Ensalada de Nochebuena

Christmas Eve Salad

When Miguel was growing up in Phoenix, his grandmother grew pomegranates and citrus fruits in her yard, and those fruits usually found their way into her cooking. This is her version of a traditional salad eaten during the Christmas season when the pomegranates and other ingredients are available. The bright colors make a brilliant presentation on the holiday table.

6 medium beets, peeled, cooked, and diced (optional)

4 oranges, peeled and sectioned, with membranes removed

4 Red Delicious apples, peeled, cored, and diced

1 medium jicama, peeled and cut into match stick strips

1 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts

4 tablespoons sugar

1/4 cup rice vinegar

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup club soda

1 cup fresh pineapple cubes

2 bananas, sliced

1 head iceberg lettuce, thinly sliced

Pomegranate Dressing

Makes 1.5 cups.

Seeds of 1 whole pomegranate, with some seeds reserved for garnish

1/2 cup sour cream

4 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup apple juice

Combine all salad ingredients except the lettuce in a large nonreactive bowl and refrigerate for at least two to three hours.

While the salad is chilling, make the Pomegranate Dressing. Combine the pomegranate seeds, sour cream, sugar, and apple juice in a blender and puree.

Drain the salad and toss with Pomegranate Dressing. Serve on a bed of iceberg lettuce and garnish with reserved pomegranate seeds. Serves eight to 10.

Reprinted with permission from Shearer Publishing © 2005

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