This colourful combination of pink grapefruit and jicama salad is a wonderful and colourful alternative to summery green salad. It paris wonderfully with barbecue meats and charred fish dishes (like mackerel and tuna collar), adding a welcome dose of zing and crunch.
I was first introduced to Jicama in Mexico, where the native tuber root is often served shredded and shaved, in slaws and salads. I would say it is best described as a subtle tasting apple-like veg, with mild sweetness and the texture of fresh radish, it is a really popular ingredient in latin american cooking, where many people roast it like potato chips and have crispy jicama as a snack. As it is less popular in the west, you are more likely to find it in international supermarkets, markets and asian stores. If in doubt check online.
Before getting more experimental with this new ingredients, I wanted to try it in a more easy and speedy dish. This salad is inspired by a dish I had in Zamas hotel, in Tulum. This only difference being seeds… Chef Jesse opted for a more creamy dressing and pine nuts instead (pictured below) I however preferred a mix of sunflower and pumpkin which I tossed in thick Mexican honey and toasted until wonderfully golden.
Pink Grapefruit and Jicama with Basil
To prepare the jicama pre-slicing, it is best to use a veg peeler, to remove the darker outer skin. I also recommend using a mandoline, to ensure even, fine slices for this salad. For the grapefruit and orange, you only need a sharp knife.
Serves 4, as a side salad
- 1/2 jicama
- 1/2 pink grapefruit
- 1/2 orange
- a small handful basil leaves, I used purple basil
- 60g / 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
- a big pinch of sea salt
- 2 teaspoons honey
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F
Melt the honey, so it is more runny, by mixing it with 1 teaspoon of just boiled water. Place the seeds on a baking tray, sprinkle generously with sea salt and then drizzle over the honey. Toss around in the tray, so they are all evenly covered, then add the tray to the hot oven to toast for 10 minutes.
Use a peeler to remove the outer layer from the jicama.
Take your mandolin, or a sharp knife and slice thin slithers of the jicama. Ideally you want them no more then half a centimetre in thickness.
Slice the orange and the pink grapefruit in to 1 cm thick slices, then using a sharp knife, slice off the peel. You are looking for thin, perfectly round slices.
Divide the jicama and sliced orange and pink grapefruit between four plates, dress with the vinaigrette and finish with the toasted seeds and a scattering of basil.
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon lime zest (optional)
- 2 tablespoons lime juice (about 1 lime)
- 2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon honey
- freshly ground black pepper
Whisk together oil, zest, lime juice, Dijon mustard, and honey. Taste and season generously with a pinch or two of salt and pepper.