I discovered a taste for Jicama a couple months back, after reading a terrific book I told you about on this blog. It's a staple of many Mexican and Latin American diets, and is terrific for its nutritional value as well as its culinary diversity. Jicama is one of those ingredients with almost no flavor but wonderful texture so it adds an interesting element to a dish. Its crunchiness reminds me of a starchy Granny Smith apple. But, it's as flavorless as something like a water chestnut yet vaguely sweet. So it will absorb whatever you give it for season and flavoring just beautifully. I created a salad that is a little bit like guacamole with crunchy "chips" included. Take a look at my "Jicama and Avocado Salad".
The recipe couldn't be easier, and the result is really fresh and satisfying. If you like guacamole or Mexican-influenced foods, you should give this salad a try. We had as a late summer meal with smoky barbecued chicken and it was a terrific combination. I only wish I had thought to make up a pitcher of margaritas as well!
You can easily adjust and scale this recipe and let your taste buds be your guide in how much spiciness or tartness you want in the dressing. The photo below shows a whole jicama before peeling in case you've never seen one. It's the root on the left side of the shot. Peel it just like you would a potato. If it's not super firm and fresh, after peeling and slicing place it in an ice water bath for 10 minutes before preparing the salad.
2 medium jicama, about 1.5 lbs. peeled and sliced into thin sticks
2 ripe avocados, pitted and sliced
4 small or 2 medium ripe tomatoes, diced
1 small jalapeno pepper or serrano chile, minced
1 lime, juiced
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
3 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. cilantro, if desired
1. Peel and slice the jicama and let stand in an ice water bath for 10 minutes. Drain all water and place in a large bowl.
2. Add the avocado and tomato to the bowl of jicama. Squeeze 1 tsp. of lime juice over the avocado pieces to keep them from turning brown. Toss gently.
3. In a second bowl, prepare the dressing by adding the jalapeno pepper and the remainder of juice from the lime. Add the chili powder and salt and whisk vigorously. Slowly drizzle in the olive oil, one tablespoon at a time, whisking briskly and continuously, until the dressing is thickened. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently. Serve immediately and enjoy this scrumptious summer salad!