Today kicks off a series of much-needed Mexican recipes. Since moving to Canada, I find myself missing my former ‘south of the border’ food. And now that Mexico is two borders away, I miss it tremendously. I dusted off my sole Mexican cookbook and decided to explore a few recipes I hadn’t yet tried. This one is for a spicy-sweet salad featuring crisp jicama and juicy pineapple.
Before we know it, Summer will be here once again and I want to be prepared with easy picnic ideas. With several parks within walking distance, I have it in my mind that we’ll picnic more often than we did in California. It’s possible that I’m the only one who shares in this idea .. but for now, let me assume there are picnics in my future.
I’ve tried jicama before and found it interesting – extremely crisp and refreshing with little flavor of its own. I think of it as equivalent to tofu, since it’s more the texture of jicama and the flavors it will absorb. Jicama works perfectly in this recipe and is a nice contrast to the juicy pineapple. You should be able to find jicamas easily in both Asian and Mexican grocery stores. The root vegetable is tan, smooth, and round.
Please note two things before attempting this recipe — the amount of serranos and salt. Use your own discretion when using these two ingredients and tailor it to suit your tastes. I used 2 serranos, removing both the pith and seeds to reduce the level of heat. I used a full teaspoon of salt as the recipe suggested. The salt is prominent in this dish and reminds me of the salty rim on a margarita — there is a strong rivalry between the sweet and salty components of the salad. It surprised me at first but I enjoyed it.
adapted from Mexico: The Beautiful Cookbook
3 cups cubed, pineapple
3 cups cubed, jicama
2 serrano peppers, finely diced
1 teaspoon salt
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
The salad is quick to make — simply toss all of the ingredients together in a bowl and allow to chill for at least 15 minutes before serving. It makes a great appetizer, just provide toothpicks or other skewers. Delicious!
I served the salad in my favorite piggy bowl which I bought a couple years ago at Michael Chiarello’s NapaStyle store in Berkeley, California. According to the Chinese zodiac, I am a pig and during the Year of the Pig in 2007, piggy bowls were everywhere so I bought this and one other (Pomaireware Clay Pig Baking Dish).
Behind the scenes:
Ok, time to share another behind the scenes look at how this post comes together. I was so excited by the salad and using piggy that I kinda made a mess while taking the photos. Before I knew it, toothpicks were flying all over the place: