What in the hey-ho should I do with the jicama?

  My class gave me a gift card for Sprouts, a natural foods grocery between school and my home.  It's fun to have time to shop for foods instead of dashing into Albertsons to grab tortillas, Miller High Life, a rotisserie chicken, and a can of Rotel!

Spent lots of time at Sprouts lately buying the ingredients for my homemade trail mix (more on that later).  Every visit I vow to buy a new food.

Wild and crazy, I invested $1.90 in a big, lumpy jicama.  The jicama was on display right between the turnips and the rootabagas. 

Nibbling on jicama slices tonight while I put together a salad.  Jicama is sweeter and lighter than radishes.  Not as dense as carrots.  Chopped into white strips, it lets other vegetables show their colors.  Read some recipes online, then started combining ingredients.  Tomorrow morning I'll taste test after the flavors combine:
  • jicama slices
  • honey crisp apple chunks
  • diced red bell pepper
  • orange, peeled and sliced
  • celery stalks sliced
  • carrots slivered
  • caraway seeds
  • 2 T orange juice
  • 1  T raspberry balsamic vinaigrette
...Also called the yam bean root, jicama ranges in weight from a few ounces to 6 pounds. Its crispy white flesh is hidden under a fibrous dust-brown skin, which must be completely stripped off. Like potatoes, jicamas can be steamed, baked, boiled, mashed or fried. Unlike potatoes, however, they can also be eaten raw. Sliced into wide sticks, jicama makes a crunchy carrier for guacamole and highly seasoned dips. Cut up into squares, it enhances fresh fruit salad, absorbing and reflecting surrounding flavors. It is equally versatile as a cooked vegetable -- sauteed with carrots or green beans, stir-fried with chicken or shrimp, or simmered in savory stews. Low in starch and calories, jicama is satisfying, flavorful and nowhere near as strange as it looks.

© 2010 Nancy L. Ruder


Kathleen said...

Yum. I like it in salads, tastes like a hard pear to me. Which is what I thought it was the first time I tasted it. In a salad at a Mexican restaurant. My dining partner rather rudely told me what it really was, and I don't think we ever felt the same about each other since. She thinks I'm an ignorant ninny (which may be true), and I think she could have been kinder about that.

Collagemama said...

Lois Ehlert's "Eating the Alphabet" is where I learned of jicama. It is good to have a Jj veggie.

My salad needs more zing.


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