Friday, February 26, 2016

What's the Most Exciting Vegetable You're Probably Not Eating?

Jicama, pronounced “hee-ka-ma,” is a root vegetable with a juicy, crunchy and exciting flavor - something like a savory apple! Depending on what you will be using it for, jicama can be prepared in a variety of ways. Cut it into cubes (perfect for skewering and adding to a crudités platter), sliced into discs and served with dips, guacamole and salsa, cut into strips (French fry style) to use for dipping and julienned and/or shredded for salads. Jicama can be found in the refrigerated section of the produce department in most grocery stores nationwide.

Like most root vegetables, jicama is an ingredient that bolsters me to follow my creative impulses. When I designed this simple and complementing combination and presented it to taste-testers, I was thrilled with all the enthusiastic thumbs up. The combination of the sweet mango and crunchy jicama and roasted cashews with the salty lime dressing made for an impressive and pleasing lettuce salad with delightful contrasting textures.

Jicama, Mango and Cashew Salad with Salty Lime Dressing

⅓ cup olive oil
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon salt
6 very generous handfuls of red leaf lettuce, washed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1 ripe mango, cut into bite-sized pieces
1 cup jicama, peeled and julienned
½ cup roasted cashews

1.      In a 1-cup jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine the olive oil, lime juice and salt. Shake until well blended.
2.      Place lettuce leaves in a large bowl and toss with enough dressing to coat the leaves. Divide lettuce among 6 serving plates.
3.      In a small bowl, combine mango, jicama and cashews and toss with enough dressing to coat the ingredients. Top lettuce leaves with mango mixture, distributing ingredients evenly. Serve immediately.

6 servings