Mexican Jicama-Pineapple Salad Recipe


Today kicks off a series of much-needed Mexican recipes. Since moving to Canada, I find myself missing my former ‘south of the border’ food. And now that Mexico is two borders away, I miss it tremendously. I dusted off my sole Mexican cookbook and decided to explore a few recipes I hadn’t yet tried. This one is for a spicy-sweet salad featuring crisp jicama and juicy pineapple.


Before we know it, Summer will be here once again and I want to be prepared with easy picnic ideas. With several parks within walking distance, I have it in my mind that we’ll picnic more often than we did in California. It’s possible that I’m the only one who shares in this idea .. but for now, let me assume there are picnics in my future.

Mexican jicama pineapple salad

I’ve tried jicama before and found it interesting – extremely crisp and refreshing with little flavor of its own. I think of it as equivalent to tofu, since it’s more the texture of jicama and the flavors it will absorb. Jicama works perfectly in this recipe and is a nice contrast to the juicy pineapple. You should be able to find jicamas easily in both Asian and Mexican grocery stores. The root vegetable is tan, smooth, and round.

jicama

Please note two things before attempting this recipe — the amount of serranos and salt. Use your own discretion when using these two ingredients and tailor it to suit your tastes. I used 2 serranos, removing both the pith and seeds to reduce the level of heat. I used a full teaspoon of salt as the recipe suggested. The salt is prominent in this dish and reminds me of the salty rim on a margarita — there is a strong rivalry between the sweet and salty components of the salad. It surprised me at first but I enjoyed it.

Jicama-Pineapple Salad
adapted from Mexico: The Beautiful Cookbook

3 cups cubed, pineapple
3 cups cubed, jicama
2 serrano peppers, finely diced
1 teaspoon salt
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

The salad is quick to make — simply toss all of the ingredients together in a bowl and allow to chill for at least 15 minutes before serving. It makes a great appetizer, just provide toothpicks or other skewers. Delicious!

I served the salad in my favorite piggy bowl which I bought a couple years ago at Michael Chiarello’s NapaStyle store in Berkeley, California. According to the Chinese zodiac, I am a pig and during the Year of the Pig in 2007, piggy bowls were everywhere so I bought this and one other (Pomaireware Clay Pig Baking Dish).

jicama_salad_piggy

Behind the scenes:

Ok, time to share another behind the scenes look at how this post comes together. I was so excited by the salad and using piggy that I kinda made a mess while taking the photos. Before I knew it, toothpicks were flying all over the place:

accident


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21 comments

  1. I love recipes like this! I’ve got to find more ways to use jicama – it really does take on the flavors of anything it’s mixed with and it’s so nice and crunchy.

  2. Heehee, piggy *is* cute! Behind-the-scenes stories are always good. =) We have a couple of jicamas lying around with no apparent usage ideas. We can always eat them with bagoong (used to buy that off the street after school).

  3. I love the contrasts in this Allen…the sweet of the pineapple, the earthiness of the jicama and the salt (I’m a salt freak!). The bowls are hilarious!

  4. This is something new to me. In our country, especially where I live, we normally eat our fruit salad with a prawn paste. To us, it’s very yummy, I am not sure if you would like it.

  5. Great combo of textures with the crisp jicama and the slightly soft pineapple. I love the picture of the spilled toothpicks. It looks contemporary in a way.

  6. I love the jicama you can buy at Mexican street stalls, dressed with hot sauce and lime and salt. Jicama isn’t that easy to find at my local markets in Rhode Island, either, but when I can find it, I’ll try this recipe.

  7. I have the same pig bowl & just love him! I think jicama is such a fun vegetable to play with a local restaurant here uses it for their fries. I recommend the Rick Bayless books if you are looking for more Mexican recipes.

  8. You know, I’ve always thought of jicama as something like a turnip in flavor. Am I right? It’s been so long since I’ve had one (and I’m not sure if I’m referring to the right vegetable)! I love pineapple in savory applications– this looks so refreshing! (plus, it won’t spoil at a picnic either :)

  9. Great salad! My mom makes something similar to this, but I have never tried it myself. Thanks for bringing old memories back :) And I love piggy, he’s so cute :-p

  10. Hey there!! Love your blog!! I’ve included this recipe post in my top 15 recipes of the week on Twitter–> http://bit.ly/1KHIsr WEll done, and I hope to see more of these fabulous recipes come swimming through the twitter stream soon.

    Love, Bridge.

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