Sunday, February 3, 2008

Jicama and Carrot Salad

My friend S came down to visit this weekend. When I first met S she had no interest in cooking. We'd go to the gym and work out for hours, remember I was a gym rat, and I'd tell her about whatever new recipe I was eager to try and she would tell me about the new frozen dinners on the market and which ones tasted best. So fast forward several years and S married P. P is a very particular cook. It's not a bad thing. He likes things to be just so. P is rubbing off on S.

S is now interested in cooking. Yay! She's getting pretty good at it too. So while S was visiting, after we did things like eat at the Mexican restaurant in town and drive the 50 miles to the fancy shopping center and Trader Joes, we ended up at Meijers buying things to make dinner with. S turned to me and let me know that she had discovered Jicama.
Jicama is the tuberous root of a vine native to Central America and Mexico. It's kind of an ugly root, but once you peel the skin and make sure to get the top 1/8 of an inch too, the inside is a lovely off white. Jicama is very crunchy and has a taste sort of like a cross between an apple and a turnip. Jicama stores its carbohydrates as dietary fiber in the form of inulin. Yes that's the same stuff as in Jerusalem artichokes. But not to worry, jicama doesn't have those malodorous side effects! Jicama is actually mostly water and is pretty porous so it soaks up whatever dressing you put on it. It is pretty much always eaten raw. Oh and for as tasty as the jicama root is, don't eat the vine attached to the root. It's poisonous.

S and I picked a jicama at Meijers, but we got so involved making a pasta sauce and stuffing ourselves with Zingermann's bread and baking cupcakes, that we didn't get around to making a salad. So today's salad is for S. It's again from my Vegetables Every Day book. I know. I know. I keep picking recipes out of this book. But seriously, I've barely scratched the surface. And if I'm making all these tasty recipes shouldn't you go get it and try some tasty recipes of your own? I'm not going to post them all you know. And as expected, the book did not disappoint. This salad is light and tasty and delicious. I really like the sesame-ginger vinaigrette and the crunch of the jicama.

Jicama and Carrot Salad with Ginger-Sesame Vinaigrette
from Vegetables Every Day by Jack Bishop

2 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 Tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp grated fresh gingerroot
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 tsp dark sesame oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1 large jicama, peeled and julienned
1 large carrot, peeled and shredded on the large holes of a box grater
2 medium scallions sliced thin

Whisk the vinegar, soy sauce, ginger, and oils together in a small bowl. Season with black pepper to taste.

Place the jicama, carrot and scallions in a bowl. Drizzle the dressing over the vegetables and toss. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 4 hours.


glamah16 said...

I wish I had your devotion to veggies. I do love them, but its hard when your man makes you consume a bucket of fried chicken, like today, for the game. Time to detox and this sald looks like one to start.

Emiline said...

Ahhh! Poisonous vines!

I always seem Jicama at the store, but I never buy it.
So you think a salad is the way to go?
OK-SOLD! I'm buying jicama next time I'm at the store.

Anonymous said...

Here's me, sniff sniff, living with two men who have food issues. One picks out onion and green pepper ... might choke down red pepper if I tell him "it's tomato." The other, "Uh, mom, cheese makes me vomit." I continue to love your recipes, your photos and wish for a day when no one will tell me what they won't eat, just what they will.

Pixie said...

Oooh, they look like french fries. Doubt I can find that veg around here, so will just have to admire it from a distance. :)

Deborah said...

Yay for more veggie recipes!! I've had jicama before, but I've never prepared it myself at home.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

I do love a salad like this!!

Zylo said...

I always wanted to try those. The vinegarette sounds lovely too.