Crunchy, juicy, nutrient packed jicama is an unsung hero of the produce aisle. Technically a cousin to green beans, jicama is a root vegetable from Mexico available year-round that is delicious cooked or raw. With a mild, earthy, slightly sweet flavor and an apple like consistency. It’s a great addition to salads, salsas, slaws, and grazing boards. Jicama also works as lighter swap for potatoes in baked and air fried recipes, and it’s delicious sautéed or boiled, too.
If you’ve never tried jicama, don’t be intimidated. Start by choosing one with a smooth, unblemished surface and thin brown skin. The skin should be thin enough to scrape with your thumbnail to reveal the white flesh inside. Avoid thick skinned, bruised, or shriveled jicama, which are signs of aging.
Once you’re ready to prep, start by trimming off the ends of the jicama and slice in half. Then, use a knife to gently peel away the skin.
For Jicama Sticks:
Step 1: Carefully slice off the rounded parts of the jicama, creating a flat surface.
Step 2: Cut each half into 1/4-inch slices.
Step 3: Stack slices and cut evenly into sticks.
Fresh, raw jicama sticks are a great addition to lunchboxes or served on a vegetable platter with your favorite dip. They can also add unexpected, satisfying crunch to cooked dishes, like a noodle salad with jicama and a miso vinaigrette.
Jicama sticks are delicious roasted, too. Their firm texture can withstand the heat, while the edges get golden brown and tender. Toss together with sweet peppers and spices for a simple, satisfying sheet pan side that pairs well with all kinds of meat and fish.
For Diced Jicama:
Step 1: Follow the steps above to create jicama sticks
Step 2: Line up sticks or stack into a pile, then evenly cut into cubes.
Diced jicama is a vitamin and fiber-rich way to add bulk to all kinds of green, grain, and protein-based salads. I love the combination of crunchy jicama with creamy avocado served with grilled chicken.
Moist and mild flavored jicama also plays well with fruit, especially melon. A refreshing combination of watermelon, jicama, and fresh mint falls somewhere between salad and salsa, delicious scooped onto tortilla chips or just spooned straight from the bowl.
Next time you’re at your local grocery store or market pick up jicama and experiment with ways to incorporate it into your recipes.
©Tiny New York Kitchen © 2021 All Rights Reserved
September is a wonderful time for enjoying the beautiful array at local farmers’ markets. September is a delightful time for gathering ingredients that will showcase fleeting flavors of summer. A walk among colorful baskets filled with fresh produce is incredibly inspiration.
Blazing scarlet tomatoes, sun-sweetened and fattened from their time on the vine, are joined by zesty green, bright yellow, and almost purple-colored varieties. Turn this beautiful rainbow into a final summer tomato salad by simply cutting thick slices of each colorful variety of tomato, and arranging them on a big platter. Drizzle the slices with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, sprinkle with a bit of sea salt, and finish the dish with finely minced basil.
Fill your shopping cart with crisp cucumbers, glossy purple or creamy white eggplant, pale green or buttery yellow summer squashes, string or wax beans, spicy jalapeno peppers, fragrant peaches, lush melons, sugary corn on the cob and great bunches of finely scented fresh herbs.
As September evenings grow quietly cooler, take pleasure in preparing dishes that feature these ingredients, such as nutmeg-scented roasted peaches, a delectable eggplant parmesan, velvety corn soup, garlic string beans or summer squash stuffed with ground lamb or turkey, breadcrumbs, fresh basil, oregano and parsley, cinnamon and bit of cheese. Cucumbers can be turned into simple refrigerator pickles, jalapeños can be roasted on the grill and packed away in the freezer, ensuring that a bit of summer will still be served as the season marches on.
There is also a hint of fall to be found at the farmers’ market. While all of the summer crops are still available to be savored, the new season is sneaking in. Freshly dug potatoes, dark purple plums, crisp early apples, succulent pears, Brussels sprouts, earthy mushrooms, carrots, cauliflower and kale will provide culinary creativity for weeks to come.
Cooking and eating with the seasons is the most excellent and efficient way to introduce high quality nutrients into the body. When we enjoy what nature has prepared for us, we are giving our bodies the gift of exceptionally luscious flavor, along with important healing properties. I can’t think of a better way to prepare a delicious life.
“Work With What You Got!”
© Victoria Hart Glavin Tiny New York Kitchen © 2016 All Rights Reserved