This simple salad incorporates three tropical tastes in a base of Romaine lettuce. Kids will love the sweet fruits and coconut—better for them in their whole fruit form than any juice will be. If the fruits gets them eating salads, all the more reason to include them.
If children are old enough to do the slicing and chopping with knives, then they’ll be able to prepare it. Typically, you will need two-three pieces of romaine lettuce per person.
For the avocado, the ones with the dark, rough skin have the most flavor, as opposed to the avocados with bright green, smooth skin. You want to purchase one that has just a little give when gently pressed. In Mexico and Central America, that is called an “Hoy”, meaning “today.” If the avocado is still firm, it’s a “manana” (tomorrow). If overly ripe, it’s “ayer” (yesterday). You want an “hoy.”
You will need:
Romaine lettuce, washed and spun or patted dry
1 mango, not overly ripe, peeled and cut up into 1/2″ chunks
1 cup papaya, peeled and cut into 1/2″ chunks
2 tablespoons coconut, shredded
1/2 avocado, not overly ripe (“Hoy”) (if many people eating, use the whole avocado)
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons water
Crisp the lettuce: Wash the lettuce and pat dry or spin. Cut or break into bite-size pieces and put in a serving bowl. Put the serving bowl into the frig immediately, where the lettuce will “crisp” while you make the rest of the salad.
Make the dressing: Mash the avocado and add the lemon juice and water. Mix well with a whisk to blend. Add more water, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture can be poured over the salad and tossed. Add a pinch of salt if you prefer.
Make the salad: Toss the salad well with the avocado dressing. Arrange the mango and papaya pieces over the top of the whole salad, or divide up the salad on serving plates and put the tropical fruits on each one. Sprinkle with coconut and serve.