Jicama Salad

Jicama Salad
Reprinted with permission from Quick & Easy Mexican Cooking: More than 80 Everyday Recipes by Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee (Chronicle Books, 2011). Copyright © 2011 by Cecilia Hae-Jin Lee.

Makes 6 to 8 appetizer servings

Jicamas are underused in cooking — a real shame, since they're such wonderful root vegetables with a crunchy, crispy texture. This salad (which is more akin to a "slaw") highlights the best of the jicama's characteristics and makes a nice side for any fajita or grilled meat.
1 large jicama, (about 1-1/2 pounds), peeled and coarsely shredded
2 large carrots, coarsely shredded
1 large red onion, thinly sliced
1 red or yellow bell pepper, julienned
1 lime, zested
1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (about 3 limes)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon ground pure ancho chile
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, combine the jicama, carrots, onion, and bell pepper.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together the lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, honey, and ancho. Pour over the vegetables and toss.

Add the cilantro and season with salt and black pepper. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes before serving.

Variations: If you want to go with a more fun and varied texture, add a chopped avocado, cut slices of an orange, or even a couple of chopped tomatoes just before tossing.

GOOD SIPS

We thought a cold beer would tame the heat of those spicy tacos, so we went to veteran brewer William Bostwick for his thoughts on what to look for. Will is co-author with Jessi Rymill of Beer Craft: A Simple Guide to Making Great Beer (Rodale, 2011). Listen up for his guest appearance on the show in August. Here's what he recommends:

"The spicy tacos and refreshing bite of jicama go great with something light and zesty, like a saison or an extra-dry pilsner. Saisons are perfect summertime beers, and the special yeast they use gives them a peppery kick. Look for bottles from Ommegang, the Bruery, and Jolly Pumpkin. Pilsner is the most popular beer style on earth, but they're often thin and bland. When done right, you'll taste spicy, Czech-grown hops and a bracing, dry finish. Try pilsners from Trumer, Lagunitas, and Tröegs."