In my recent visit to Rancho la Puerta, I enjoyed a jicama Salad on Romaine with toasted pepitas and cilantro Dressing. I was reminded that jicama tastes good and brings a fresh flavor to winter salads. When friends invited me over for Christmas dinner, I decided to bring a salad featuring jicama.

If you are not familiar with this food, it’s worth checking out. Jicama is a legume, but it’s the root that is eaten, either raw or cooked. It’s consistent texture allows easy chopping into slices, cubes or Julienne style. It pairs well with citrus salads, using orange segments or grapefruit, also readily available in the winter months.

For my holiday feast, I had two options, one from the Cooking with the Seasons at Rancho la Puerta and the other from the sister spa, The Golden Door Cooks at Home. The Ranch cookbook actually has a number of jicama salad recipes. I considered their Mexican coleslaw, with red and green cabbage, jicama and a cilantro vinaigrette. The cabbage seemed a little too casual for a holiday meal. So I went, instead, with the Golden Door avocado, orange and jicama salad with coriander dressing. I served this over a bed of frisee and radicchio. I also garnished the salad with “Bull’s Blood” microgreens which were new to me, and have a lovely green leaf with red stems and veins. The result was lovely, festive and tasty! Here’s where I should insert a photo, but I have to confess that we simply ate it! No photos this time, but if you get the cookbook you’ll find a great picture to inspire you!

Further true confessions: I took a knife skills class at the Ranch and let Santa know that I needed some new good knives and a nice bamboo chopping board for Christmas. Santa was so good to me! I used the knives, board and skills on the tasty jicama. I trimmed off the top and bottom, sliced it into half-inch segments, then into strips and finally into cubes. I supremed the segments from two oranges and carefully also cubed two small avocados. I’m enjoying the new knives and board. I’m also working to implement some of the efficiencies taught by the professional chef. I won’t be auditioning for Chopped anytime soon, but I will be enjoying cutting up more fruits and vegetables!