When we’re in a hurry to run errands, we tend to stock up on the usual suspects at the grocery store. This week, we challenge you to put something new and unexpected in your cart. And we have just the weeknight recipe to spark this change.
We love salads year-round, but especially at this time of year when so much amazing produce can be found in store. Sunset Foods’ very own Mary Kay Gill offers a spectacular weeknight salad recipe that showcases an abundance of delicious produce – some you’ll recognize and some you have probably walked past without giving it a second glance. That all changes today!
This week’s recipe: Jicama Salad with Pomegranate Lime Dressing
What you need:
For the dressing
2 Tbs fresh pomegranate juice
2 Tbs fresh lime juice
1 Tbs sugar
¾ tsp salt
¼ tsp ground cumin
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 tsp olive oil
For the salad:
2 c. spinach or arugula (or a mixture of the two)
1 ½ c jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks
¼ c red onion, diced
½ c. avocado, peeled and diced
2 Tbs fresh cilantro, chopped
¼ c fresh pomegranate seeds
4 tsp pumpkin seeds, toasted
Why we like it:
Pomegranate is one of the oldest known fruits. Full of nutrients and antioxidants, this super food is a symbol of health, fertility and eternal life. And wouldn’t you know, now is the perfect season to purchase fresh pomegranates at Sunset Foods! The seeds, when added to a salad add a gorgeous pop of jewel-toned color, while providing brilliant crunch and flavor. Once you try it, you won’t know how you lived without these little wonders.
And jicama! Once you look past it’s less-than-alluring exterior, you’ll discover a wonderfully light, crunchy and refreshing flavor that lends itself well to so many applications. And best of all, you don’t have to cook it! Just peel it, cut it to size and enjoy it raw! How easy is that?
So, lets get cooking, shall we? Mary Kay loves this recipe for busy weeknights – it comes together very quickly and is deeply satisfying.
Here’s our beautiful mise en place for this dish:
So much color!
We will start with the salad dressing. Like any dressing, marinade, salsa, etc, it’s always best to make this first to allow your ingredients time to mingle and become friendly – that’s how you bring life to the party on your plate!
First, we’ll juice our limes. For the recipe we only need 2 tablespoons of juice. Since limes are not uniform in size, it’s hard to say how much a single lime will produce. But the great thing about fresh lime juice is that you can always freeze the extra if you won’t need it right away – then you will always have lime juice on hand.
Mary Kay likes to use this handy container when making dressings, but you can use whatever you have on hand – a bowl and a whisk works just as well. If you don’t have a fancy container like this one, no worries, you can pick one up at Sunset in Lake Forest or ask to have one sent to any of our other four stores.
Next we will add our pomegranate juice. We use the POM Wonderful brand of juices because they are reliably fresh and delicious – and the bottle is just the right size for recipes like this one that only require a couple tablespoons. We’ll add the salt as well. You can measure it or do It to taste. Salt is an easy ingredient to overdue, so go easy at first, knowing you can easily add more at the end.
Next we'll get our garlic minced. Our blog last week offered a handy tip for cutting garlic – check this out if you need a refresher. Otherwise, you can follow along as Mary Kay demonstrates how easy it is.
Finally, we’ll add our ground cumin (such a wonderfully fragrant spice!), sugar and olive oil. Then pop the lid on our dressing container and shake, shake, shake! Otherwise, simply whisk everything together until thoroughly combined, then set aside to let the ingredients get happy.
Now it’s time to whip up the salad. This won’t take long at all – we know you’re hungry!
We will start by prepping our jicama. First you’ll want to peel the jicama. Then, create a flat side by cutting off the bottom of the jicama to make it sit nicely on the cutting board. From there, you can begin to cut your matchsticks. Cut thick slices of jicama and then lay the slices flat on your cutting board and cut them into thin strips, about ¼-inch thick. Then toss into a large mixing bowl.
Next we’ll cut the onion. By now you’ve probably made enough weeknight meals with us to know our handy onion cutting trick. If not, here’s where you can learn how to cut an onion without tearing up. Mary Kay likes to cut her onion in big slices. You can do that too. However, if your onion is really strong, you may find dicing it more appealing. Any way you slice or dice it, add your onion to the bowl with the jicama when you are done.
Next we’ll put our avocado slicing skills to the test. Remember how to prep an avocado? If not, this post will refresh your memory.
Next we’ll rinse our cilantro and chop that up. Then it can be added to the bowl of avocado, onion and jicama.
This is starting to look delicious! But it’s not done yet. Time to get those pomegranate seeds out of hiding.
Pomegranates may look a bit intimidating, but once you learn the trick to removing the seeds, they’re a piece of cake. When choosing pomegranates at the store, look for plump, rounded fruits that feel heavy for their size and are free of cuts, bruises or slashes – like these beauties!
To extract the seeds, you will need a bowl with water. Begin by cutting off the crown (stem end) of the pomegranate. Then score the pomegranate as if you were going to cut it into quarters. Place the scored pomegranate in the bowl of water and hold it under so that it soaks. This will help loosen the seeds and make them easier to collect. While the pomegranate is under water, begin pulling apart the scored pieces to expose the seeds. Run your fingers through each quartered segment of the fruit to remove the seeds. Let them fall into the water until you have removed every seed. Discard the quarters, and pour the water and pomegranate seeds through a colander/strainer (no need to save the water). Now you can add the seeds to your salad. Try a few first. Yum!
Finally, add your spinach or and/or arugula to the bowl and toss everything together. Then drizzle your dressing over everything, toss again to ensure everything is coated evenly, and serve.