The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks, mom!
I've been enjoying everyone’s guesses as to the names of the twins. I cracked up at the thought of granddaughters named "Rice" and "Beans". Ideal pseudonyms when posting about food so I will hereby refer to them as such.
"Rice and Beans” weigh as much as large jícamas this week, although they are a heck of a lot prettier. (I can’t imagine a more homely looking vegetable than a jícama). I have never really cooked with jícama …only cut it up in a salad or sliced on a veggie tray to accompany dips. But this week I wanted to stretch my jícama prowess and try some new ways of using it.
When buying jícama, pick out small ones as the big ones aren’t as sweet and are starchier. Jícama has a lot of nutritional benefits including a significant amount of vitamin C, a lot of fiber and practically no calories, so it is one of those foods that you can snack on all day. Since it is a root vegetable, you can roast it for a low carb alternative to potatoes, and it holds its crunchiness much more than its potato cousins. The roasting, as usual, brings out the flavor. You can juice it (add it to carrot juice or other veggie juices) and put it in stir-fries.
My dear friend, Mary gave me a wonderful book for my birthday called Culinary Artistry. The authors provide lists of ingredients to combine with foods to enhance and complement their flavors. For jícama the book suggests cayenne, chiles, cilantro, citrus (especially lime), cucumbers, mangoes, salt and vinaigrette. Here is a wonderful salad that utilizes many of these ingredients. (AND—features last week’s neglected fruit, the ORANGE!)
Jícama salad with Orange and Cilantro
(From The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters)
Peel and cut in half lengthwise 1 small jicama (about ¼ lb):
Slice 2 oranges into ¼-inch-thick rounds and remove the seeds.
Arrange the jícama and orange slices on a plate. Sprinkle with:
A pinch of paprika or spicy chile powder (ancho or guajillo)
Make a dressing by whisking together:
Juice of 1 lime
2 T olive oil (I used orange infused)
Pour over the jícama and oranges. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro:
To make: Cut up a jícama into fry shaped pieces, sprinkle with chile powder, olive oil, salt, and nutritional yeast and toss.
You can add some lime, too, for a little twang.
These are delicious. The nutritional yeast tastes like powdered cheese when mixed with the salt.
three types of jicama fries, chilli "cheez" fries on left
Or, you can bake the jícama tossed in a little olive oil at 375 and when brown, sprinkle the fries with salt, chile powder, and nutritional yeast, or Parmesan cheese.
You can also slice thinly and make “jícama chips.” The baking makes them super sweet and scrumptious.
baked fries, plain
baked fries tossed with chile powder, salt & lime
chilli fries (with nutritional yeast)