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!