« back to recipes

Grilled Papaya and Shrimp Spinach Salad

Soups and Salads

Serves 4

Take a vacation from ordinary with this island inspired salad. Baby spinach is topped with grilled papaya, shrimp and banana and then sprinkled with toasted coconut.



  • 1/2 cup unsweetened shredded dried coconut
  • 1/2 pound bacon, chopped
  • 2 firm-ripe papayas (1-2/3 lb total)
  • 2 firm-ripe bananas (1 lb total)
  • 3/4 pound (26 to 28 per lb) shelled, deveined shrimp, rinsed


  • 3/4 cup orange juice
  • 3 Tbsp lemon juice
  • About 1-1/2 Tbsp salad oil
  • 1-1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 2 quarts (1/2 lb) lightly packed baby spinach leaves, rinsed and drained
  • Salt and pepper


In a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium heat cook coconut, stirring frequently until golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour from pan.

Add bacon to pan. Stir often over medium-high heat until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer bacon to towels. Discard fat in pan.

Peel papayas, seed, and cut into 1- to 1-1/2 inch chunks. Peel bananas and cut diagonally into 1 to 1-1/2 inch thick slices. Thread papayas and bananas separately onto 1 or 2 metal skewers (about 14 in.) each. Thread shrimp in a C-shape (through tails and bodies) onto 2 or 3 skewers. Brush shrimp with about 1/2 tablespoon oil.

Lightly oil a barbecue grill over a solid bed of medium-hot coals or a gas grill over medium-high heat (you can hold your hand at grill level only 3 to 4 seconds). Lay skewers on grill; close lid on gas grill. Cook until fruit is hot and shrimp are opaque but still moist-looking in center of thickest part (cut to test), turning halfway through cooking, 4 to 6 minutes total.


Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix orange juice, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon oil, and curry powder. Add spinach and bacon to the bowl and mix gently. Lift spinach mixture from bowl and mound equally on plates.

Slide hot fruit and shrimp from skewers into remaining dressing in bowl and mix to coat. Spoon equal portions of fruit and shrimp with dressing onto spinach. Sprinkle coconut equally over salads. Season to taste with salt and pepper.