Jicama (pronounced HIK-ka-ma) is what I like to call a Mexican potato (with half the calories and more than twice the fiber of a potato with skin). It is a crisp, sweet tuber that has been cultivated in South America for centuries, and is popular in Mexican dishes. It can be eaten raw or cooked. I love it raw chopped up into matchsticks and sprinkled with a little cayenne and lime juice. I have also shredded it before and used it to make hashbrowns, sauteed with garlic, onion, tex-mex seasoning and olive oil. They where delicious. It stays slightly crunchy and absorbs all the flavors beautifully.
Also known as yam bean, jicama can be stored in a cool, dry, dark place for a few weeks. Choose ones smaller than about two fists as they get more tough and fibrous when they get that large. Jicama can be used to replace waterchest nuts in recipes, just add at the end of cooking. They are also great to use in a slaw, and perfect for stirfrys as they add a nice crunchy texture.
Quick word of warning the peel and other plant parts contain rotenene, an organic poison and should be discarded. But the white flesh is perfectly safe for children and adults.
This jicama salad is another one of my favorite ways to enjoy this awesome vegetable. Looking for something else to add to your xmas list? A mandoline makes this salad a breeze. Enjoy!
Yield: Serves 4.
Modified from simply recipes
-1 large jicama (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, then julienned or cubed (easiest to work with if you cut the jicama in half first)
-1/2 red bell pepper, diced
-1/2 yellow bell pepper, diced
-1/2 green bell pepper, diced
-1/2 cup chopped red onion
-1/2 a large cucumber, seeded, chopped
-2 navel oranges, peel cut away, sliced crosswise, then each round quartered (reserve any juices)
-1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
-1/2 avocado chopped
-1/3 cup lime juice
-2-3 Tbsp olive oil
-2-3 tbsp honey
-Pinch of cayenne
-Pinch of paprika
1 Toss together the jicama, bell peppers, red onion, cucumber, orange, avocado and cilantro in a large serving bowl. Whisk together lime juice, olive oil, honey and any orange juices and pour over salad. Sprinkle with a pinch of cayenne and paprika. Season with salt. Toss.
2 Let sit a half an hour before serving.