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There are few things more refreshing than the clean, crisp bite of a summer salad. I’m talking about plain, fresh produce that is cut in bite sized pieces that you can eat with your hands in a park, at a ballgame or your own backyard…while taking turns running through a water sprinkler… in slow motion. Wait. We’re in a drought in California, so maybe skip the water sprinkler fun, but don’t skip the unseasonably seasonal produce that is available to us throughout SoCal.

Yes, we’re spoiled, but we live on a fault, so we’re even. Take this time to enjoy the first produce of an early summer. Below is my “recipe” for a terrifically simple, yet delicious salad. You don’t need a dressing, but if you decide to go that route I suggest a citrus vinaigrette of some sort, like an orange & fennel vinaigrette. Otherwise, eat it straight or with a light dusting of Tajin (a chile, salt and lime powder you can find in some specialty markets).

If you’ve never eaten jicama then start today because it is available pretty much year-round. But what is it? Well, so far I’ve resisted the temptation to call this a “fruit salad” because jicama is actually a tuberous root. Jicama has rough, but thin tan colored skin that must be peeled off before eating. Jicama has white flesh that is lightly sweet with great crunch, kind of a cross between to unripe pears and water chestnuts. Eating Jicama raw brings so much crunch, but have you ever tossed in a vegetable stir-fry? Try it. The trick when cooking jicama is to do it fast so that you maintain the crunch because who likes limp veggies? Toss julienned jicama into a stir-fry just before serving or toss it in oil and broil it quickly.

Watch our video below to learn how to quickly remove the skin and cut up your jicama. Enjoy!


Jicama & Watermelon Salad
Serves 4

½ large jicama, peeled
1 mini seedless watermelon, cubed
2 medium navel oranges, peeled, chopped
½ teaspoon chopped fresh mint
Salt & ground black pepper to taste
Vinaigrette optional

Gently toss all the ingredients together. Dress lightly with a citrus vinaigrette or as it. Serve chilled.

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