Watermelon Jicama Salad with Tequila Vinaigrette

Watermelon Jicama Salad with Tequila Vinaigrette

Watermelon Jicama Salad with Tequila Vinaigrette was the refreshing and light first course featured at our Spirited Gourmet Gathering. Read on for the recipe and remember to Like, Comment and Share!

Watermelon Jicama Salad with Tequila Vinaigrette

As it turned out, our friends that were bringing the 1st course had to cancel the morning of our Gourmet Gathering, due to a  serious family health issue. We were sorry to hear they couldn’t join us and for their personal situation. We continue to keep them in our thoughts and prayers.

The options for 1st course included just skipping it, (there’s always more than enough food with just 3 courses) or quickly come up with an easy option. I always love a culinary challenge, so I decided to see if I could find a recipe that would fit the bill. This salad worked out great!  It only required making the vinaigrette and the tortilla strips, which could be done in advance. The rest was just cutting up some fruit and veggies and arranging the salad.

A Cook’s Tip on Tweaking and Substitutions

The recipe I found actually called for papaya, which has never been a personal favorite of mine. I decided that mango would be a good substitution because it also works well with Mexican flavors. Unfortunately, after my 2nd grocery run that day, I realized I had selected a bad mango. Dang. This lead me to brainstorm possible substitutions that I had on hand. Then I spotted the bowl of peaches on the counter. Hmm, a peach is a similar color and texture as a mango, I reasoned. Why not give it a shot. Great news, it ended up working well with the other flavors in the salad!

The Tequila Vinaigrette ultimately turned out to be a fun and tasty dressing, but it needed some tweaking to get there. Always taste things when you are making them for the first time! A little tweaking can salvage the effort and expense you put into a recipe that needs a little help. If something it too tart, which was the case initially with this dressing, all you need to do is add some sweetness or fruitiness to balance out the flavors. This vinaigrette just needed a little orange juice and honey and then it came together quite nicely.

Enhancing with Embellishments

A personal touch I added to the salad was the Seasoned Baked Tortilla Strips. The recipe called for store bought or home made tortilla chips, but I have always enjoyed these crispy little strips served on Mexican salads. I’ve never added this level of seasoning to them before, but was really happy with the extra kick they added to the salad. If you have any leftovers they are also great for snacking. I had to chuckle when my friend Brian asked how I had managed to successfully cut Doritos into little strips. You too can impress your friends with this tasty little embellishment!

Watermelon Jicama Salad with Tequila Vinaigrette

Serving Size: 6 servings

Ingredients

    Watermelon Jicama Salad with Tequila Vinaigrette
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 3 tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tbsp tequila
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1/4 c. plus 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 mango cut into 1" x 1/2" julienne strips, about 2 cups (ripe peaches work too!)
  • 3/4 lb.seedless, rindless watermelon, cut into 1" x 1/2" julienne strips, about 2 cups
  • 1/2 lb. jicama, peeled and cut into 1" x 1/2" julienne strips, about 2 cups
  • 5 ounces mixed greens
  • 1 avocado cut into thin slices
    Seasoned Baked Tortilla Strips
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 4 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • dash of cayenne pepper

Instructions

    Watermelon Jicama Salad with Tequila Vinaigrette
  • In small jar with a tight fitting lid, combine lime juice, orange juice, tequila, honey, olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Shake well to combine.
  • Toss greens in large bowl with enough dressing to coat. Arrange greens on salad plates and top with watermelon, jicama, mango and avocado on top of greens. Drizzle veggies and fruit with a little more dressing. Top with Seasoned Baked Tortilla Strips and serve immediately.
    Seasoned Baked Tortilla Strips
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Cut tortillas into 1/2" x 3" long strips. Place strips in large bowl and toss with vegetable oil to coat. Sprinkle with seasonings and toss to coat strips evenly.
  • Transfer to prepared baking sheets and bake for 5-7 minutes. Toss and return to oven. Continue baking for another 5-7 minutes, or until desired crispness is reached.
  • Cool completely before storing in airtight container.

Notes

Watermelon Jicama Salad with Tequila Vinaigrette adapted from Food & Wine recipe

Seasoned Baked Tortilla Strips adapted from Baked by Rachel website.

http://itsthyme2cook.com/seasonalrecipes/watermelon-jicama-salad-with-tequila-vinaigrette/

 

 

5 thoughts on “Watermelon Jicama Salad with Tequila Vinaigrette

    • Radishes would be a good substitute because they have a similar texture. The Jicama adds a little more sweetness, but the great news about salads is that they can be easily tweaked!

    • Thanks for the positive presentation feedback! We do get a bit more exotic on the recipes at our gourmet gatherings.

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