Jicama–it’s that insignificant looking tuber that the grocery store clerks always have to look up to find the code. What it can do to a salad, however, is not insignificant! I first tried jicama (pronounced “hick-eh-mah”) in Mexico. It was served on the beach in a plastic cup, sliced like french fries and soaked in fresh lime juice. Its crunchiness, together with the tartness of the lime, made a refreshing guilt-free snack.
Jicama is native to Mexico and Central America. It has a papery beige exterior and creamy white flesh. The easiest way to attack it is to cut it in half first, then peel and slice it, either in chunks or julienned. While it is mostly water, it is an excellent source of fibre that adds interest to salads. In this one, it is paired with fresh pineapple over a bed of greens and tossed with a cilantro vinaigrette. You can prepare the vinaigrette ahead of time, toss it with the jicama and pineapple and allow it to sit for an hour or so before scattering it over the greens and avocado.
Jicama Pineapple Salad
- 2 serrano peppers, seeded and minced
- 2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tsp. lime zest
- 2 tbsp. rice vinegar
- 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and chunked
- 1 jicama, peeled and julienned or cubed
- 3 cups mixed greens
- 1 avocado, peeled, pitted and sliced
- 3 Tbsp. hemp seeds
- Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients. Add the prepared pineapple and jicama and allow to marinate.
- Just before serving, put the greens and avocado in a bowl and top with the jicama-pineapple mix. Sprinkle with hemp seeds and serve immediately.