This summer salad can make a light but satisfying lunch or supper. You buy the shrimp already cooked. Serve the salad with a small bowl of broth and some buttered warm crackers. For something sweet to finish this light meal, I love to get a good thick bar of chocolate, break it into chunks and serve it with iced coffee topped with whipped cream.
Rinse the cooked shrimp under cold running water, pat dry with paper towels, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate.
Preparing the Papaya
Cut the papaya in half lengthwise, and 1) use the spoon to scoop out and discard the seeds. Peel off the skin with a paring knife and discard, then place the papaya cut side down on a cutting board. 2) Use a sharp knife to cut the fruit lengthwise into slices 1/2 inch wide, then slice those pieces crosswise into 1/2-inch chunks. Remember that a ripe papaya is fragile, and will turn to mush if harshly handled.
Finishing the Salad
Rinse the lettuce leaves and pat dry with paper towels.
Rinse the parley and pat dry; remove the stems and discard. Finely chop the leaves.
Arrange 2 or 3 lettuce leaves on each serving plate, making them into a bed for the salad.
Stir the milk into the mayonnaise to thin it.
Distribute the shrimp and papaya onto the 4 plates. Sprinkle on salt, drizzle the dressing over each serving, and scatter some chopped parsley on top. Serve.
Recipe courtesy of Marion Cunningham, Learning to Cook with Marion Cunningham, Random House, 1999