I am enjoying my time spent in Mexico. I am devouring all the culture I can and cooking with ingredients found locally while at the same time, choosing to write about and share ideas and dishes that you can make during the winter holiday season at home. Last year, my son Alex bought me a cookbook for Christmas called Frida's Fiestas. It's all about Frida Kahlo, her favorite recipes and her love of cooking for friends and for her famous artist husband Diego Rivera. As it so often happens with great cookbooks, my friends here in Mexico have a copy too. I thought it would be a great time to finally read this book and gain some food inspiration while I'm at it. In the chapter titled "December" I came across this delightfully different, refreshing salad. I think it would be a great choice for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner, or anytime really. I changed a couple of things but the idea remains Frida's. I wish I could have been a guest at her table when she was throwing her parties at the 'Blue House' in Coyoacån, she had such enthusiasm for life, loved preparing food and had a passion for entertaining, kind of like me!
Roasted Beet, Jicama, Orange and Peanut Salad, Honey-Lime Vinaigrette
2 medium or 1 large jicama, peeled and sliced thinly
2 oranges, peeled and sliced
2 medium beets, *roasted, peeled and sliced
3/4 c peanuts, roasted, salted, chopped
1/4 c cilantro, chopped for garnish (optional)
6 T olive oil
3 T fresh lime juice
1 t honey
zest of one orange
pinch of chile powder or cayenne or both!
salt and pepper
To make the vinaigrette, combine all ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid and shake to blend well, the honey will emulsify the dressing. On a large platter, arrange the jicama slices in a circle then the oranges. Pile the beets in the middle. Drizzle with the vinaigrette and sprinkle with the peanuts and cilantro. You could sprinkle with a bit of Tajin (a chile-lime salt available in most stores) as a finishing touch or sprinkle with pomegranate seeds for more color.
*To roast the beets, heat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle whole beets with olive oil, salt and pepper and wrap in foil. Roast for 1 hour, cool then peel, dragging the dull side of a knife over them to remove the skin. Slice or chunk, your choice.
As a caterer for over 30 years, I have established a reputation for consistently creating original menus inspired by the occasion and the season, presenting them with an ease and elegance uniquely my own. Fresh, locally-sourced ingredients are the basis of my creative “from scratch” menus, which range from the classically elegant to rustic and whimsical.
"Love your recipes! Pat made your avocado toast a few weeks ago, delish! I'm taking them to a party in a few weeks, although the mushroom crostata looks pretty darn good!"