Cinco de Mayo is for me a great opportunity to try new flavors
So I was looking for a salad idea for the occasion, a salad that might combine interesting ingredients with a Mexican appeal. I am not very knowledgeable with cooking Mexican cuisine, beyond the basics, so I searched the blogosphere for inspiration. I came across two recipes that grabbed my attention: a (fittingly titled) "Cinco de Mayo Salad" at iVillage, and a "Jicama, Avocado, Radish and Orange Salad with Cilantro" at Fine Cooking. Of course, I had a hard time deciding between the two, especially with such interesting and colorful produce in each. I particularly like jicama in a salad and I wanted to keep it in. I also wanted to keep the radishes in, as they are still very much in season and I liked the idea of having Spring flavors to make a light and seasonal salad. I also did not want to mix the avocado in the salad. So I decided to create a hybrid of the two.
For three generous or 4 normal servings, I prep'ed the following: 1 romaine lettuce head - sliced in about 1/2" strips, 1/2 a small to medium jicama diced, 5 rainbow radishes - finely sliced, 1 scallion - finely sliced, 1/2 cucumber (not European) diced, 1/2 cup cilantro - chopped, 1 Navel orange - peeled, seeds of 1 large pomegranate, 2 small endive heads - sliced in 1/4" strips.
All Ingredients were placed in a bowl and mixed together. For the dressing, I combined about 1/4c olive oil, 1-2 tbsp mild Taco powder (you can substitute with a mix of cumin, paprika and dash of cayenne, or cumin alone), 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 1 heaped tbsp coconut sugar, salt and pepper. I added to the salad and mixed well so that all vegetables were well coated.
I still wanted the avocado, but … on the side :).
I had a great medium Haas avocado, ripe but firm, which I cut in half, sliced finely and spread like a fan on the plate. I also finished the salad with 1/2 cup unsalted roasted peanuts. It was absolutely delicious: all the flavors combined so nicely, and I was glad I had kept in the jicama and radishes which really kept the salad very fresh. At the same time, the cumin added some boldness and worked really well with all the ingredients. With its mix of pretty colors and tasty flavors, this salad was a true celebration on a plate, and in the palate :).
By the way:
- Jicama is a tuberous and is high in vitamins C and A. This entire salad is in fact packed with vitamins and antioxidants.
- Noteworthy also: most ingredients are low-FODMAP friendly but jicama contains fructo-oligosaccharide. While this is a prebiotic, it may be on your watch list if you are keeping track of your FODMAP intake. In this salad, there should be at most 1/4 cup per serving but you can also skip it altogether. Same idea for the avocado.
- All is naturally gluten-free and dairy-free, and will keep healthy, vegan and Meatless Monday eaters happy too.