Recipe from Roots: The Definitive Compendium by Diane Morgan

Perfect for a summer picnic, buffet, or potluck, this pretty pink salad has floral overtones from the crushed pink peppercorns. You can crush the peppercorns in a mortar with a pestle, or you can put them in a lock-top plastic bag and pound them with a heavy spoon or the side of a rolling pin. Because the watermelon begins to release water once it is mixed with the vinaigrette, this salad is best made no more than 6 to 8 hours before serving.


1 small jicama, about 12 oz, trimmed, peeled, and cut into ½-in cubes
1½ tsp kosher or fine sea salt
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1½ tsp pink peppercorns, coarsely crushed
1 small seedless watermelon, about 3½ lb, rind removed and cut into ¾-in cubes
3 tbsp thinly sliced fresh Thai basil


Toss the jicama with ½ tsp of the salt and place in a colander in the sink to drain for 30 minutes. Blot dry with paper towels. In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, vinegar, pink peppercorns, and the remaining 1 tsp salt. Add the watermelon, jicama, and basil and toss to combine. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover, and refrigerate until ready to serve. Serve chilled.