This salad is inspired by a dish I had several years ago at a Pan-Latin restaurant in NYC. The restaurant has since closed, but this salad continues to be a warm-weather staple.
Dreams are made of this combination: crunch of the jicama, creaminess of the avocado, sweetness of the orange, and juiciness of the tomato. Plus, the citrus vinaigrette with mint adds a brightness that brings all of the flavors together.
I’m using green leaf lettuce as a bed for this salad, but feel free to use a different lettuce of your choosing or none at all.
WHAT IS JICAMA?
Jicama is a circular, nutrient-rich, starchy root vegetable native to Mexico. It’s slightly sweet and mild in flavor—like a cross between a water chestnut and an apple (it’s commonly eaten raw). You can find jicama year-round in the produce section of most supermarkets and Latin American markets.
How to Prepare Jicama
To prepare it, you first have to peel off the tough brown skin surrounding the white crisp flesh. The easiest way to do this is by cutting off the top and the bottom and then using a vegetable peeler, or if there’s a thick coating of wax, use a sharp paring knife to remove the skin.
For this recipe, we want jicama sticks, so you’ll cut the peeled root in half from top to bottom, then slice the halves into 1/4 to 1/2-inch planks, and finally cut those planks into sticks.
SALAD SWAPS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
The ingredients in this recipe are customizable; just make sure you’re maintaining the delicious combination of textures.
For the avocados, my preference is Hass, a small to medium sized avocado variety commonly found in most grocery stores, but whatever you have on hand that’s ripe and ready to go will work.
I chose Campari tomatoes for their size and sweetness, but if you can’t find those, just about any tomato will do. Try cherry tomatoes or an heirloom variety and cut them into bite-sized chunks.
Mango instead of orange would work well too. And if you want a little heat, add some jalapeño! You get the idea.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH JICAMA SALAD
This salad is hearty and great on its own. It’s also a perfect side dish for summer gatherings and barbecues, and it pairs nicely with grilled meats and seafood dishes, like these:
WHEN TO MAKE AND SERVE
This salad is best when assembled just before serving. If you can’t assemble and serve it immediately, you can assemble part of the salad up to one day in advance to get a head start.
To do that, combine everything except the avocado, lettuce, and mint garnish and keep it in the refrigerator. Once you’re ready to serve the salad, top your lettuce with pre-assembled salad ingredients, avocado, and mint. Enjoy!
MORE GREAT SALAD RECIPES!
Jicama, Avocado, and Orange Salad Recipe
Soaking the red onion in ice water removes some of its sharp bite, but this step is optional, per your personal preference.
- 3 navel oranges
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon agave syrup
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil or extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, plus more for finishing
- Pinch of freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint, plus more for garnish
- 1 to 1 1/2 pound jicama, peeled, halved and cut into 1/4 to 1/2-inch sticks
- 1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 cups sliced Campari tomatoes
- 1 head green leaf lettuce, washed and dried (optional)
- 2 Hass avocados, sliced or chopped
1 Prepare the oranges: Cut about an inch off the top and bottom of the oranges. Then, sitting each orange on its cut end, take your knife and follow the curve of the orange from top to bottom, slicing off the peel and pith as you go. When you finish, you should only see the exposed flesh of the orange.
Pick up the orange, and working over a small bowl, cut in between the membranes to release each orange segment. Set the segments aside and squeeze the nearly flesh-free membranes over the bowl to collect the juice. In the end you want about 1/4 cup of orange juice. If your oranges produced more than a 1/4 cup of juice just drink the extra.
2 Make the dressing: In the bowl with 1/4 cup orange juice, whisk in lime juice, vinegar, agave, and oil. Season with salt and pepper, then stir in chopped mint.
3 Mix the salad: In a large bowl, combine the jicama, red onion, and tomatoes. Add the dressing and stir to combine; then gently fold in the orange segments. At this point, the salad can be covered and refrigerated until ready to serve, up to overnight.
4 Assemble: When ready to serve, lay a bed of lettuce on your serving platter, and using a slotted spoon, top with the jicama salad. Arrange avocado on top, garnish with mint leaves, and sprinkle with salt.
5 Serve: Pour any remaining liquid in the bowl into a serving container for additional dressing, as needed. Serve immediately.
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