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Christmas Eve Salad

Ensalada de Nochebuena

A spectacular salad, a traditional Mexican Salad made for Christmas Eve Dinner

1 can sliced beets
3 tablespoons sugar
2 bananas
1 red apple
1/4 pound jicama or additional red apple
1 orange
6 large leaves of romaine lettuce
3 tablespoons roasted, unsalted peanuts
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds

Dressing:
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons white vinegar

Put beets and beet liquid in pan with the 3 tablespoons sugar. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer five minutes. Let beets cool in liquid, then pour off liquid and drain well. Put beets in refrigerator to chill.

Peel jicama and cut into thin slices. Leave apple peel on, but core apple and cut in thin slices. If salad is not going to be served right away, dip apple slices in lemon or lime juice mixed with an equal amount of water to prevent discoloration. Peel orange and cut in thin slices. Cut each slice in half. Peel bananas and cut into thin slices. Dip slices in lemon water to prevent discoloration. Cut the lettuce.

Line a large shallow salad bowl or platter with the shredded lettuce. Arrange the jicama, orange, beet, apple and banana slices in alternating circles or other patterns on the lettuce. Sprinkle with the peanuts and pine nuts. Top with the pomegranate seeds. In a small bowl, whisk 2 tablespoons sugar, salt and vinegar until the sugar is dissolved. Drizzle over the salad just before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

The old way to make this salad was to cut the jicama, apple, oranges, bananas and beets into chunks and combine the nuts and pomegranate seeds. Then make the dressing and add enough liquid from the beets to color the dressing a bright pink. Salad was tossed with dressing and arranged on the lettuce leaves.

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