Jicama is a member of the morning glory family that evolved in Mexico and South America. A cousin of the sweet potato, this underground tuber comes in two types: agua (watery juice) and leche (milky juice). Like many street snacks (hot pretzels, dried mangos, or hot dogs), jicama is a street food in its native habitat, sold with a squeeze of lime and a sprinkle of hot red chile powder. It is also great in salads, and pairs nicely with oranges and red onions. This is from my new book, The Southwest Table, available here. Photo by Wes Naman.
Orange and Jicama Salad Sprinkled with Red Chile
This lively salad is not only a salute to the citrus crops of Arizona, it also includes the tasty tuber jicama, which is steadily gaining favor even outside the Southwest.
1 small jicama, peeled and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
3/4 cup sliced celery
1 small red onion, peeled and thinly sliced for rings
4 raw button mushrooms, sliced
1 fresh lime
4 teaspoons red chile powder
Peel the oranges and slice thinly. Divide the slices up among 4 salad plates and arrange them overlapping. Combine the jicama, celery, and onion rings in a bowl, and equally place the mixture atop the orange slices.
Squeeze fresh lime juice over each salad and sprinkle about a teaspoon of chile powder on top. A mixture of lime juice and olive oil can also me used for the dressing.
Yield: 4 servings
Heat Scale: Medium