Easy Ensalada de Nochebuena (Christmas Eve salad)
Plan now to make this Ensalada de Nochebuena recipe for Christmas Eve salad and you’ll brighten up your holiday table. Around December 21st, during the winter solstice when the days are short and darkness blankets the northern stretches of our vast continent, I’m grateful for a splash of colour. And this bright dish, that’s a tradition in Mexico, is guaranteed to lift your spirits.
Another reason to make Ensalada de Nochebuena is that December also happens to be pomegranate season. Packed with Vitamin C, fibre and antioxidants, pomegranates have a burst-in-your-mouth flavour that’s as invigorating as an early morning walk on a white sand beach. But like any fruit that’s in season, it’s always a challenge to find enough ways to use them.
One of my favourite dishes featuring pomegranate seeds is chiles en nogada, the stuffed chile poblano topped with creamy walnut sauce and pomegranates that’s practically a Mexican institution. In Puerto Escondido, my go-to place for pomegranate dishes is La Galera restaurant. Located on the upper level of the venerable Hotel Arco Iris overlooking Zicatela Beach, this family-run restaurant offers a wide selection of authentic Mexican dishes.
And it really shines at sunset when the moon rises above the dark horizon and you can enjoy the fresh breezes that gust through the balcony while tucking into food that’s as memorable as the view. There’s often live music and a small dance floor if you want to salsa the night away. But best of all you can often find traditional Mexican dishes such as Ensalada de Nochebuena.
Best of all, this pomegranate-laced salad is refreshingly different than anything else you’ll eat (such as tamales) during Navidad. It’s also incredibly easy and is packed with vitamins and minerals. There’s no reason to make this Ensalada de Nochebuena recipe only during the Christmas holiday season. It makes a colourful side dish for New Year’s Eve, Valentines Day, weddings or anytime really. It’s so bright and cheerful it positively bursts with happiness.
An Easy Recipe for Ensalada de Nochebuena
- 4 beets, boiled, peeled and sliced
- 2 oranges, peeled and sliced
- 1 large firm red apple (Gala or Delicious), peeled and sliced
- 1 pomegranate ( seeds only)
- 3 slices fresh pineapple, cut into chunks
- 1 fresh lime
- 1 cup of jicama peeled and thinly sliced ( optional)
- ½ cup pepitoria ( pumpkin seeds) toasted in a skillet
- 1 cup of mixed lettuce ( romaine or meslun)
- Salad dressing
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Prepare all the fruit (except pomegranate) and chill separately
- Prepare jicama (peel and slice) if available
- Line a salad dish or plate with lettuce leaves
- Fill the bowl wth prepared fruit or arrange the chilled fruit on a plate
- Mix salad dressing in a glass jar, shake and drizzle over fruit
- Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds and toasted pepitoria
- Squeeze the juice of a lime over top
For more on foods to eat and things to do in Puerto Escondido, read our Essential Puerto Escondido Travel Guide for information on restaurants, hotels, beaches, things to do, day trips and more in Puerto Escondido. Or go directly to these posts:
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