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Romaine Lettuce Salad with Jicama and Cumin Lime Dressing

A valentine full of love, this is heart-healthy dining at its best–a crisp romaine lettuce salad with jicama and cumin lime dressing, decorated with affection in juicy pink grapefruit, bright red grape tomatoes and crunchy white heart-shape jicama.

Salad with Jicama and Cumin Lime Dressing | Letty's Kitchen

Do grade-school children still trade valentine cards, slightly silly cutouts that come in classroom packs of 30? Or was that something from the 60’s?

Mom didn’t let us pass out store-bought valentines to our classmates. Ours were homemade. Working from a box of red construction paper, heart-shaped paper doilies and stickers, my sisters and I designed and put together dozens and dozens of valentines on rainy January Saturdays. I got pretty fast with the basic ones for classmates. I’d glue red hearts on white lace hearts and sign the back with my name.

Our family tradition continues–there’s a box full of paper lace and heart stickers in the office closet. Though I’m not as ambitious since Mom is gone, but I still make one for Robbie.

jicama hearts and grape tomatoes for Salad with Jicama and Cumin Lime Dressing | Letty's Kitchen

jicama heart cutouts for Salad with Jicama and Cumin Lime Dressing | Letty's Kitchen

We drove down the Baja Peninsula of Mexico this week, right into the land of jicama abundance. (In Mexico they sell jicama snacks ready to eat at street corner stands. Look for the cut jicama spears packed into see-through plastic cups, dressed with fresh lime and a sprinkle of chile powder.)

sectioning grapefruit for Salad with Jicama and Cumin Lime Dressing | Letty's Kitchen

You could take your sweetheart to Mexico. Or you can get out your cookie cutters and make this salad with Jicama and Cumin Lime Dressing. Surprise your loved ones with a homemade valentine.

Pair this salad with chard-filled green enchiladas and festive pink hibiscus margaritas.

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5 from 1 vote
Salad with Jicama and Cumin Lime Dressing | Letty's Kitchen
Romaine Lettuce Salad with Jicama and Cumin Lime Dressing
Prep Time
20 mins
Total Time
20 mins

Cut crispy juicy jicama into any shape you want. At Christmas I cut stars, the rest of the year I cut the jicama into julienne matchsticks. Tangy cumin lime vinaigrette marries the grapefruit citrus, crunchy lettuce, and baby tomatoes with the jicama. It's one of my favorite salads!

Course: Salad
Cuisine: Vegan, Vegetarian
Servings: 8 servings
  • 3 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice (see note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave syrup or honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • Pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 or 2 jicamas
  • 1 pink grapefruit, sections removed (see note)
  • Romaine lettuce, torn into pieces
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 10 sprigs fresh cilantro, optional
  1. In a medium bowl, whisk the lime juice, agave syrup, garlic, salt and mustard. Continue whisking and slowly drizzle in the oil. Whisk in the cumin and cayenne.
  2. Remove the peel from the jicamas. Slice 1/8- to ¼-inch thick. Cut out hearts with a small heart-shape cutter. Toss with some of the dressing and set aside to marinate.
  3. Arrange mounds of the lettuce onto individual chilled plates. Decorate with the jicama hearts, grapefruit and tomatoes. Drizzle more dressing over the salads. Garnish with the cilantro.
Recipe Notes

Use Key limes or Mexican limes if you can find them. They are sweeter than the larger green ones. To section a grapefruit--using a sharp knife, slice off the top and bottom of the grapefruit, then remove the peel and white pith: with the grapefruit standing on its cut bottom, slice down the sides, following the fruit’s contour, completely removing the outside white pith as well as the peel. Hold the grapefruit in your hand and remove the segments by cutting between the fruit and the membrane. Lift out each segment in one piece. Very thinly sliced red onion adds a pleasant optional bite when mixed into the lettuce. Since you are cutting out the hearts, there will be plenty of jicama scraps. Marinate them to add to another salad.


  • Franklin Biggs

    Letty I love to the image of you and Robbie down in Baja for two months-now that is retirement!!!
    Good article.
    Franklin Reply · 7 February, 2014

    • Letty

      Thanks Franklin!
      Wait until you taste the hibiscus margaritas! Reply · 7 February, 2014

  • 2 months? how great! love the jicama hearts – that is something I would do! Reply · 7 February, 2014

  • margaret

    Beautiful Reply · 8 February, 2014

  • […] this chayote and chile soup with a salad (maybe this one) and warm tortillas. Quesadillas are a great accompaniment if cheese is in your […] Reply · 11 March, 2014

  • I love those hearts! You are giving me a reason to buy jicama, something I rarely pick up. And I make a similar dressing with lemon, but the lime version sounds fantastic. A little Mexico inspired! Beautiful salad Letty <3 Reply · 12 February, 2016

    • Thanks Natalie!! Reply · 12 February, 2016

  • Those little hearts are so pretty! I love jicama. it adds such amazing texture. Reply · 12 February, 2016

    • And besides, jicama is full of Vit C and potassium!! Reply · 13 February, 2016

  • The vegan 8

    These are so pretty and such a great idea! What a wonderful list of ingredients as well! Reply · 13 February, 2016

    • Thanks–I totally love this salad–even when all is mixed in a big bowl–it’s awesome with Mexican food! Reply · 13 February, 2016

  • Love jicama and Love this idea. So festive and pretty. Reply · 13 February, 2016

  • Such a great idea for a healthy Valentine’s dish 🙂 those hearts are adorable and I love grapefruit in salads so this is definitely a must make! Reply · 13 February, 2016

  • […] with the heart-shaped-food theme, Letty from Letty’s Kitchen has a wonderful Romaine Lettuce Salad with Jicama and Cumin Lime Dressing. It’s so light and refreshing, and perfect, if like me, you’ve been craving salads […] Reply · 26 June, 2017

    • What a wonderful collection of valentine ideas! Thanks for including my valentine salad with the jicama hearts! Reply · 26 June, 2017

  • Sydney Reed

    This is one of my favorite recipes. I add avocado and make matchstick jicama instead of hearts. Reply · 1 May, 2018

    • Thank you Syd. One of my faves too. Always on a Mexican party menu! Reply · 2 May, 2018

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