This was my first time ever trying Jicama, or Yam Bean, if you prefer.
Funny thing is I had just purchased one, not really knowing what I was gonna do with this unfamiliar root vegetable, when Mellissa, over at I Breathe… I’m Hungry… posted this fabulous looking recipe for a Basil, Cherry and Jicama Salsa.
Conveniently, I’d also just purchased a humongous bag of fresh cherries a couple of days prior, so I happened to have some of that, too (although when I took the bag out to make the salad, I realized that most were already gone! I think there must’ve been a hole in the bag or something…)
Still I was in luck! This beautiful, mouth watering combination of fresh produce was so going to happen in my very own kitchen in a not too distant future.
Although I also happened to have some basil on hand, which the original recipe called for, I chose to use completely different fresh herbs for my version of what was to become a salad.
For some strange reason, I tend to not use my fresh basil. Not that I don’t like it, far from there: I always have a live plant on the window sill; but I tend to just watch it grow and don’t want to destroy it by using too much at once… But then I’ll eventually get to use it all over the course of a couple of days, feel sad that it’s all gone, buy a new one and start the whole process over again.
Perhaps it would be very different if I could buy basil in the non-living form, like I do parsley and mint and sage and rosemary.
It seems like I have a hard time picking leaves off of my live plants…
So anyway, I chose to spare my basil plant that day and used parsley, mint and rosemary, instead.
I must say that the flavor combination worked pretty well!
As for the Jicama, or Yam Bean, although I can’t say that it was love on first
sight taste, I liked it more than enough to add it to my “good carbs to be enjoyed once in a while” list.
It reminded me a bit of raw potatoes, only it’s a lot less starchy and a bit more crunchy and sweet, as well as a way more flavorful!
In fact, my first impression was “this tastes exactly like what the distant smell of freshly cut grass smells like.” Only not in a bad way. It’s very, very refreshing.
I might say that I really truly loved the taste. And it paired extremely well with the rest of the ingredients that made up this salad.
The super crunchy chunks of fresh coconut, the sweetness of the cherries and subtle nuttiness of the pistachio, combined with the little tang brought forth by the citrus juices and vinegar made for a very interesting and palate pleasing salad experience.
One that I will be wanting to repeat some time soon… very soon!
While cherries are still in season!
- 575g jicama, peeled and diced (that’s about half a medium one)
- 100g fresh coconut, diced
- 250g fresh cherries, pitted and cut in half
- ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
- 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves removed and finely chopped
- ½ cup fresh coconut water
- the juice of 1 lime
- the zest and juice of ½ orange
- 2 tbsp white wine vinegar
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- ½ tsp Himalayan or unrefined sea salt
- ¼ tsp ground white pepper
- ¼ cup shelled raw pistachios, chopped
- In a large mixing bowl, add the jicama, fresh coconut, cherries, parsley, mint and rosemary. Mix until well distributed.
- In a small food processor, add the coconut water, lime juice, orange zest and juice, white wine vinegar, coconut oil, salt and pepper and process until well incorporated.
- Pour that over the reserved veggies and mix well.
- Toss in pistachios and serve immediately.
- While this salad will keep for a few days in the refrigerator, it is better served immediately as the coconut oil will set when chilled, making it a little bit less palatable. Also, the jicama and coconut will take on a pinkish color because of the cherries. The salad will still taste as good, but it won’t be as pretty...