The papaya is used cooked or raw, ripe or unripe, and the seeds can be ground to add a kind of black pepper taste to food. Unripe, green fruit is typically cooked and used in curries, chutneys and stews, while ripe fruit is typically eaten raw with a wedge of lime. Today we are bringing you an unusual papaya recipe that was adapted from Betty Crocker Regional and International Recipes. It offers a savory twist to a typical fruit-based dish and can be made vegetarian by substituting firm tofu for the ground beef.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 pound ground beef (or firm tofu)
- 1 (16-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained
- 1 serrano chile, seeded and de-veined, and finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 4 papayas, cut in half length wise and seeded
- 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Reggiano
- Olive oil
Coat a large pan with olive oil and cook ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until beef is light brown. Drain; stir in tomatoes, serrano chile, salt, and pepper. Break up tomatoes with fork and heat until the mixture boils. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered until most of the liquid has evaporated (about 10 minutes).
Place about 1/3 cup beef mixture in each papaya half and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
Arrange papayas in a shallow roasting pan or dutch oven. Pour very hot water into pan to within 1 inch of tops of papaya halves. Bake at 350 degrees until papayas are very tender and hot, about 30 minutes.
Until next time,
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