The time for outdoor bbq is nearly upon us so we had better start discussing some side dishes that will go with the well seasoned meat coming off the grill. The key here is to make a side dish before you begin grilling so that when the meat is done everything else is ready to put out. We are talking about the old stand-byes of potato salad and coleslaw, but I would like to introduce a few new salads that will surprise and amaze your guests (we will try to stay away from shock and awe). I am sure many of you will have some old favorites that people remember and ask for time and time again, keep serving those but add a few new ones or a little twist now and then to keep yourself interested.
This entry is a twist on coleslaw. I started making a tequila-lime (natural combination) salsa with tomato, red onion, cilantro (pico de gallo) and adding a splash of tequila for its unusual flavor. I would always add a few other things like cilantro or some diced jalapeño to spice it up. The basic vinaigrette of tequila, lime and olive oil makes a great combination which can be used on almost any salad so instead of shredded white cabbage for this “slaw”, I shredded jicama and a carrot; combined it with the dressing and you have a nontraditional slaw that tastes great. This one is ready in just minutes.
Jicama is a tubor originally from Mexico that has found its way around the world and meets with voracious approval wherever it goes. It has a sweet, crunch, slightly starch taste, something like the cross between an Asian pear and and a white potato. The flavor is mild and just sweet enough to be interesting and crunchy enough to be a great counterpoint to a potato salad, for example. There are a lot of things you can do with it like slice it and grill it or cut it into finger sized sticks and use it as part of a crudité. I highly recommend it as a staple especially for summertime consumption.
- 1 lb jicama, peeled and quartered
- 1 medium carrot, peeled
- 3 green onions, sliced
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp tequila (your favorite is fine, have a shot while your at it, it will make you happy)
- juice from a lime (about a Tbsp or more if you like)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Combine all of the ingredients for the vinaigrette and set aside.
Shred the peeled jicama and the carrot with the shredding attachment of a food processor or a box grater. Mix with the sliced green onions and the cilantro and combine with the vinaigrette. Allow the salad to develop flavor for about 15 minutes and it is ready to eat. Enjoy!