A combination of sweet and sour, salty and bitter makes this a bright, full-flavored jicama salad at the tail end of winter. This dish offers a pleasant citrus dimension that will help offset weightier foods.
If you haven’t tried jicama before, you’re in for a treat. It’s a tuberous root whose light brown skin resembles a brown potato or celery root. The creamy-white interior has the texture of an apple. Jicama’s flavor is mild and only faintly sweet, like celery with a hint of turnip. (It’s sometimes referred to as the Mexican turnip).
Typically eaten peeled and raw, jicama is commonly enjoyed with condiments or in salads in Mexico and Southeast Asia. (I love jicama cut into sticks with guacamole!) It adds a refreshing flavor and crunchy texture to this recipe.
- 1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed, cut in 1-inch pieces
- 1 shallot, peeled and sliced
- 1 t olive oil
- ⅛ t salt
- 1 c jicama, cut in ½-inch cubes
- 4 c baby spinach, packed
- 4 T black olives, sliced
- 2 grapefruit, peeled and cut into segments
- ¼ c walnuts, toasted and chopped
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- ½ c grapefruit juice
- 1 t brown mustard
- 1 T shallot, minced
- 1 t agave nectar
- ½ t thyme, dried (or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves)
- ⅛ t salt
- ¼ c olive oil
- In a medium saute pan, heat olive oil. Add sliced shallot and cook about 1 minute. Add asparagus and saute about 7 minutes. Asparagus will brighten in color but will still be crispy. Add salt and freshly ground pepper. Transfer to a bowl to cool slightly.
- Make the dressing. In a medium bowl, combine grapefruit juice, mustard, minced shallot, agave nectar, thyme and salt. Stir to combine. In a steady stream, whisk in olive oil until dressing is fully mixed and emulsified.
- Add jicama and olives to the asparagus. Stir in dressing until well mixed.
- Place spinach on a platter or divided across four plates. Top with asparagus mixture. (Mixture will contain enough liquid to drizzle extra on the spinach). Top with grapefruit segments and walnuts.