Fiesta Papaya, Pineapple and Avocado Salad from Grace-Marie’s Kitchen

by Lynne on May 29, 2010

Post image for Fiesta Papaya, Pineapple and Avocado Salad from Grace-Marie’s Kitchen

Fiesta Salad 1

Going to a cooking class at Grace-Marie’s Kitchen at Bristol Farms in Manhattan Beach is like going home to dinner with your family and friends. Most of the people know each other from previous classes and if you are new, Grace-Marie tells everyone around you to talk to you and make you feel at home. Which they do.

This salad, with papaya, avocado and pineapple, was part of the Cinco de Mayo class I attended and photographed. It is sweet and lush, and the poppy seeds give it an extra little dimension. I think you could use mango instead of papaya, and kiwi would work in this salad also. This would also be a great accompaniment to any grilled chicken or seafood on your summer menu.

Fiesta Salad 2

Some of Grace-Marie’s students have left wonderful comments on my posts about her and I thought they could give you an idea of how they feel about her and her classes. Here are a few:

“I have been going to Grace Marie’s cooking classes for the last 10 years. I have collected so many great recipes from her. We have a group of 6-10 gals who go from Westchester. 4 of us (and husbands) get together every 3 months for a gourmet dinner using mostly GM’s recipes. ~ Alice

Grace Marie you soooooooooooo deserve the recognition for a job ALWAYS well done. I have enjoyed learning with you over the years. You are one of my best go to people for ideas always when it comes to cooking. Thanks and love……..Marti

I’ve been attending Grace-Marie’s “Lunch with Friends” cooking classes faithfully for the past 2 – 3 years, and it’s wonderful!! Can’t tell you how many great recipes I’ve been able to re-create at home with RAVES from my family and friends. Grace-Marie is always entertaining, very knowledgeable, and full of spunk! Bristol Farms is one of my favorite places to shop, and they’re very lucky to have her running their cooking school. ~ Kim”

Fiesta Salad 3

“I am so pleased to see how much you enjoy attending Grace Marie’s Kitchen cooking classes. They are the best and her ability to create the wonderful meals she does is out of this world. She lives and breathes her passion 7 days a week. I should know as I have done the dishes for her at this school at least 15 years. I am glad she is getting more exposure through sites like yours. Good for you. ~ Pam

Grace-Marie, you outdid yourself with this recipe (Ibarra Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake).  I’ve already made it and shared it with several people I know. Everyone I’ve served this to really loved it and of course, had to have the recipe. Thanks for being you and having such a great cooking school. You share so much with all you know. Love, Fran”

For additional recipes, click on Grace-Marie’s Kitchen under Catagories in the right column.

Grace-Marie Johnston

Grace-Marie Johnston

For more information about the cooking classes visit Grace-Marie online at Bristol Farms or email her at

Print Recipe Print Recipe

Fiesta Fruit and Avocado Salad

Serves 8

1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
¼ cup lime juice
¼ cup honey
2 tablespoons shallots – roughly chopped
2 tablespoons poppy seeds
1 tablespoon jalapeno pepper – seeded & roughly chopped
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 teaspoon ground cumin – dry pan roasted
To season — Kosher or sea salt & ground black pepper

Using a blender, combine the oil, lime juice, honey, shallots, poppy seeds, jalapeno, mustard and cumin. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

1 medium pineapple – peeled, cored and diced medium
2 medium papayas (pink flesh) – peeled, seeded & diced medium
2 medium avocados – peeled, seeded, water rinsed & diced medium
1 cup red onion – thinly sliced
½ cup cilantro leaves – roughly chopped
¼ cup mint – thinly sliced

As you prepare the pineapple, papaya, avocado, red onion, cilantro and mint, layer each into a salad bowl. Toss gently with the vinaigrette.

8 ounces fresh Mexican cheese (Queso Fresco, Cojita, etc.) – crumbled

Serve family style or individual plates garnished with the cheese.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne May 30, 2010 at 5:48 am

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and for your sweet comment! I have to say, I really love yours as well. Your photos are amazing the food looks delicious. I wish I lived in CA so I could attend one of these classes! This salad looks delicious. I would not have thought to put jalapeno or cumin in a fruit salad, but I am quite intrigued!

Adair @ Lentil Breakdown May 30, 2010 at 9:23 am

Lovely as always. Would have never thought of stacking those plates like that. Brilliant!

Bubs June 5, 2010 at 9:22 pm

This is my first visit to your blog and this looks amazing!!! Thank you so much for sharing the recipe. Perfect for a dinner on the deck!

joanne February 15, 2011 at 5:57 am

Hi. I made this wonderful salad tonight. We stayed in for Valentines day. I served pan seared sea scallops and the avacado fruit salad. I stopped at a locally bakery to get a slice of triple layered white wedding cake for everyone. What a nice dinner. Everyone loved the fruit salad. Thanks again. Grace Marie has a talent in marrying flavors.

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