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Pea Shoot Papaya Salad

I like a green salad. But not in the way it's possible to like a burger. Or pizza. I mean, I would drive across town to check out a new burger joint, or go out of my way to make it to whatever wins the city's Best Pizza award, but I'm not so sure I would do the same for a green salad. Because let's face it, a salad is neither ooey nor gooey. Unfortunately. 

Don't get me wrong here, salads have their moments. There is comfort in eating your greens and knowing you are doing something good for your body. But for me a salad has got to have a satisfying depth of texture, and taste light years beyond boring to make it onto my table at home.

Pea shoot greens have this great seed-like thing going on. Their crisp, fresh flavour reminds me of the delicate nuttiness of sunflower seeds, which goes incredibly well with fresh fruits. I went for chunks of juicy papaya because I had it on hand and the colour contrast is a lot of fun.

This salad is finished with toasted nuts and a quick and easy lime honey vinaigrette that brings it all together for a fresh and fruity side dish, lunch or appetizer with big, satisfying flavour.

Get the recipe below...

Pea Shoot Papaya Salad
Makes 2 side or appetizer salads (can be easily doubled)
2 cups (500 mL) pea shoot greens
1 cup (250 mL) large diced papaya
zest of half a lime
juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup (60 mL) olive oil
1/2 tsp (2 mL) honey
1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt
1/2 cup (125 mL) toasted chopped walnuts or pecans (see Tip below for toasting raw nuts)
Pile the pea shoots equally onto 2 side plates, nice and tall. Arrange half the papaya on each bed of shoots.
To a vinaigrette shaker or mason jar with a lid, add the lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, honey and salt. Cover and shake well. Pour equally over the salads. Top each salad with half the toasted nuts. Serve immediately.
TIP: To toast raw nuts, add them to a hot, dry pan and toss occasionally until lightly toasted (3 to 4 minutes). Keep an eye on them so they don't burn.
You wouldn't drive across town for a green salad either, would you? What makes a green salad interesting to you?