Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Jicama-Avocado Salad with a Spicy Citrus Vinaigrette

Sadly, I very rarely make it out to our local farmer's market because I work all of the three days that it is up and running in the summertime. I do, however, have a pretty cool "Produce Guy" that does his best to supply as many local goodies as he can, seven days a week. He is also known to stock the shelves with a few funky fruit and veggie items that don't often find themselves in the standard chain supermarket's aisles. When I go visit him on Friday mornings he greats me with a hearty "Hello, Young Lady! Look what I have for you today!" and, knowing that I am not only a vegan but an adventurous vegan, he is always sure to point out the random and unexpected produce items he has in stock for the week. It was he that brought sunchokes into my life, and it was he that convinced me to try the jicama for the first time.

The jicama is also known as the Mexican turnip. It's a fairly low-calorie root vegetable that has a sweet taste - almost like a very mild apple. It is best eaten raw, making it perfect for salads.

The recipe for the horribly photographed but incredibly delicious salad you see at the top of this entry comes from Veganomicon and the raw jicama paired with a refreshing citrus vinaigrette does well to keep you cool on hot summer afternoons like the ones we've been having here in southern Ontario as of late.

We had a ton of leftover jicama, so a few days later Paul made a mild coleslaw (salt, oil and vinegar like I grew up on - to this day it strikes me as weird that people put mayo in slaw). He added shredded jicama to the shredded cabbage making it even more refreshing than your standard issue coleslaw.

Produce Guy asked me how I liked it when I returned a few days later for another fresh vegetable fix and he gave me a great idea - stirring raw shredded jicama into soups right before serving so that it maintains its bite and adds a little something something to standard soups. I think It would go exceptionally well in heartier fall and winter soups like creamy parsnip, or a butternut squash puree.

Is it bad that I am kind of over summer already? I miss hoodies and bowls of soups and not sweating my body weight every afternoon.


Mihl said...

I have never seen a jicama before. Now I want one :D

Marja said...

Hello! I'd just like to say that I love you blog. Also, jicama and avocado (and hummus) sandwiches are one of my favorites---I don't know why I've never thought to make it into a salad. Your produce guy sounds fun, I am glad that people like him still exist.

Elaine Shandra said...

I realize that sun chokes barely had anything to do with this post, but you peeked my curiosity so much that I went on a little research rampage and am now planning to plant some! Thanks for sharing!

JL Goes Vegan said...

This looks beautiful. I love jicama but have only enjoyed it in restaurants. Must break try it at home!

Addicted to Veggies said...


Mary said...

Mihl - I hadn't ever seen one before either!

Marja - That sandwich sounds wonderful, I will have to give it a try next time I have a jicama!

Elaine - Glad I linked to my previous entry on sunchokes, one of my stir fry staples! Hope they turn out well for you!

JL - I don't think I've ever seen jicama on any menus around here, I'm so sheltered. Glad that I found some to try at home though!

Addicted - You will love the flavour, it's mellow enough to go with almost anything and it give it a nice kick of something something!

Bliss Doubt said...

The host of "The Splendid Table" on NPR suggested that you can use jicama almost anywhere that a recipe calls for water chestnuts. I agree. I'm conveying that to you because I know those jicamas are often huge.

Mary said...

Bliss - It definitely has a very similar feel to the water chestnut...we tossed some of our extra jicama in an asian-inspired stir fry and it tasted great!

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