Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Watermelon Jicama Salad

LESLIE BUDEWITZ: Mr. Right adores watermelon. But jicama? He wasn’t sure what it was, so when I picked this recipe, I did the shopping myself. It’s a fun and pretty summer salad that I think would work well for a picnic, party, or potluck—basically anywhere you want to take it. And if, like me, you love to grow herbs in summer, this is a great way to use fresh herbs.

I’ll confess that the original recipe, from the Williams Sonoma blog, did not treat the pumpkin seeds as optional. But I discovered too late that we were out, so I left them out, and frankly, we didn’t miss them. If you do decide to toast a few, toss them with a bit of kosher salt before baking—in my opinion, they are always tastier that way. We love cilantro, but if you’re among the 15% of the population who think it tastes like soap, leave it out.

Now, how to peel that jicama? Mine was large, so I used only about half for this recipe, using a sharp knife to peel off the potato-brown skin as if it were potato peel. That actually left a very thin fibrous layer that was less than optimal, so in the future, I would cut even a small jicama in half, put the cut side down on the cutting board, and slice off the skin as if I were peeling a pineapple.

We served the salad with a green salad and grilled shrimp wrapped in proscuitto. I enjoyed the leftovers for lunch.

This salad keeps well for several days. The combination of salt and watermelon does produce some juice in the bottom of your bowl, so spoon with care!

Watermelon Jicama Salad

1/2 cup fresh lime juice
2 tablespoons vegetable oil (we use canola oil)
1 teaspoon honey
Kosher salt
about 3 pounds of seedless watermelon, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
1 jicama, about 1/2 pound, peeled and cut into large matchsticks
1/4 cup toasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil

In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, oil, honey, and a large pinch of salt. Whisk to combine.

In a large flat bowl, combine the watermelon and jicama.

Add the dressing and toss to combine. Fold in the pumpkin seeds, if you're using them, red onion, mint, cilantro and basil. Season to taste with salt and serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6.


From the cover of KILLING THYME, coming October 4 and available for pre-order now: 

At Seattle Spice in the Pike Place Market, owner Pepper Reece is savoring her business success, but soon finds her plans disrupted by a killer…

Pepper Reece’s to-do list is longer than the shopping list for a five-course dinner, as she conjures up spice blends bursting with seasonal flavor, soothes nervous brides fretting over the gift registry, and crosses her fingers for a rave review from a sharp-tongued food critic. Add to the mix a welcome visit from her mother, Lena, and she’s got the perfect recipe for a busy summer garnished with a dash of fun. 

While browsing in the artists’ stalls, Pepper and Lena drool over stunning pottery made by a Market newcomer. But when Lena recognizes the potter, Bonnie Clay, as an old friend who disappeared years ago, the afternoon turns sour. To Pepper’s surprise, Bonnie seems intimately connected to her family’s past. When Bonnie is murdered only days later, Pepper is determined to uncover the truth. 

But when Pepper roots out long-buried secrets, will she be digging her own grave?

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. The president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat Ruff, a cover model and avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website  and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook, where I often share news of new books and giveaways from my cozy writer friends.


  1. I really like jicama and often just sprinkle it with lime juice and chili powder. It seems to turn 'slimy' quickly though. I usually rinse it off and just eat it - the taste is fine. Any thoughts on that? Is jicima supposed to be slimy after a couple of days or what? I bought a container of it already cleaned and cut into sticks at Trader Joes and it turned slimy within one day. Now I just go to our local international store.

    1. Sharon, I didn't have that problem, though the unused half did lose its flavor and crunch fairly quickly. Just found this tip on a cooking website, and it's worth a try:

      "If you don't immediately use the jicama, you can keep it fresh longer and avoid discoloration by submerging the processed jicama in a bowl of cold water with a squeeze of lemon juice. The citric acid in the juice will help keep the jicama in good shape for up to 2 days if you store it in the refrigerator."

    2. Ahh, thanks so much - will give it a try!!! My husband is not a vegetable lover so eating all the jicama is my job!!!!

  2. Clever. Don't know that I would have thought of this combination.
    Well done, you.