A tasty cool-weather dish using two classic fall vegetables, this jícama and fennel salad gets a lovely citrus lilt from fresh oranges and lime dressing.
In mid-to-late summer and fall, jícamas are fairly easy to come by. My local supermarket, which isn’t located in a sophisticated urban center, carries them at this time of year.
I highly recommend getting acquainted with this offbeat vegetable. See more in this site’s Guide to Jícama.
Fennel, too, with its distinctive anise flavor, often gets short shrift. Paired with jícama, it adds up to a simple salad that’s easy enough for every day and festive enough for fall holiday menus.
Substitutes: Deceptively plain on the outside, jícama yields a burst of crisp, slightly sweet texture and flavor. That being said, if it’s unavailable, substitute 2 to 3 medium turnips or medium daikon radish (peeled in both cases), and you’ve still got a lovely fall salad.
As for fennel, there’s no other vegetable I’m aware of that has that distinctive anise (licorice) undertone, but in a pinch, you can use celery or bok choy, sliced on the diagonal. Learn more in our Guide to Fennel. And explore more ways to use fennel in this roundup of flavorful plant based fennel recipes.
Photos of Jícama & Fennel Salad by Hannah Kaminsky, BittersweetBlog.com.
- 1 medium jícama, peeled and cut into narrow 1 1/2-inch-long strips
- 3 to 4 clementines or other small seedless oranges, sectioned
- 1 fennel bulb, very thinly sliced (save stalks for another use; see note)
- Feathery leaves from the fennel
- 2 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley, or a combination
- 4 ounces baby greens (any variety, see Note for options)
- Juice of 1/2 to 1 lime, to taste
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon agave or maple syrup
- 1/4 cup toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds
- Combine the first 7 ingredients in a serving container and toss together.
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and stir together. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss together.
- Let stand for a few minutes if time allows, then scatter the seeds over the top and serve.
Use any kind of baby greens you prefer — spring mix, spinach, arugula, baby kale, or mixed baby power greens.
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Here are more deliciously satisfying vegan salads & sides.