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Ensalada de Nochebuena (Christmas Eve Salad)

Christmas Eve Salad or Ensalada de Nochebuena is a colorful and spectacular holiday dish in many areas of Mexico and in the Southwestern part of the United States. It might sound a bit strange to mix beets with bananas, pine nuts and pomegranate seeds, but it works.

The name translates to Holy Night Salad and this dish is part of the traditional Christmas Eve meal. It consists of both fruit and vegetables and looks beautiful served in a glass bowl.


3 tbsp. Vinegar

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tsp. Sugar

In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil and sugar and set aside.

2 medium beets, cooked, peeled and sliced (they can be roasted in the oven, cooked in water on the stovetop, or if you want “really easy”, you can used canned sliced beets)

2 apples or pears, cored and sliced

2 oranges, peeled and sliced (remove as much of the white membrane from the outside as you can)

2 bananas, peeled and sliced

1 jicama, peeled, halved and sliced (A jicama {spell} is sometimes called a Mexican Turnip, but it tastes more like a giant crispy water chestnut)

2 limes, peeled and sliced

1/2 cup radishes, sliced

2 tbsp. chopped peanuts

2 tbsp. Pine nuts

Seeds of 1 medium pomegranate

First cut off the crown. With a sharp knife, score just through the outer rind around the fruit in quarters. Put your thumb in the core center and gently pull apart the sections. Peel away the inner white papery skin covering the seeds and discard. Turn the seed clump inside out and most of them will pop off.

 In a large glass bowl, make layers of vegetables and fruits, overlapping slices and sprinkling each layer lightly with the vinaigrette. Sprinkle peanuts, pine nuts, and pomegranate seeds over the top, drizzle with the rest of the vinaigrette and let sit in the refrigerator for several hours before serving. Makes 8 servings.

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