Hello again, friends! It’s been far too long since I last posted, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been mucking around in the kitchen. I mark the passage of time by cycles of loading and unloading the dishwasher. I’ve literally broken my blender with a now-weekly habit of making hummus from scratch from Philly restaurant Zahav’s ethereal recipe. And I’ve road tested all of David Lebovitz’s flourless chocolate cake recipes I could find. Multiple times. Mostly, though, I’ve been looking for creative new ways to serve vegetables to my crew, as the finnicky littles have a pesky habit of declaring once-accepted veggie suddenly and spontaneously inedible.
In the winter, my strategy typically involves soup– and we’ve had some good successes with mushroom soup, vegetable “stone soups”, and cauliflower soup.
But when the temperature soars above 90 degrees, I obviously need to take a different approach. And this is especially so now that I live in an old house with no central air conditioning. Turning on the oven–or frankly even a stovetop burner–is not an option.
Lately, all I feel like eating are frozen grapes, cucumber salad, watermelon and vinegar-based slaws. (OK, fine. And ice cream, too.) As such, this crunchy Jicama slaw, adapted from a Guy Fieri recipe, has made multiple appearances on our table this summer so far. It was a crowd pleaser for our July 4th BBQ–and the rare dish that actually tasted better as the party wore on, not worse. So we made it again for a crowd of family and friends over a beach weekend. Leftovers taste even better on day two, as the crunchy jicama, peppers and carrots can hold their own texturewise–adopting an appealing pickled-esque character–when bathed in a vinegary dressing overnight. If you don’t know what jicama is, check out my previous primer on this crunchy, slightly sweet root veggie. Once you get the hang of peeling it, you may find it becomes a staple in your repertoire. (It’s also a brilliant veg for kids lunchboxes; just cut into sticks and dunk them quickly in lime juice before packing.)
If you have a mandoline (or a similar such julienne attachment for your food processor) this recipe will be a breeze to pull together. If not, consider it a great opportunity to practice your knife skills.
The original recipe calls for raw red onion and a bit of heat. I eliminated all that jazz in the name of keeping things tame. Feel free to add some of your own back in if you’re so inclined. I also halved the original dressing measurements… his quantities were way. too. much.
Recipe: Jicama Slaw
Adapted from Guy Fieri, Food Network
4 tsp lime juice
3 TBSP rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sugar
3 TBSP olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1.5 cups peeled and julienned jicama
1 cup peeled and julienned carrot
1 cup shredded green napa cabbage
1 cup peeled and julienned cucumber
1/2 cup julienned red bell pepper
1 TBSP chopped cilantro
In a small mixing bowl add lime juice, rice wine vinegar, sugar, and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and whisk to combine.
Combine the jicama, carrots, cabbage, cucumber, red pepper and cilantro in large bowl and toss.
Add dressing to vegetables and let sit for 15 minutes, stirring 2 or 3 times. Serve.