I’ve got a crunchy, sweet and slightly spicy salad for you today. It’s fresh and nourishing and has a bright, summery zing to it that I’ve been craving as temperatures drop lower and lower here in Vermont. This salad has proved its versatility. Over the past week I’ve eaten it atop coconut quinoa porridge for breakfast, tucked inside a lettuce wrap with wild rice for lunch and with a piece of jerk rubbed and roasted tofu for dinner.
You might be wondering what the heck jicama is, until a few years ago I had no idea what it was either. It was introduced to me by a professor who had just returned from Oaxaca and told me about a jicama and orange salad she ate a lot on her trip. Jicama grows in South and Central America, and is used in stir-fries, salads, slaws and soups. It is sometimes referred to as the Mexican yam or potato and has a bright, sweet flavor and crunchy texture. You can find jicama at your regular grocery store in the produce section, and I highly recommend picking one up on your next visit!
I recently re-connected with this professor, was reminded of this salad and wanted to put my own spin on it. I’ve been on a serious mango kick lately; the ones at my coop are so flavorful and juicy right now, I’ve been putting them on everything from oatmeal to tacos. I paired the jicama with mangos and citrus, in this case a mix of blood oranges and tangerines, and tied it all together with a vinaigrette of fresh squeezed lime juice and jalapeno…and I just added more mango and jicama to the top of my grocery list for round two :)
*Notes: This salad is delicious all on its own but, as I mentioned above, I've been finding it very versatile. Some of my favorite ways to eat it have been with coconut quinoa porridge in the morning – I simply toast a ½ cup of quinoa in 1tsp of coconut oil, once fragrant I add in a cup of coconut milk and simmer until the quinoa is tender. Top the quinoa with some of this salad, shaved coconut and toasted pepitas.
For lunch I’ve been bringing the salad, some big leaf lettuce and wild rice to work and assembling lettuce wraps while simultaneously making my co-workers very jealous ;)
And for dinner last night I rubbed a piece of tofu with jerk seasoning (I use a mix of coriander, ginger, garlic powder, cayenne, dried thyme, cinnamon, allspice and cloves) and roasted it until crispy.
jicama, mango + citrus salad with jalapeño lime vinaigrette
for the salad
1 jicama, peeled and sliced into strips
4 mangoes, peeled and sliced into strips
4 pieces of citrus (I used two blood oranges and two tangerines but oranges, clementines, or grapefruit would all be equally delicious), segmented (cut away from rind and ribs)
for the dressing
zest of 1 lime
juice of 3 limes
1/4 cup olive oil
1 jalapeño, minced (seeds and ribs removed unless you want it spicier)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
chopped cilantro for sprinkling
Place the cut jicama, mango and citrus in a large bowl. Whisk all vinaigrette ingredients together and pour half of the vinaigrette over salad. Toss salad to make sure everything is evenly coated. If the salad is not fully coated in vinaigrette, add more until you reach your desired amount. Top with cilantro and enjoy! *This salad lasts for a few days covered in the fridge and tastes even better as it sits and the juices from the mango and citrus combine with the vinaigrette.