Spicy Rainbow Salad.

[Hi! I’m partnering with Sutter Home today to bring you a spicy recipe to serve with their Riesling! Thanks so much to Sutter Home for sponsoring this post!]

HELLO. Who doesn’t want to eat the rainbow?

When we’re told to eat the rainbow, this is exactly what I envision. Rainbow salad like whoa. All of these gorgeous colors, so much crunch. It’s how a salad SHOULD look. A combination of bright and refreshing fruit and veggies with crunchy, spicy lime dressing and loads of fresh herbs.

How could anyone say no to this beauty?


Here’s the deal. This salad is a take on one of the best salads here in Pittsburgh, the Caribbean rainbow salad from Kaya. If you haven’t had that salad yet? RUN. Run and get it today. It is SO delicious and fresh and satisfying. And that’s coming from someone who isn’t a salad lover. As one of the most talked about salads in the city, I knew that I had to try to recreate it at home.

And something super exciting? Today, I’m partnering with Sutter Home to bring you a spicy recipe that pairs amazingly well with their Riesling. I am a huuuuge Riesling lover. It’s one of the only exceptions that I make when it comes to sweet wine.

Sutter Home’s Riesling is light and almost tropical-like. It’s delicious when served ice cold; incredibly refreshing is the first thing that comes to mind. I can taste some slight peach and watermelon so obviously it’s what I want to drink right now in the heat. It’s like it was made for me. And those fruits shine through and pair with the papaya and mango and bountiful veggies in this bowl and it’s like the best flavor explosion you’ve ever tried. So much produce and such a stunner! I just knew that it would be ideal with this salad.

While I love the sweetness, what I REALLY freak over is how well this Riesling pairs with something spicy. The spicy lime dressing on this rainbow salad is unreal. It is tangy and lime-y with a bite from the diced jalapeño. It’s not overwhelming, but it’s juuuust spicy enough to meet the Riesling in the middle for what I consider an fantastic pairing. The fresh jalapeño slices also add something wonderful – and you could use pickled ones too. Even candied ones if you want more of the spicy + sweet.

Back to our rainbow bowl…

This vibrant salad includes papaya and mango, which I am ALL over. I adore fruit in salads – that’s no secret. It makes the veggie-hater in me enjoy a green plate just a leeeettle bit more.  We also have fresh bell peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers and shredded carrots.

I quickly caramelized some plantains in a skillet (it’s the only real cooking we do here, unless you make the crispy shallots!) and we also have chickpeas on the side. These make the salad super filling and satisfying – a necessity for us in this house.

A sliced avocado on top for creaminess. Can’t have a salad in 2018 without avo! Pickled onions too and not only because they are pink. Well, maybe. But their brine-y flavors adds a whole other element.

There are tons of fresh herbs and that might be my favorite part. Combined they add more wonderful fresh flavor.

A giant sprinkle of sesame seeds for even more unexpected taste. Roasted and salted pepitas too! I know… this is a dream pile of greens right? All the things in one bowl.

For the topping? Here, I crisped up some shallots which add a fantastic texture and pair perfectly with the spice. But if it’s a sweltering day and you can’t bear to do that? Add on some crunchy, dried plantains for the crisp bite. It’s just as delish.

If it seems like everything in your fridge is inside this bowl, it’s because it is. This recipe can serve two as a meal, four as a side – or if it’s at a big party with lots of other dishes? You can stretch it even more. It’s gigantic rainbow-ness entices everyone, trust me.

Oh oh! And the entire thing is drizzle with the spicy lime dressing. And served with a chilled glass of the Sutter Home Riesling. Can’t get enough of, ice cold.

Seriously, I think we have found our meal for summer.

Yield: 2
Spicy Rainbow Salad
Total Time:
45 mins
  • 1 plantain
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 cups butter lettuce greens or baby spinach
  • 1 cup sliced papaya
  • ½ cup grape tomatoes sliced
  • ½ cup chickpeas
  • ¼ cup chopped red pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped green pepper
  • ¼ cup chopped cucumber
  • ¼ cup shredded carrot
  • ¼ cup chopped mango
  • ¼ cup pickled onion
  • 2 tablespoons roasted + salted pepitas
  • 1 avocado thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons sliced jalapeno pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
  • lime wedges for serving
  • crispy onions or plantain chips for topping
  • 1 bottle Sutter Home Riesling to pair
spicy lime dressing
  • 2 limes juiced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper seeded and diced
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. The only thing to cook here is the plantain! Peel the plantain and chop it into chunks. Heat the skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Add the plantain and cook for 5 to 6 minutes, until it becomes golden brown. Remove it from the heat.
  2. Place the lettuce in the center of your plate. Build the rainbow salad around the lettuce, adding the papaya, tomatoes, chickpeas, plantains, peppers, cucumber, carrot and mango. Top with the pickled onions and the pepitas. Add the avocado in the middle, then sprinkle on the jalapeño slices and the basil, cilantro and mint. Sprinkle on the sesame seeds. Add a wedge of lime for spritzing.
  3. The one thing left to do is your topping. You can either use some crispy frizzled shallots/onions (store-bought or make your own here!) or some crunchy plantain chips!
  4. Drizzle with the dressing and serve with a chilled glass of Riesling on the side.
spicy lime dressing
  1. Whisk together the lime juice, cilantro, garlic, pepper, honey, salt and pepper. Continue to whisk while streaming in the olive oil until the dressing is emulsified. This stays great in the fridge for up to a week!

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I appreciate you so much!

And that… is a SALAD.