Watermelon Jicama Starry Fruit Salad with Vanilla Bean Dressing
Happy 4th OvenHuggers!
We are back from an uber-relaxing 2 weeks in Kauai. I’m super charged for for summer salads, more fresh air, and daily workouts. Is it just me or does the 4th of July remind you of watermelon? Part of it is that the weather has been summer hot in the Bay Area. Watermelon is so satisfying, especially when it’s served cold and it’s juicy. Very hot days can suck all the energy out of you. It’s extra important to stay hydrated and to feel refreshed.
Keep your energy up with this fun watermelon Salad. Get out your red, white, and blue, stripes and stars. This starry fruit salad is fun and festive and will liven up your 4th.
Let’s talk about the ingredients for this salad. Pick a watermelon that is not too ripe. An over-ripe watermelon will lose it’s shape. If too ripe the star shapes will break apart and become mushy in the mix.
The hardest part of this salad is cutting the jicama. I love the taste of jicama although admittedly it only makes an appearance in this salad to add the white color addition. In the past when I’ve made this salad I’ve hurt my hands pressing down on the star shaped cookie cutters. I’ve even cut my fingers. Jicama is a hard root vegetable!
My Bob is a great problem solver. He came up with a solution to cut the jicama into star shapes without hurting my hands on the cookie cutters. Bob’s smart solution was to use a coaster in between our hands and the metal cutters – so much easier! With a hard coaster to press down on the cutters slice right through the jicama no problem.
One more jicama tip – store the fresh cut jicama in water with a touch of lemon juice to keep from browning on the edges.
If you’ve never tasted jicama you should! It’s got a crispy, water chestnut type flavor. It’s very high in fiber and does not have many calories. I love the stuff. The flavor is mild and doesn’t over power the salad. You may have seen jicama already cut into wedges. Here is what a whole jicama root vegetable looks like:
Lastly, I wait until we are almost ready to serve the salad to put all the fruit together. This way the jicama stays white – the berries can stain the jicama pink on the edges after awhile.
For portions of the fruit and berries for this salad see last year’s OvenHug post, “5 Ingredient Star Spangled Watermelon Jicama Salad”. The 5 ingredients include one large basket each of strawberries, raspberries, and blueberries, plus one large watermelon and one large whole jicama.
New this year is the lightened up version of Nordstrom’s Vanilla Bean Vinaigrette. My sis’, Roya and I shared a yummy Berry Fig Salad over the weekend at the Nordstrom Cafe in Stanford Shopping Center. The dressing made the salad – I’d never had anything like it! You can easily serve this starry salad without any dressings but the honey/vanilla bean vinaigrette adds a hint of tangy sweetness to an already good fruit salad.
The vanilla bean vinaigrette light is delicious in any summer berry salad. The Nordie’s Cafe version has some oil in it – I don’t think the dressing needs it. The vinaigrette recipe follows:
- 1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise, seeds scraped out
- ¼ cup champagne vinegar
- 1½ Tablespoons honey
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- warm the honey until runny
- spray measuring Tablespoon with spray oil (to prevent honey from sticking)
- combine vinaigrette ingredients in a liquid measuring cup
- stir and combine with a fork until vanilla beans are separated
- drizzle over salad before serving
We had a very short but sweet visit with my sister Roya on her trip here from her hometown in south Georgia. Roya is a teacher and a very kind soul. She is half way to her weight loss and fitness goals and I couldn’t be more proud of her. I enjoy our California bonding time and send my sis’ tons of support now that she’s back home. You got this Roya!
~big Hugs and lots of Love ~