Imagine crossing a monster potato with a water chestnut.
That’s jicama for you. And while not much to look at on the outside, the crisp, crunchy texture and clean, sweet flavor inside make this veggie worth seeking out.
First, the basics. Jicama (pronounced HICK-a-MA) is a tuber — a big brown round root. A relative of the bean family, it is native to Mexico and South America.
Though most often eaten raw, such as chopped into salads, jicama can be steamed, boiled, sautéed or fried. And so long as you don’t overcook it, jicama retains its pleasantly crisp texture (think fresh apple) when cooked.
The flavor is on the neutral side, with a hint of starchy sweetness. It really is quite similar to water chestnuts, and can be substituted for them.
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Enjoy more time with your guests this Labor Day weekend by making these small pies ahead of time; store tightly in a sealed container for up to 1 week.
Get the recipe: Chocolate Whoopie Pies
Browse more of Food Network’s Labor Day dessert recipes.
It’s week four of our season-long garden party, Summer Fest 2011, where we welcome food and garden bloggers to feature garden-to-table recipes and tips. We’ll help you to enjoy all that this season has to offer. So far, we’ve delved into cucumbers and peaches.
As summer’s stifling heat slowly gives way to fall’s refreshing breezes, throw an outside dinner party with tomatoes front and center.
It’s the perfect time to showcase meaty summer tomatoes, dripping with succulent juice and pulpy seeds, in simple appetizers your guests will surely want seconds of.
Start off simple with Rachael’s Tomato and Shrimp Salad With Horseradish Dressing. Large beefsteak tomatoes brighten the plate, while the shrimp adds a heartiness that isn’t overly filling. Whip up Giada’s Calamari, Tomato and Caper Salad in 20 minutes or less for a dish that’s simply executed with lots of fresh lemon, salt and pepper.
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Every week, Alex Guarnaschelli, host of Alex’s Day Off, shares with readers what she’s eating — whether it’s from the farmers’ market or fresh off the boat, she’ll have you craving everything from comfort food to seasonal produce.
If you had asked me to make this salad combination a few years ago, I would have been horrified. Ginger and tomatoes may seem natural to some people, but to a closet Francophile, the ginger feels like a senseless crime against tomatoes. It took eating a salad with these elements to convince me I was wrong. I never considered the almost-spicy heat that ginger contains. I love fresh chiles with the sweetness of tomatoes and how ginger functions in virtually the same way. Celery also offers an amazing crunchy texture.
What kind of tomatoes do I use? I love all tomatoes and buy whatever looks best. I will admit, I particularly love Sungold tomatoes — they are so sweet and have a great texture.
Get the recipe for Alex’s Tomato and Ginger Salad »
Use broccoli rabe and pistachios to make a summer pesto pasta.
Get the recipe: Orecchiette With Broccoli Rabe Pesto
Browse more of Food Network’s Italian recipes.
Embrace the final days of summer with this garden-fresh, veggie-packed plate, complete with tomatoes, zucchini, asparagus and bell peppers — all laced with a balsamic-Dijon marinade and grilled. Toasted pearl-shaped couscous makes this a hearty weeknight meal.
Serve a bowl of Food Network’s Magazine’s Charred Tomato Gazpacho as a simple side to cool you off on the last of these hot, humid nights.
Get the recipe: Bobby’s Toasted Israeli Couscous Salad With Grilled Summer Vegetables
Meatless Monday, an international movement, encourages people everywhere to cut meat one day a week for personal and planetary health. Browse more Meatless Monday recipes.
Ina takes a classic salad and seasons it perfectly with good olive oil, salt and pepper. For an eye-catching presentation, purchase tomatoes in yellow, orange and green hues.
Get the recipe: Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil Salad
Browse more of Food Network’s Labor Day recipes.
When it comes to canning, blueberries were my gateway fruit. During my childhood, I helped my mom make jam with the berries from our annual picking trip. Later, blueberry jam was the first thing I ever canned on my own (though I did call my parents for guidance at least seven times during the making of that initial batch). Spiced with a little bit of cinnamon, nutmeg and lemon zest, it tastes like home.
The beauty of blueberry jam is that it sets you up for success. Blueberries contain a lot of natural pectin, so even if you mash and measure imperfectly, nine times out of 10, you’ll still wind up with something spreadable and quite delicious.
What’s more, preparing blueberries for jamming is shockingly easy. All they need is a quick rinse, a careful once-over to remove any stems (don’t throw away the mushy berries, they work just fine in jam) and a thorough smashing. I find it quite satisfying to just plunge my hands in and start squashing. A potato masher is an acceptable substitute if you don’t like to get your hands covered in blueberry goo.
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Bright, fragrant and practically singing with quintessential summertime flavor, fresh basil can transform your dish from common and plain to exciting and extra special. This in-season herb is most traditionally featured in Italian pasta sauces, sprinkled atop pizza and served with fresh tomatoes and mozzarella. However, the possibilities for using these smooth green leaves are simply endless. Pick up a bunch today and try our creative and unique recipes highlighting basil’s classic flavor.
Food.com adds a kick to basic burgers with its recipe for Basil Parmesan Hamburgers, made with sweet basil, salty Parmesan cheese and fresh garlic. Grill to a juicy medium temperature, and top with roasted tomatoes or caramelized onions for a decadent barbecue favorite.
More basil recipes after the jump »
This summer, Food Network’s Grilling Central is packed with recipes for the entire family’s taste buds, boasting the best in burgers, dogs, chicken and more all season long. But with so many recipes, where do you start? Each Friday, FN Dish is giving you a complete menu that is stress-free, and for dinner this weekend, we’re ditching the barbecue sauce and marinating chicken in fresh herbs, garlic and lemon juice.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly meal on the grill, purchase chicken legs — they’ll also cook up faster. While the total cook time for these babies is more than two hours, that is inactive time — time that the chicken is soaking up the flavor of the marinade in the refrigerator. Once the chicken is placed on the grill, dinner will be on the table in less than 30 minutes.
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