Thursday, September 9, 2010

Jicama and Grilled Red Pepper Salad

We were having one of those suburban kind of moments, we started chatting with our neighbors over the fence one day.  We have all been so busy that we have hardly said "hello" in several weeks.  A friendly talk that lead to pleasant conversation then cocktails on the patio.  As the evening was winding down we were saying that we don't get together enough and we should have dinner that weekend.  My mind started going... dinner! what should we do?  We have shared a lot of stuff with our neighbors over the time that I have lived here, they let me raid their garden, I have made food for some of their parties, we have watched each others kids and once I managed to spill 45 gallons of rotten leaves and sludge next to their buffet table right before a family gathering in their yard.

As we discussed getting together our neighbor Jennie said that she would bring some side dishes, "No no" I said "I have a salad I want to try."

Then Jennie offered,  "Oh, We have brats, we could grill out! or red hots!"

"Really, I'm good, I'll take care of it... Ouch!"

The "ouch" was my reaction to Kris kicking me in the shin.  As we walked away I asked what that was all about.  Kris took a moment to inform me that I needed to stop talking and since the subtle hints that she was giving me; you know like standing behind our neighbor jumping up and down while waving  wasn't getting my attention (really who would see that as a hint?) she had to kick me.   "Couldn't you tell that Jennie wanted to bring something?"

I was going to talk to our neighbor and see if we could meet halfway on dinner plans, but never did, really once someone mentions dinner and my mind starts going I stop listening anyway... dinner was:
Flank Steak with a bourbon and brown sugar glaze
Cheesy grilled potatoes
Jicama and grilled red pepper slaw

That is it, the salad that I have been wanting to try!  The recipe was from a 14 year old Bon Appetit with some adaptations:
a handful of cherry wood chips soaked for at least half an hour
1 bunch of green onions
2 red bell peppers

Juice from 1 orange
Juice from 2 limes
1 TBS honey
1/2 tsp cumin
2 TBS olive oil

1 jicama root julienne cut
14 oz bag of baby spinach

For the roasted vegetables put the soaked wood chips into a foil bag with a few holes in it or a smoker box and set on the coals (or over flames if you are using a gas grill) for a few minutes until they start to smoke then put the onions and peppers on the grill to char/smoke.  When the onions are charred take them off and set aside, leave the peppers on until the skin is black (turn them often) then peel them.  Don't worry the smokey flavor stays with them.  Cut the onions into 1/2 inch pieces then the peppers into strips.

For the dressing mix the orange juice (about 1/3 cup) and lime juice (about 2 TBS) with the other ingredients  and blend.  The roasted veggies and dressing can be made a day ahead.  When it is time to serve julienne the Jicama then toss with the dressing and the roasted veggies.  Serve on top of the baby spinach.

Dinner was fun!  However I realized that as that pesky autumnal equinox draws near the sun sets earlier we finished dinner in the dark outside. Jennie and John were nice enough to bring a lamp for ambiance.

Aren't they cute?


  1. Isn't it funny how easy it is to not pick up on those cues? Well it sounds like you served a lovely meal, and I'm sure it was enjoyed by all! Thank you for sharing with us...your posts always make me smile!

  2. Too funny about your wife! My hubs would have done the same thing.

  3. I love that story, I have the same problem. Whenever we have a get-together with friends I can't help but make everything......Nic doesn't kick me anymore he just whispers in there ear to leave me to it but bring something if you would like.
    We are all control freaks ha,ha

  4. Funny post, Bryan. You gotta learn to pick up on those little signs. :)

    Been wanting to make something with jicama...I keep seeing it at Whole Foods.

  5. Funny story! Sounds like you had a great meal.

  6. I'll come and bring nothing! Just let me know when and where. But, the 45 pounds of leaves and sludge next to my picnic table--um, I don't know about that!!


  7. Cute post! And this sounds delicious!