EyeSwoon

the bite: Vegetarian Chef Amy Chaplin’s Jicama Slaw

By Natalie Goel

You’re probably familiar with the saying “stay true to your roots”. Well in the case of Amy Chaplin, chef and James Beard Award-winning author who’s also cooked for Natalie Portman and Liv Tyler, the expression is especially fitting — her food journey began in her family’s garden. Growing up on home-cooked meals using fresh-from-the-garden produce, it’s no wonder Amy has become an inspiring champion of home cooking with whole foods. Here, the author of At Home in the Whole Food Kitchen lets us in on her bright, beautiful jicama slaw recipe and dishes on her experience working in restaurants all over the world, her addiction-worthy midnight snack and more.

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NAME: Amy Chaplin

PROFESSION: Chef and cookbook author

PHILOSOPHY ON FOOD? Cooking, eating and sharing food that is as close to nature as possible is one of the best things we can do to strengthen our health and community and care for the environment. It’s a delicious win-win!

A LITTLE ABOUT THE RECIPE YOU’RE SHARING WITH US? Jicama slaw with cilantro and avocado, and a lime dressing. It’s a deliciously refreshing dish that makes a perfect accompaniment to hearty soups and stews at this time of year.

COOKING MAKES ME FEEL…grounded and inspired

 

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ESSENTIAL KITCHEN TOOL? Japanese vegetable knife

BRIEFLY, HOW YOU CAME TO DO WHAT YOU DO: Growing up eating homemade food from our garden gave me a strong foundation of what it is to cook and eat straight from nature. When I moved to Amsterdam, I worked in a Japanese macrobiotic restaurant and fell in love with the feeling of inspiration I got in the kitchen and have been cooking ever since.

THREE INGREDIENTS YOU COULDN’T LIVE WITHOUT? Sea salt, almonds and avocados…hard to stop at three!

QUIRKY FOOD HABITS? None! Nothing I eat feels quirky to me but I guess it may to others.

 

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BIGGEST SINGLE INFLUENCE ON YOUR COOKING STYLE? Nature

SOUNDTRACK IN YOUR KITCHEN? NPR (I love Terry Gross) for music, Florence and the Machine, Prince, Lana Del Ray, Madonna, Fleetwood Mac, Dionne Warwick, Elliot Moss…and sometimes Maria Callas and Chet Faker.

MIDNIGHT SNACK? Anita’s Creamline Cconut Yogurt (I’m seriously addicted!)

BEST SOURCE FOR FOOD AND RECIPE INSPIRATION? Union Square Farmer’s Market

I CAN NEVER RESIST…really good bread

 

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THE RECIPE OR MEAL YOU ARE KNOWN FOR? Matcha coconut custard tart with chocolate crust and my vanilla chia pudding

MOST SWOON-WORTHY RESTAURANT? Kajitsu

THEY SAY YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT — WHAT ARE YOU? A garden

TRIED-AND-TRUE ENTERTAINING TIP? Really good champagne

 

Portrait by Stephen Kent Johnson

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Jicama Slaw with Cilantro and Avocado and a Lime Dressing

Chef Amy Chaplin

  • Ingredients

    • Serves 6

      Dressing:

      • Zest of one lime
      • 3 tablespoons raw cashew butter
      • 6 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
      • 1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
      • 1 small clove garlic, crushed
      • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or cold pressed flax oil
      • Large pinch sea salt, plus more to taste

      Slaw:

      • 1 medium –large jicama, julienne (5 cups)
      • ¼ medium red cabbage, thinly sliced (2 cups)
      • 1 medium fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
      • 2 watermelon radishes, shaved
      • 3 radishes, shaved
      • 2 scallions thinly sliced
      • 3 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds
      • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
      • 2 cups cilantro leaves

       

  • The Prep

    • Make the dressing:

      Add the lime zest, cashew butter and half the lime juice to a small bowl and stir to combine. Once smooth stir in remaining lime juice, vinegar and garlic then stir in olive oil and salt. If the mixture is too thick to coat the salad, stir in a little water until you get desired consistency. Set aside.

      Make the salad:

      In a large bowl add the jicama, cabbage, fennel, radishes and scallions; toss to combine. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss again. Taste for salt and add more if needed—you will probably need it. Sprinkle with pumpkin seeds and top with avocado and cilantro. Serve.

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