On hot summer days, Southwest cooks, following the lead of their Mexican counterparts, sprinkle crisp sticks of chilled, raw tropical jicama with coarse salt, ground New Mexico chili and fresh lime juice. Here, jicama joins carrots, red cabbage and bright green sprouts in a colorful salad that makes a refreshing side dish for outdoor meals.
For the dressing:
1 Tbs. finely chopped shallot
1 tsp. minced serrano chili
1 1/2 Tbs. white wine vinegar
1 Tbs. fresh lime juice
1 Tbs. sugar
Kosher salt, to taste
1/3 cup safflower oil
1 small jicama, about 1/4 lb., peeled and   julienned
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
1/4 small head red cabbage, finely shredded
Handful of sunflower or radish sprouts, root   ends trimmed
To make the dressing, in a small bowl, whisk together the shallot, chili, vinegar, lime juice, sugar and salt. Whisk in the oil. Set the dressing aside for about 10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Taste and adjust the seasonings.
In a bowl, combine the jicama, carrot, cabbage and sprouts. Toss thoroughly to distribute the ingredients evenly. Add the dressing, toss and serve immediately.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma New American Cooking Series, The Southwest, by Kathi Long (Time-Life Books, 2001).