Jicamas are a bulbous root vegetable with thin brown skin and a crisp, crunchy, sweet flesh rather like a water chestnut. In Mexico, jicamas are a popular snack food sold by street vendors who cut them into sticks, douse them with lime juice, and sprinkle them with chile. Sometimes called a Mexican potato, it’s good both raw and cooked, although it is usually served raw as an appetizer or in salads such as this one. This spicy salad dressing goes well with a number of fruits and vegetables so experiment with your own combinations.
Nopales or nopalitos are the leaves or pads of the opuntia or prickly pear cactus and are very popular throughout Mexico. They have a tart taste with a texture rather like string beans and are used in stews, soups, salads, and with eggs.