Thursday, July 21, 2011

Jicama, Radish and Pepita Salad

If you've never heard of jicama, it's a tuber from South America that resembles a large, beige turnip. When eaten raw it's crunchy and refreshing (and slightly sweet). Which makes it great for using in cold salads. It tastes kind of like a cross between an apple and water chestnut (with a similar texture too). 

This salad made for a fantastic cold dinner during this week's disgusting heat wave. Ack. According to, tomorrow's forecast predicts a swampy 101º F. in my area...this might finally be my chance to fry an egg outside using only the heat from the sun (I've always wanted to try that). If it works, I'll post the photos.

Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cumin
salt and pepper to taste

1 (5 oz.) package butter lettuce mix or baby spinach leaves
2 cups diced peeled jicama
1 scant cup thinly sliced radishes (about 8)
1/4 lb. cooked shrimp or chicken (optional)
1/3 cup natural shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas), lightly toasted
1/2 cup coarsely crumbled queso fresco or cotija cheese

1.      Whisk dressing ingredients in small bowl. Season to taste.

2.      Toss lettuce, jicama, and radishes in large bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat.

3.      Divide salad among 4 plates. Top with shrimp or chicken (if using). Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and cheese and serve.

adapted from Bon Appétit, July 2005
adding cilantro to dressing
adding honey to dressing
dressing all mixed

Look for medium size jicama at the store (the very
large ones don't have as good a taste or texture).
Make sure there are no wet/soft spots. They keep for
about two weeks in the refrigerator. Peel before eating.
peeled jicama
diced jicama
sliced radishes
baby spinach, jicama and radishes
tossed with dressing
cotija cheese (leftover from making quinoa fritters)
I added shrimp to my salad and served it as a main course.
I just sprinkled some raw shrimp with salt and pepper,
then cooked with a little olive oil for 2-3 minutes per side,
until pink and cooked through.
cooked shrimp
salad before adding shrimp, cheese and pepitas
salad without shrimp

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