Ensalada de Noche Buena (Christmas Eve Salad)

Noche Buena refers to Christmas Eve in Mexico. Traditionally families have a big meal at midnight and Ensalada de Noche Buena is one of the healthy side dishes served. Most recipes use beets but we decided to go with the other juicy red fruits, pomegranates and prickly pears. The light and creamy salad dressing adds a warm and inviting deliciousness. Just like The Legend of the Poinsettia, this salad adds an explosion of color to your dinner table.

Children love stories about Christmas and Tomie dePaola’s The Legend of the Poinsettia is a great story for children about the poinsettia. Click here for other poinsettia stories and craft ideas for kids.

Ensalada de Noche Buena (Christmas Eve Salad)

Yield: 6 to 8 servings


4 oranges, peeled, sectioned and cut into ¼ inch pieces
1 large red grapefruit peeled, sectioned and cut into ¼ inch pieces
3 cups jicama, peeled and cut into matchstick strips
6 red radishes, slivered
1 apple, chopped
2 prickly pears, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime rind
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
½ cup Greek yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoons honey
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 cup pomegranate seeds, about 2 pomegranates
¼ cup pecans


With a sharp knife, cut the peel from the oranges and the grapefruit, section them and reserve the juice. Peel and cut the jicama into matchstick thin slices. Slice the radishes and chop the apple. Peel the prickly pears and chop, careful to reserve the juice. Combine oranges, grapefruit, jicama, prickly pears and radishes. Cover and chill 30 minutes.

Prepare the dressing by combining the lime rind, lime juice, Greek yogurt and honey in a small bowl and the reserved juices from the oranges, grapefruit, and prickly pears, stirring until smooth.

Arrange the lettuce in a large bowl, lightly toss the chilled fruit mixture with the lettuce then drizzle the yogurt dressing evenly over the salad. Garnish with pomegranate seeds and pecans.

Serve immediately.

Photography by Jeanine Thurston

Pssst…don’t forget to order the 2011 Muy Bueno Calendar here.

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  4. …….The prickly pear fruits fruit of the Opuntia cactus referred to as Tunas in Spanish are eaten in Mexico as well as the in the Mediterranean In Italy they are called fichi dindia. The prickly pear fruit is also the base for prickly pear jams and jellies as well as Mexican cactus candy .

  5. Muy buena ensalada felicitaciones! un gusto poder seguir tu blog! Saludos Danny

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