Avocado, Orange & Jicama Salad

Were there ever to be a beauty pageant for food, jicama might just finish dead last.  It looks like something I dig out of my flower containers in the fall.   It is sometimes referred to as a “Mexican turnip.”   Cut one open, and it resembles a mealy potato.

Work with me here people….  In spite of the above, jicama is truly a delight.  Surprisingly sweet.   Incredibly crisp and juicy.  It is a wonderful addition to any green or fruit salad.   And for those of you health-conscious types: 1 cup of raw jicama has just 45 calories, 6 grams of fiber and is loaded with Vitamin C.   Love that.

Paired with avocados, fresh oranges and a citrusy dressing and you have a lovely refreshing summer salad.  Better yet, toss in some purchased, cooked shrimp or crab meat and this becomes a quick, no-cook, weeknight entree.

Now,  let’s turn the beauty pageant into a taste contest.   Hands down, this is a winner!

Avocado, Orange and Jicama Salad

3 navel oranges

½ tsp curry powder

¼ – ½ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp sugar

Fresh ground black pepper to taste

2 TBS white-wine vinegar

2 TBS olive oil

1 medium jicama (about ¾ pound)

2 firm-ripe avocados

Couple handfuls of greens: either arugula, spinach or watercress (rinsed and trimmed)

Optional Ad-Ins: slivered red onion, shrimp (cooked and chilled), or flaked crab meat

With a sharp knife, cut and the peel and pith from oranges.  Place a fine mesh strainer in a bowl.  Working over the strainer, cut sections free from membranes, letting juice drip through strainer into the bowl.   After all the sections have been sliced, squeeze juice enough juice from membranes to measure ¼ cup.

In a bowl, whisk together orange juice, curry powder, salt, cumin, sugar, pepper and vinegar. Add oil in a stream, whisking until emulsified.  Peel the jicama and cut into approx 1/3-inch thick sticks.   Add to the vinaigrette, tossing to combine. Let sit for 15 minutes.  Halve, pit and peel avocados and thinly slice crosswise.

Divide greens among four plates.  Remove jicama from dressing using tongs or a slotted spoon.  Re-whisk dressing if needed.  Top greens with jicama, oranges and avocados.  Drizzle vinaigrette over and serve.

Serves 4

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