salad at home right away.
Olio nuovo is bottled straight after the olive harvest, an event that is celebrated with a gathering of friends and family at the frantoio. The oil has a vibrant green colour, a distinct fresh flavour and a pizzicante finish – perfect for this easy papaya salad recipe.
Pomora are a small UK business who works closely with two olive oil producers in Italy – Carmello in Sicily and Antonio in Campania. As their growing regions are vastly different, so is the flavour of their oil.
Each quarter I receive a shipment of 3 x 250ml tins of olive oil from Antonio’s family farm. The first shipment of the year is this gorgeous olio nuovo, while the second shipment is a trio of flavoured extra virgin olive oils in rosemary, lemon and chilli. Then, in the late summer, a shipment of extra virgin olive oil arrives, followed by another trio of flavoured oils in basil, garlic and white truffle.
They’re an incredibly delicious brand of olive oil, and I’ve been working with them for years. Prices for their quarterly subscription start from £29 per quarter, and I’m delighted to say their oil is now available in the USA for as little as $49 per quarter!
Have you ever visited the Caribbean? What sort of food did you enjoy while you were there? Let me know in the comments!
Caribbean Papaya Salad
This recipe card may contain affiliate ingredient and equipment links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
- Combine all the ingredients together in a small bowl and toss gently to coat.
- Let sit for 20-30 minutes at room temperature for the flavours to develop.
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- Three years ago: Up Helly Aa – Europe’s Largest Fire Festival
- Four years ago: Chunky Vegetable Soup with Spinach-Cashew Pesto
- Five years ago: Chocolate Black Bean Brownies
- Six years ago: Upcycled Sweater Cat Bed
- Seven years ago: Chicken Stock
PIN THIS EASY CARIBBEAN PAPAYA SALAD RECIPE FOR LATER
This is not a paid post, although as an Amazon Associate and Pomora affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. With thanks to P&O Cruises for the opportunity to learn about Caribbean cuisine on a recent press trip. Thank you for supporting the brands who make it possible for me to do what I love: mess up my kitchen and share recipe stories.