Spring is finally here and with it a growing sense of optimism—backyard picnics, dinner outdoors, heaping salads pared with refreshing drinks. This recipe comes from One MICHELIN Star Don Angie in New York's Greenwich Village, a bright, modern Italian-American restaurant from wife-and-husband chef-duo Angie Rito and Scott Tacinelli.
- One large ripe, sweet papaya (approx. 2 ¼-pound), peeled and seeded
- 1/4 pound prosciutto, thinly sliced
- 1 cup large crumbles of good-quality feta cheese
- 5-6 sprigs Thai basil, leaves picked
- ½ cup tamarind dressing
- 1 cup candied hazelnuts, roughly chopped (recipe below, or substitute toasted hazelnuts)
- Extra virgin olive oil, for finishing
- Freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons cup tamarind concentrate
- 2 tablespoons plus 1½ teaspoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon Sriracha
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 ½ teaspoons fish sauce
- ½ teaspoon garlic, grated on a microplane (from about one small clove)
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- Zest of two limes
If you feel so inclined, try these candied hazelnuts (yields 2 cups). Otherwise, simply toast hazelnuts.
- 1 egg white
- Zest of one lime
- 2 teaspoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika, preferably Hungarian
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 2 cups whole roasted peeled hazelnuts
- Preheat oven to 325°F.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the egg white with the lime zest until thick and frothy, 1-2 minutes.
- In a separate small mixing bowl, mix together sugar, salt, paprika, and cayenne.
- Add the hazelnuts to the whipped egg white-lime zest mixture and fold with a rubber spatula until all nuts are evenly coated.
- Add the sugar-spice mixture and stir until all granules are totally incorporated into the egg mixture, and evenly coating all of the nuts.
- Add the lime juice and stir the nuts again to evenly coat.
- Spread nuts on a Silpat or lightly oiled, parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes.
- Coat a large spoon with cooking oil and stir the nuts with it, ensuring that all candy evenly coats the nuts.
- Return nuts to oven for another 10 minutes.
- Re-oil the spoon and stir the nuts again. Return to oven for 5 minutes more, until nuts are shiny and the sugar coating has turned a golden brown color.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Make the tamarind dressing
In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the tamarind concentrate, lime juice, sugar, salt, Sriracha, olive oil, fish sauce, garlic, lime zest and chili flakes until combined. You should have about 1 cup.
Assemble the salad
- Slice the papaya into 1-inch wedges, then cut each wedge into 4-5 pieces (you should have about 4 cups of papaya).
- In a large bowl, toss papaya with the tamarind dressing and half of the Thai basil leaves.
- Spoon the dressed melon onto a platter or individual plates.
- Sprinkle crumbled feta over the top, followed by the chopped hazelnuts.
- Top with prosciutto, loosely folding the meat to create height on the plate. Top with the remaining Thai basil leaves. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil and freshly cracked pepper.
Hero image: Don Angie's Prosciutto and Papaya Salad. Photo courtesy of Don Angie