Martha Stewart Living (September 2008)
On most nights that we cook for the blog, our menu only features one dish from a food magazine. The others items cooked those nights -- be it the main dish or a side -- are typically other recipes we like or just things that we make up as we go along.
We made an exception, though, when deciding what to serve with Chili-Rubbed Pork Tenderloin. We wanted something that would complement the flavors of the pork. We had to look no further than the same page of Martha Stewart Living, opting for the Pear-and-Jicama Salad the magazine recommended.
The inclusion of both pears and jicama attracted us to this recipe. The pears at our farmers market are fantastic right now, so it gave another excuse to buy them (we didn't need much persuading).
Plus, we've barely cooked with jicama and wanted an excuse to try it again. In fact, we've only cooked with jicama once before, when we made an impulse buy and grabbed one at the grocery. We weren't sure what to do with it, but were eager to try it.
After doing some reading online, we ended up making a jicama slaw that was good but not great. That dish turned out rather bland -- jicama has a nice texture but little flavor.
Pears provide a perfect solution to this problem, complimenting the starchy crunch of the jicama with their sweet earthiness. Depending on how tart you like your salads, you may want to go easy on the lime juice, starting with two tablespoons instead of the three recommended by the recipe, and then adding to taste. We used all three tablespoons, and, although it was very good, the salad was tart.
We did hit one snag when making this recipe when we opened the crisper only to find that the cilantro we had purchased days earlier for this salad had gone bad. So we ended up garnishing with parsley rather than cilantro -- the salad was nice with the parsley but cilantro would have better better, adding another excellent flavor. As an aside, we continue to experiment with ways to better store herbs. If you have tips, by all means share them!
That misstep aside, this salad was an excellent accompaniment to the mild heat of the pork, a simple but well-executed side salad perfect for serving with spicy foods.
Ever used jicama in an interesting way?
Prep: 7 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
* 1 lime
* 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
* 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
* Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
* 1 pear, halved, cored, and thinly sliced
* 1 small jicama (about 12 ounces), peeled, quartered, and thinly sliced
* 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1. Cut peel and pith from lime. Slice lime along membranes to release segments, and reserve segments.
2. Whisk lime juice and oil in a medium bowl, and season with salt and pepper. Add pear, jicama, and cilantro, and toss to combine. Fold in reserved lime segments, and season with more salt if desired. Serve immediately.