Jicama (pronounced he-ka-ma), is a tuber and another native of the Southwest. It's also called the Mexican yam or potato. A large whitish root vegetable that's delicious raw, it has a somewhat sweet flavor and a nice crunch. The jicama vine is poisonous as are the seed pods. You'll find jicama used as extra crunch in salads, or in soups. The vegetable is also used in Asian cooking, showing up in stir-fries.
Prickly Pear - Cactus abound in the Southwest as everyone knows. The fruit of the ubiquitous prickly pear makes a wonderful jewel-colored jelly. It's a ton of work, and fortunately a co-worker gifted a jar to me, so I was spared the labor. The jelly has a clean citrusy flavor that's great on toast or with peanut butter. The "pears" are called tunas in Mexico and the link below will show you the process of preparing them. Gloves are involved since the tunas have thorns. The paddles and juice of the cactus are edible too, making it an all purpose plant. Click here for more on the prickly pear.
Chile peppers come in all sizes and heat variations. Poblanos are fairly mild and roast up great on the grill. Cheese and chiles were made for each other. While bell peppers can wither in the heat, chiles tolerate it and we even had a few volunteer chiles appear by our front door in November. They actually produced a couple of peppers in the cold of January. There's nothing like the smell of roasting chiles in the huge drums rotated over the fire at the farmers market. Chile rellenos are one of my favorites. Here's the link to The Pioneer Woman's easy recipe.
If you're looking for something a little out of the ordinary, a Southwest culinary adventure might be just the ticket.