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Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Ensalada De Nochebuena (Mexican Christmas Eve Salad)

Forgot the camera, so here's an iPhone pic of this yummy salad.

In many Latin American countries, the most festive Christmas celebrations occur on Nochebuena, or Christmas Eve (literally "Good Night").  Ensalada de Nochebuena is a traditional Mexican Christmas Eve salad.  It's a great mixture of colors, flavors, and textures for Christmas Eve or any festive meal.

For The Dressing:
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup Mexican or Salvadorean crema (you can substitute sour cream if crema isn't available)
1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Juice of one lime
3 teaspoons chili powder
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
Pinch of salt

Mix well, taste, and adjust seasonings to your taste.  This recipe will yield enough dressing to dress a Nochebuena salad and have some left over to dress another fruit salad.

For The Salad:
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (to taste)
1/4 cup roasted salted peanuts, chopped
Seeds of one pomegranate
Salad greens for presentation (optional)

And use any combination of the following ingredients, according to your taste:
2 tangerines or oranges, peeled, segmented, deseeded, and cut into bite-size pieces
1 medium jicama, peeled and julienned
20 oz. can of pineapple tidbits or chunks
2 bananas, sliced
2 medium-size cooked beets, peeled, cut in half, and sliced into "half moons"
2 small apples, cored and chopped
6-8 radishes, sliced thin

Toss together your choice of salad ingredients with the chopped cilantro.  Drizzle enough dressing onto salad to lightly coat and mix well.  If desired, line serving platter with salad greens.  Spoon salad onto platter.  Sprinkle with chopped peanuts and pomegranate seeds and serve.

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