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Papaya and Avocado Salads with Hawaiian Vanilla Vinaigrette

Photo: Thayer Allyson Gowdy
Yield Serves 12
Time: 30 minutes, plus macerating time. These delicately floral, fruity salads are built on individual lettuce leaves, making them easy to pick up and eat.


  • 6 tablespoons Champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 Hawaiian (or other) vanilla bean*
  • 24 medium-size butter lettuce leaves (from about 3 heads)
  • 2 papayas, peeled and sliced
  • 2 large avocados, peeled and sliced

Nutrition Information

  • calories 171
  • caloriesfromfat 79 %
  • protein 1.3 g
  • fat 15 g
  • satfat 2.2 g
  • carbohydrate 9 g
  • fiber 1.4 g
  • sodium 55 mg
  • cholesterol 0.0 mg

How to Make It

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar, oil, salt, and sugar. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise, scrape seeds from one half with the back of a paring knife, and add seeds and scraped pod to vinaigrette (reserve other half of pod for another use). Set aside at room temperature for at least 1 hour to let the vanilla flavor develop.

  2. Arrange lettuce leaves on a large platter in a single layer. On each leaf, lay 1 or 2 slices of papaya and 1 or 2 slices of avocado. Drizzle vinaigrette over salad.

  3. *Available at gourmet grocery stores and from

  4. Make ahead: Mix vinaigrette up to 1 day ahead and chill.

  5. Note: Nutritional analysis is per serving.