JICAMA FENNEL SALAD WITH LIME ORANGE DRESSING
See also: Jicama Article & Jicama Facts
Fresh Choices, by Rochelle Davis, David Joachim
The anise-flavored fennel and the citrus in this salad really wake up the taste buds. So does the peppery bite of watercress! If you can't find fresh watercress in the herb section of your grocery store, use a torn-up head of buttercrunch lettuce. In that case, you might want to double or triple the hot pepper sauce for extra kick.
Makes 6 servings
• 1 small jicama, peeled and cut into 2" long matchsticks (about 3 cups)
• 1 medium fennel bulb, trimmed and cut into 2" long matchsticks (about 3 cups)
• 3 large organic navel oranges
• 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• juice of 1 lime
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon ground fennel seeds (optional)
• 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (or more to taste)
• 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
• 2 bunches watercress, stems trimmed
• 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
• 1 tablespoon sliced almonds
In a large bowl, combine the jicama and fennel.
Peel and section 2 oranges. Cut each section into quarters and add to the bowl.
Squeeze the juice from the remaining orange and the lime into a small bowl.
Whisk in the oil in a slow, steady stream until incorporated.
Whisk in the salt, nutmeg, fennel seeds (if using), pepper sauce, and black pepper.
Pour over the jicama and toss.
Divide the watercress among salad plates. Top with the jicama mixture.
Pour any remaining dressing evenly over the salads and sprinkle each with the basil and sliced almonds.
Helping Hands: To trim fennel, cut off the stems and fronds where they turn pale green and the white bulb begins. Save the stems and fronds for another use (toss them into a stock or sauce for a delicate anise flavor; the fronds also make a beautiful garnish). Trim off the base of the bulb and cut it in half through the base. To make curved matchsticks, cut or pull off the naturally crescent-shaped slices from the core of each half.
To avoid the somewhat bitter membranes in the oranges, make supremes out of the sections. Start with the whole orange and cut off 1/2 inch from the top and bottom just to expose the flesh. Stand the orange on one of the cut sides and cut off the peel all the way around the orange. Stand the rindless orange on end and run the knife on either side of each segment in a V-shape to remove each segment from its surrounding membrane. Put the resulting orange flesh, or supremes, in the bowl and squeeze any juice from the cut scraps.