Jicama is not something that is usually on my radar. I’ve eaten it before but just never think to buy it. A friend suggested some sort of a jicama slaw to go with steak tacos she was making and in development of this side dish, I was reminded what a soft spot I have for this colorless, homely vegetable.

With a quick internet search, I learned that this watery, slightly sweet root vegetable is native to the Americas. Interestingly, the vine that grows from this root is poisonous! The jicama flavor is starchy but fresh. The texture is crunchy but moist, a bit like a water chestnut. The aroma is slightly reminiscent of green apple and tastes amazing with a squeeze of lime. Overall, I feel like this edible treat got gypped with its colorless, humble form. It is so much more interesting and refreshing than it looks. Just think if a jicama looked as sexy as a strawberry how many more shopping carts it would find.

Since I was in a bit of a pinch for time, I made the pictured batch by shredding the ingredients in a food processor. For my smaller, second batch, I took the time to julienne the jicama and carrots and much preferred it that way. As a final note, I found the dressing was a bit too much and did not add all of it to the slaw. Go little by little tossing to coat until you reach your desired flavor and moisture level.

Jicama Slaw
Bobby Flay’s recipe found on Foodnetwork.com

1 large jicama, peeled and finely shredded

1/2 Napa cabbage, finely shredded
2 carrots, shredded
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons ancho chili powder
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup canola oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro leaves
Place jicama, cabbage, and carrots in a large bowl. Whisk together the lime juice, vinegar, ancho powder, honey, and oil in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Pour the dressing over the jicama mixture and toss to coat well. Fold in the cilantro. Let stand at room temperature for 15 minutes before serving.