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these are the salad days

Recipe: jicama pepita garbanzo salad

As I mentioned in my last post, Jeremy and I went skiing on the summer solstice. On fresh snow! Just a few inches of fresh snow in the backcountry and it all went to mashed potatoes by mid-morning, but it was totally the best first day of summer I’ve ever had. The winds were all crazytown and stormy clouds sat on the divide all morning, however we enjoyed intermittent blue skies overhead.

jeremy moves up the valley wall

the fun part

skiing out is fast

Everything (I mean the snow) is melting in earnest now and it’s unclear if we’ll get another fabulous backcountry ski day like that for the rest of the summer. But it’s not so bad to be without snow for just a little while. I kinda look forward to hiking trails in comfy trail runners instead of my tele boots and carrying a small pack instead of a pair of skis on my back. I’m also anticipating our thunderstorm cycle 1) to wash away the pine pollen and hence my allergies and 2) because lightning is fascinating. Clouds make for interesting sunsets sometimes too.

lighting the belly

there were even some jesus rays

We like being outside year-round, but in summer it is mandatory to get out and take advantage of the fact that the winds aren’t blowing snow and rocks around at 65 mph. All of that outsiding plus a few hours of sleep leaves little time in the day for cooking. To be honest though, on the really hot days I just want to drink ice water, eat watermelon, and stick my head in the freezer. On the not as insanely hot days, I find myself craving salads and other things that don’t involve convective, conductive, or radiative transfer.

simple is good

lettuce consumption is up in this house

In the last few years I’ve begun to mix my own salad dressings from scratch. It’s really quite simple and requires only a little more effort than twisting open a bottle of store-bought dressing. The difference in flavor and quality is light years apart. Most of the time I like a simple balsamic vinaigrette, but lately I’ve been on a different vinaigrette kick. It works with so many of the salads I make.

olive oil, vinegar, dijon mustard, thyme, shallots, salt, pepper, a pinch of sugar

combine the dressing ingredients except for the oil

whisk the oil in

Add anchovies or not. Omit the mustard or not. Same for shallots. Whatever floats your happy little boat. Change the herbs if you like. Switch out some of the vinegar for citrus juice. Own it. Awesome.

jicama, roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), and garbanzo beans (chickpeas)

i always tear the lettuce – no cutting

Same flexibility goes for the salad fixings. I usually dump whatever I can find into a salad as long as the flavors and textures play nicely together. I think jicama is one of my all-time favorite ingredients that I am almost always forgetting about. I have an obsession with crunchy things and most crunchy things tend to be bad for me (and probably you). But jicama is crunchy and slightly sweet and quite good for us. Round it out with some roasted, salted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and chickpeas and you’ve got yourself a meal that you didn’t have to cook.

dump in the pepitas

dress it and toss

easy summer fare

Jicama Pepita Garbanzo Salad
[print recipe]

4-6 cups lettuce, washed and torn
1 cup jicama, peeled and julienned
1/2 cup roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
1 cup garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 shallot, peeled and minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
salt to taste
pepper to taste
pinch of sugar
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Put the lettuce, jicama, pepitas, and garbanzo beans in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, shallot, mustard, thyme, salt, pepper, and sugar. Whisk the olive oil into the vinegar and mustard mixture in a thin, steady stream. Pour the dressing over the salad ingredients and toss to evenly coat. Serves 4-8.

19 nibbles at “these are the salad days”

  1. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga says:

    I love jicama! And I love the action shot of the whisking of the dressing and also the pouring/drizzling shot.

    And the final pic on the glass plate, with the lighting, so pretty!

    Makes me want to eat another salad today. I always have one or two, at least :)

  2. Fiona says:

    This is why I grew my own lettuce this year. In summer, a beautiful salad is really all you need. And bravo on dressing – looks just like my mother’s (ie, the best).

  3. Natalie S. says:

    That looks delicious! I love garbanzo beans in salads.

  4. Diana C says:

    Jen, can you explain why you would tear lettuce instead of cutting it?

  5. Diana Banana says:

    i never ever ever buy prepackaged dressing anymore either. on truly lazy days i whisk together olive oil, balsamic (or lemon or whatever) and raspberry jam (or orange marmelade, or whatever else there is) for a faux fancy dressing. yum!! i never think to buy jicama either, yet i get so excited whenever i see it on menus, which is very rare.

  6. Jessica says:

    Thanks for the dressing recipe! I’m growing my own lettuce this year and I need to start eating a salad a day to keep up with it!

  7. Foodtopii says:

    I like how half this post is dedicated to mixing the dressing. Usually, that’s all it is. Here, it’s finally got the spotlight. Freshly made ANYTHING seems to taste better than prepacked stuff any day!

  8. Margie says:

    yum, yum, yum…
    munch, munch, munch…

    This is sooooo going to happen!

  9. Joy says:

    The salad looks so good.

  10. Andrea @ Fork Fingers Chopsticks says:

    Thanks for another use for jicama. I haven’t done the research yet to see if it’s something we could grow here in Colorado.

  11. Sally - My Custard Pie says:

    Even with your picture, I had to Google jicama. That’s what I love about reading blogs about food – there is always something to learn. Those pictures of the sky….how wonderful to witness them in reality.

  12. Shelley says:

    I love crunchy things in salads. I’ll have to give the jicama a whirl.

  13. jenyu says:

    Averie – jicama is so awesome and yet I think so underrated. It needs more love from the blogosphere.

    Fiona – Ima gonna come and pinch yo lettuce! :)

    Diana – tearing damages fewer cells (less browning)

    Jessica – I love you people who grow your own lettuce!

    Foodtopii – yes, the more I make my own dressings the worse the store-bought brands taste.

    Andrea – huh, never thought about growing it. That would be cool.

    Sally – it is really lovely to eat raw or toss in stir fries. I love it (and it’s good for you).

    Shelley – I bet you’ll love it.

  14. Wendy says:

    This looks amazing!! I can’t wait to try it–am a jicama fan, too, and also don’t use it enough. I want to try using toasted chick peas. Since reading Mark Bittman’s recent recipes with beans in Cooking Light, I can’t get enough of toasting them. Jen, have you tried jicama and watermelon? Is it too much crunch with crunch? Your photos are always sooo enviably elegant.

  15. Puna says:

    I was here years ago and then lost you. I am so happy I found you again . . . what amazing recipe inspirations! My list google reader list for sure so I don’t lose you again:)

  16. jenyu says:

    Wendy – I have not, but it sounds good, doesn’t it? :)

    Puna – welcome back!

  17. Jicama | drink. eat. play. repeat. says:

    […] Posted on July 17, 2011 by jwolfe06 My friend posted a recipe for a jicama pepita garbanzo salad on her pinterest account.  I was immediately intrigued.  Jicama? Qu’est-que c’est?! […]

  18. David from SaladPride says:

    wow. Love it!

  19. Lara says:

    New to this blog thing and love it – love cooking and am widening my horizons by doing so. Jicama is new – just saw it on “CHOPPED” – they should go into a description on the odd ingredients. Anyway – looking forward to making this salad with Jicama. Also into photography and post many photos of my food to friends and family. You do very nice work!! THANKs.

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