Ensalada de Noche Buena
Christmas Eve Salad

Reprinted with permission from Cocina de la Familia: More Than 200 Authentic Recipes from Mexican-American Home Kitchens by Marilyn Tausend with Miguel Ravago.
Copyright © Fireside, Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, NY.
Adapted by StarChefs

This is a salad that I have been served all over Mexico and in Mexican American homes in the U.S.. The deep red beets and the icy crisp white of jicama are about the only constant in the hundreds of versions of this colorful holiday salad. It is perfect for a Christmas buffet with sliced turkey or ham. I always buy my pomegranates in the fall and store them in the lower part of the refrigerator until Christmas.

  • 6 small beets, cooked, peeled and diced
  • 3 crisp apples, peeled and diced
  • 3 oranges, peeled, sectioned, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 medium-size jicama, peeled and cut into matchstick strips
  • 1 cup shelled roasted unsalted peanuts coarsely chopped
  • seeds from 1 pomegranate (see note)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt
  • 4 Tablespoons of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of fruit juice
  • kosher salt

For the Garnish

  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts or pine nuts
  • seeds from 2 pomegranates (see note)

In a large bowl, mix together the beets, apples, oranges, jicama and peanuts.

Put the seeds of 1 pomegranate in a blender with the 1/2 cup of sour cream or yogurt, 4 tablespoons of sugar and the 1/2 cup of fruit juice. Process until it is a thick puree. Add to the salad and mix well. Season to taste with salt. Refrigerate, covered, for 1 hour.

Toss again before serving and garnish with the nuts and pomegranate seeds.

Marilyn Tausend, author of Mexico the Beautiful, Cocina de la Familia: More than 200 Authentic Recipes from Mexican American Home Kitchens, and most recently, Savoring Mexico, has spent a lifetime studying and cooking Mexican food. In 1987, she founded Culinary Adventures, Inc., which specializes in culinary tours of Mexico. For more information on Marilyn Tausend, her cookbooks, or Culinary Adventures, Inc., check out her website at www.MarilynTausend.com.