What We’re Cooking With Now: Jicama
Looking for adventure in the kitchen? Our monthly What We're Cooking with Now post features a fresh produce ingredient, explains how to find the market's finest, and includes a recipe to try at home.
Why: Jicama is a unique and delicious starchy vegetable that is great in summer salads. It is very rich in vitamin C, folate, iron, magnesium, and potassium. In one cup it contains 12g of carbs from starch and 6.4 grams of fiber. Jicama also is high in water, making it great for dieting and helps with the absorption of Vitamin C, an antioxidant.
Shopping Tip: Look for Jicama to have smooth, shiny, unblemished skin. Do not buy if it has green coloration on the tip as this can indicate mold inside. The skin should not be soft, but firm, and is frequently coated in food wax to preserve it and keep it dry. It stays fresh longer when it is not exposed to moisture, so keep it dry. The wax coating helps with this.
Preparation: Jicama is great served cold and raw. It is crunchy, juicy, and has a mildly sweet flavor, similar to pear or apple, and absorbs flavor very well from dressings. It is a perfect compliment to a salad to add variety to the texture. Usually coated in vegetable wax to preserve it, the wax coating on the skin easily flakes or peels off with a vegetable peeler. Cut it into halves or quarters, only exposing as much of the flesh as needed, to keep it fresh and juicy. Peel the skin with a sharp vegetable peeler or knife, rinse well, and chop into fine pieces, or use a shredder to make large shreds. Toss it into vegetable or fruit salads, or cut it into larger pieces to serve with crudité along side carrots and celery. Warning: it is only safe to eat the bulbous root of the Jicama plant, the stems, leaves, and beans are poisonous and should be discarded.
Recipe: Jicama, Pear, Mango, and Pineapple Salad with Mint Dressing
1 bulb of jicama
3 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. honey
3 Tbsp. evoo
½ cup chopped mint
Cut the pineapple in half, and using a knife, cut the flesh out of each half being careful to leave the skin intact. We are going to use the half pineapple as a serving dish. Peel the rest of the fruits and cut to roughly the same size bite size chunks. Wisk the ingredients for the dressing together, chop the mint, and add it and stir well. Toss the dressing over the fruits until it is coated well, then serve in the hollowed out half pineapple for a great picnic or summer BBQ side dish.