Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Jicama, Cucumber, and Citrus Salad

With all the warm, cooked foods I’ve been eating lately, I was in the mood for something crunchy and refreshing. A couple of weeks ago, some friends brought back a couple of nice star fruit for me from their trip to Florida and I decided that a refreshing fruit salad was in order.

Technically, this salad isn’t completely fruit since it includes jicama, a root vegetable often used in Mexican cooking. It has a very mild flavor and a texture that resembles a firm pear. Jicama is low in calories and high in fiber and vitamin C. The star fruit are slightly sweet and a little bit tart and have citrusy notes to them, which makes them incredibly refreshing.

I combined the jicama with chopped cucumber, the star fruit, some diced, dried apricots and chopped basil. The final touch was a citrusy dressing that added a little bit of a zing to the mostly mild flavor of this salad. Since I don’t often buy star fruit, this time of year I would also try oranges as a substitution.

Jicama, Cucumber, and Citrus Salad

1 medium jicama, peeled and chopped into bite-sized cubes

1 large cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped

1 star fruit, orange or other citrus fruit

¼ c dried apricots, chopped into very small pieces

¼ cup mild vinegar, I used an orange, Muscat, champagne vinegar

1 T honey, agave, or maple syrup

2 – 3 T water

a squeeze of fresh lime juice

pinch of sea salt

2 T finely chopped, fresh basil

Combine the jicama, cucumber, citrus fruit, and dried apricots in a bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sweetener, water, lime juice and sea salt. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix well. Stir in the chopped basil. Let sit in the refrigerator an hour or so for the salad to soak up the dressing.

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