It is called – GUESS THAT FRUIT/VEGETABLE!On a separate piece of paper please write down your answer. Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Open your eyes.

And the answer IS – jicama!

Or jica-huh? As my mother said when I tried to explain to her what I was making for dinner the other day. Jicama is a root vegetable that is also known as a yam bean or Mexican turnip. I’d always heard of it referred to as a cross between an apple and a potato. I really had no concept of what such a thing would taste like until I bit into it. And yeah, that description is pretty much perfect. Jicama is used mostly in fresh fruit salads because of its crisp texture and semi-sweet taste, but like any good root vegetable, it can also be mashed, baked, or fried. It’s also a really good substitute for water chestnuts in stir fries. Jicama has a ridiculous amount of vitamin C so it is very good for you. Also, it is frequently fed to diabetics in place of potatoes because of the fact that humans can’t process the main carbohydrate in it, and so it can’t raise your blood sugar.

I picked up this nice little jicama at MIT’s produce stand. I like how they occasionally have interesting vegetables for me to play with. The only problem once I had it was in deciding what to do with it. After scanning the net for a while, I chose to go with a basic veggie salad side dish. Although I have a vendetta against conventional lettuce salads, I love salads that offer a variety of textures and flavors. The recipe I used came from Simply Recipes and called for a simple lime juice dressing, which I used on the first night that I ate it. The acid was a little much for my stomach lining and so the next night, I used Newman’s Own Sesame Ginger dressing which is my favorite dressing of all time. It was lovely.

Jicama Salad
2 huge servings or 4 normal servings, adapted from Simply Recipes

1 medium jicama, chopped into small cubes,
2 bell peppers, chopped into small cubes
1 large red onion, chopped into small cubes
1 mango, chopped into small cubes (I used a champagne mango!)
1 small cucumber
1/2 avocado (for 2 servings – use a whole one for 4)
1/2 cup cilantro
1/3 cup lime juice
a pinch of cayenne and paprika
salt, to taste

1. Cut everything. This will take about a half hour, unless your knife breaks when try to plunge it into the red onion (as mine did) in which case, all bets are off.

2. Toss everything together and let it marinate for a half hour in the fridge before serving.

I am submitting this to Weekend Herb Blogging, which is being hosted this week by Maninas of Maninas: Food Matters.

You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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11 Responses to We Are Going To Play A Game…

  1. Ulla says:

    This is something you HAVE to be introduced too! Good for you for introducing people to it!
    My cousin did and she is from California! Who would guess from the look of it that you can put it in a salad, looks wonderful!:)

  2. ttfn300 says:

    love jicama! i’ve been meaning to try cooking it a bit…

  3. Natashya says:

    What a great salad! Thanks for the info re jicama and blood sugar.

  4. Reeni? says:

    I love salads like this, with fruit and veggies. The sweet and savory is just delicious!

  5. Debinhawaii says:

    I love jicama! Sometimes we have local ones here. I love it on any salad and sometimes grate it or julienned and in tacos too.

  6. Donna-FFW says:

    What a fantastic looking salad.. fruits and veggies in one!I will have to try the Newmans dressing you recommended. It sounds delicious.

  7. I had jicama for the first time last year in a salad recipe from Ingrid Hoffmann, with a peanut dressing – soooo good, This one looks just as yummy!

  8. burpandslurp says:

    ooh jicama! I once blogged about it, too! you can also roast them, bake them, fry them, sautee them, pretty much cook them any way like potatoes!

  9. Pam says:

    What a colorful salad! Why the personal vendetta against salads?

  10. Sara says:

    I love jicama! This salad sounds terrific.

  11. Joanne says:

    Ulla – Thanks so much for stopping by! I love being introduced to new fruits and veggies and spreading the word once I try (and inevitably love) them.

    ttfn – Your butternut and jicama salad is the next way on my list to enjoy them!

    Natashya – Thanks! You know how I feel about educating others on nutrition…

    Reeni – I agree, interesting salads are the way to go!

    Deb – the taco idea sounds great! I’m sure these jicama were not local at all, but I’m certainly glad I got to try them nonetheless.

    Donna – Double the pleasure, double the fun! Definitely try the dressing, it’s the only one I eat these days!

    Cate – Oooo peanut dressing sounds great! I will have to look it up on the food network website.

    burpandslurp – I will have to look through your blog to find your recipe. Now that I tried them I definitely want to experiment more.

    Pam – Thanks! The vendetta against salad is due to the fact that my parents idea of “vegetables” when I was a kid was mixing together some iceberg lettuce and tomato and smothering it in blue cheese/ranch dressing. Every. Night. So when I think of salad, that’s what I think of. There are just so many more interesting veggie dishes out there!

    Sara – Thanks, I’m so glad I got to try it!

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