Lunch Box: Make-Ahead Jicama Salad with Seared Steak, Pomegranate and Cilantro


[Photograph: Suzanne Lehrer]

As you can may be able to guess from my previous lunch box columns, I have two prerequisites for bringing salad to work: First, the salad can't require that I pack a separate, tiny dressing container that will almost certainly spill everywhere and make my phone smell like balsamic vinegar. Second, no wilty lettuce allowed. In fact, the less lettuce, the better.

Another win-win for a make-ahead salad is killing two recipes with one marinade. A simple citrus-soy dressing doubles as both the marinade for the salad and the marinade for the steak. Pomegeranate seeds and cilantro give a pop of flavor, freshness and color, and balance out the fattiness of the steak and the starchiness of the jicama.

Jicama, like kale or carrots, is one of those vegetables that seems physically incapable of not being crunchy. Marinate it overnight and it'll soak up flavor without deteriorating. If you're new to jicama, and couldn't pick it out of a vegetable lineup, it's the one that looks like a giant, ugly turnip. It's a little bit sweet and a little bit starchy, and I think, best eaten raw.

About the Author: Suzanne Lehrer is a writer and recipe developer in New York and a recipe editor for Cooking Channel. When not curating her budding hot sauce collection, she puts her French Culinary Institute education to good use in kitchens all around town. Find her on twitter @the_suzchef