Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pitaya Salad with Thai Basil and Lime Juice Dressing

Pitaya, or a dragon fruit, is one of those exotic fruit that still require some introduction. Unlike mangoes and papayas, pitaya is not widely available in grocery stores. You might be able to buy it in refined groceries or Chinese, Thai, or Vietnamese stores. 

Pitaya is rich in minerals, especially Calcium and Magnesium; Vitamin C and fiber. Moreover, pitahaya also contains considerable amounts of phyto-albumin (water soluble protein) that is believed to have a strong antioxidant effect in the human body. 


Most people I've met "complain" that pitaya is tasteless. The fruit has, indeed,  a very delicate scent and a very mild, almost neutral taste. It isn't even really sweet, although the riper the fruit the sweeter it becomes. Red pitahayas are more aromatic and sweeter than the white, but are also more difficult to obtain.

Because of its high water content and neutral taste pitaya can be used as a base for juices, smoothies and fruit salads. It combines very well with water melon, strawberries and other exotic fruit.

I wanted to have my pitaya salad for lunch and decided to add a little twist to it. As always this recipe is meant to be an inspiration for those who dare to experiment with food.

  • 2-3 ripe pitayas
  • freshly pressed juice of 1 lime
  • 1 Tbsp Thai style coconut milk
  • 1 Tbsp raw honey
  • pinch pink Himalaya salt
  • pinch lemon grass powder
  • few sprigs of Thai basil

Pitaya salad

  • Peel pitayas and chop the fruit flesh into cubes. Place the fruit in a large salad bowl. (The skin is rather thick so it is easy to peel it off.)  
  • In a smaller bowl whisk a dressing using all the lime juice, coconut milk, honey and salt. Add a tiny pinch of lemon grass powder, but be careful not to overdo it. 
  • Pour dressing over the fruit and mix gently.
  • Carefully wash the basil and pinch the tiny leaves off the twigs. Add basil to the salad bowl and mix carefully.
  • Cover the salad bowl and place it in the fridge for ca. 10 minutes to allow flavors to mix.
  • Serve chilled in individual salad bowls and enjoy in good company.

I created this recipe for white pitaya. If you are lucky enough to find red pitahaya and still want to make this salad, you may have to skip the salt and lemon grass and add more coconut milk instead. As always, experiment!

In radiant health - passionately raw - Dominique

Dominique Allmon©2013


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