Dragon Fruit Salad with Lemony Chicken & Butternut Purée

Also called pitaya, dragon fruit is a dramatic-looking tropical fruit is rich in vitamin C, iron and red pigments called betacyanins, which help protect the heart from damage.
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Dragon Fruit Salad with Lemony Chicken & Butternut Purée recipe

Despite its intimidating exterior, dragon fruit has a delicate, mildly sweet flavor.

  • Duration
  • Prep Time
  • 4Servings

Ingredients

PURÉE

  • 1/2 small butternut squash, diced
  • 5 carrots, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup organic unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp peeled and grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper

CHICKEN

  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2½ tsp finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp fresh lemon zest
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp sea salt

SALAD

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp peeled and minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1/8 tsp each sea salt and ground black pepper
  • 1 dragon fruit (white or pink), peeled and diced
  • 2¼ packed cups frisée, cut into 2-inch pieces (about 4 oz) or mixed greens
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped toasted unsalted almonds
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped

Preparation

1. Place a rack in the top third of oven; preheat to 400°F.

2. Prepare purée: Fit a steamer basket in a large pot with water to ½ inch below basket. Place squash and carrots in basket, cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and steam for 20 minutes, until tender. Transfer to a blender along with remaining purée ingredients; blend until smooth. Cover to keep warm.

3. Meanwhile, prepare chicken: Coat chicken with oil; season with thyme, lemon zest, pepper and salt. Arrange on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165°F, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a cutting board; let rest for 10 minutes, loosely covered. Cut into ½-inch strips.

4. Prepare salad: In a medium bowl, whisk oil, vinegar, ginger, orange juice, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper. Add remaining salad ingredients; gently toss. Serve with the purée and sliced chicken.

More Uses: Halve dragon fruits, scoop out flesh and purée with coconut milk and honey until smooth; process in an ice cream maker. Or try mixing diced dragon fruit flesh, diced pineapple, chopped red onion, minced serrano peppers and lime juice for an easy tropical salsa. Be sure not to eat the skin of the dragon fruit, as it can cause digestive upset. 

Health Tip: Also called pitaya, this dramatic-looking tropical fruit has a soft white or red flesh that’s dotted with small black seeds, much like kiwi. Dragon fruit is rich in vitamin C, iron and red pigments called betacyanins, which help protect the heart from damage. Research shows that dragon fruit extract can help regulate blood sugar levels, reduce oxidative damage and decrease blood vessel stiffness, while betacyanins have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-cancer properties.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 554
  • Carbohydrate Content: 29 g
  • Cholesterol Content: 135 mg
  • Fat Content: 40 g
  • Fiber Content: 7 g
  • Protein Content: 24 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 12 g
  • Sodium Content: 627 mg
  • Sugar Content: 10 g
  • Monounsaturated Fat Content: 22 g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat Content: 4.5 g