I found the inspiration for this elegant, inclusive hors d'oeuvres at the gala for the International Association of Culinary Professionals this week. At the party after the awards ceremony, we were offered dime-sized rounds of jicama with a dab of dark, intense jam, perhaps pomegranate jam. The slightly sweet crunch of the jicama contrasted with the tartness of the jam to create a explosion of flavor and texture. Yet the beautiful tiny bites had no meat, dairy, eggs, or gluten so nearly everyone could enjoy them.
In this recipe, I cut the jimaca into stars about the size of quarters and topped them with pureed carrot and ginger, then crowned each one fresh fennel. I'll use the frames left around single stars to decorate servings of mashed sweet potatoes and chop the rest to tucked into tacos.