Jicama: So Raw But So Right + 10 Recipes

Jicama: So Raw But So Right + 10 Recipes

There are vegetables that stand handsome and proud, and need not beg for attention, as this gift is so freely bestowed upon them. Artichokes. Butternut squash. Romanesco cauliflower. With their grandness and stature, these are the vegetables that easily command a room.

Then there are the vegetables that are modest and humble.  Perhaps gnarled, perhaps brown and/or beige, perhaps a bit tuber-like in appearance.  Instead of plants with glorious fractals dotting the surface, or plants with smooth thick skinn encasing sweet, nutty flesh, or plants with brilliant pointy leaves, these must be taken from the soil and unearthed in order to be enjoyed. 
Jicama is a vegetable that is both modest and raw.  One must take this weird, hard, dense large potato-y looking thing, as it is.  Once the tough papery, brown coating is removed, a beautiful hard white flesh is revealed. Just every so tiny bit sweet, just ever so appley tasting.  Yet so pleasantly crunchy, your teeth find their way through the bite in a most gratifying manner. One might go so far as using the word addictive to describe it. 

Only once one accepts that this is not a food to be tamed by boiling or roasting, can it be used to its utmost potential.  Its perceived liability is the very same thing that makes it so utterly useful.  It becomes the keystone of the side dishes, those side dishes that take a meal from average to outstanding.  It excels in the realm of salsas, of slaws, of salads.  Its crunch, its mild taste, make it a delicious vehicle for delivering flavors to balance out the meal.  That cool crisp slaw on that warm pulled pork sandwich, the tangy and sweet salsa for that spicy entrée.  Below are ten recipes featuring this modest tuber.  And though it may not be classically handsome, it should definitely stand proud. 

Jicama Fresh Rolls
Jicama Salad with Jalapeno Dressing
Chicory, Jicama, and Pecan Salad
Jicama-Apple Slaw Pitas
Broiled Hailibut with Pineapple-Jicama Salsa
Jicama Sticks with Spicy Cinnamon Dressing
Braised Pork Belly Tacos with Watermelon, Jicama & Jalapeno Salsa
Jicama Slaw
Wakame, Cucumber, and Jicama Salad

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