Jicama is one another one of those strange looking vegetables whose ugliness I find oddly compelling. It looks like an overgrown nut, plain in color and yet intriguing. Its flavor is very distinctive yet subtle but the real draw is its crunchy texture which releases a fresh flavored juice that is totally unexpected.
Indigenous to Mexico, it is actually a root vegetable of a very large vine. While I have never seen it growing, I imagine it is one of those plants that can overtake a wall since it can grow up to 15 feet long.
Unlike some vegetables, it really does not mix well with others. I think of it as a king of a small island; it needs to be the center of attention and its couriers are very small in number. However, like most small tropical islands, it is worth the visit!
Jicama is best grated or sliced in matchsticks and tossed with salt, lime juice, cayenne and a little oil. Here, I added some grated carrots, fresh fennel, celery and if I would have had it, cilantro. It doesn’t absorb its dressing really well, so don’t over do it.
While most people don’t readily think of jicama when root vegetables are mentioned, it is and also my submission for the No Croutons Required Soup and Salad Challenge for the month of November which focuses on root vegetables. Check out the challenge and discover other great blogs. Or make this salad and try a new root vegetable with texture like a water chestnut and a sweet, citrusy juice!
Shredded Jicama Salad
1/2 large jicama, peeled and shredded on large holes
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 fresh fennel, shredded
1 stalk celery, thinly sliced
1 lime, juiced
1 teaspoon cayenne
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
Toss all in bowl and serve immediately.