Soups and Salads — By Ben on 23 December 2008
Ensalada Noche Buena

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In Spanish Noche Buena means “Good Night” and it often refers to the night of Christmas Eve. It also refers to the poinsettia, a small tree native to Mexico which leaves turn red, pink or yellow during this season. Noche Buena is a very special night in Mexican culture. Entire families gather together for the most important meal of the year, la cena de Noche Buena, at midnight.

Food plays a very important part in Christmas, like in any other Mexican celebration. Some classic dinners are turkey, Norwegian cod, romeritos, baked ham and many others depending on the region of the country. One of my most deliciuos memories of this time of the year is Noche Buena salad. This sweet salad combines some of the produce that is easily found this time of the year.

It had been a long time since I had this salad so I had to call my mom for the recipe. Some people like to add other ingredients, but I made a simple version with the basic ingredients: beets, jicama, oranges, peanuts and romaine lettuce. The preparation is very simple. First boil sliced beets with sugar in plenty of water. For 6 beets I used 6 cups of water and 3/4 cup of sugar. Save the water where you boiled the beets. Let the beets cool down and serve cold with slices of jicama, orange, peanuts and lettuce. Pour the beet water over the salad, this is what gives this salad the special flavor. That’s it. A colorful and delicious salad perfect for your Christmas dinner.

¡Buen provecho and best wishes from my family to yours!

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About Author

grew up around food. His family owned a restaurant in Mexico City and he spent a big deal of his childhood helping and learning after school the art of creating delicious dishes from simple ingredients. He created this blog to share his kitchen adventures with the world.

(20) Readers Comments

  1. Beautiful salad Ben!

  2. My kind of salad & its so beautiful! Happy Holidays!

  3. Lovely and fresh! Perfect for our warmer Xmas! All the best for the festive season Ben!

  4. The salad looks gorgeous, and I really like the combination of beets and oranges!

  5. I like the idea of jicama and beets. Thanks for the beautiful photos and recipes. You truly have a gift with food.

  6. Great recipe and looks beautiful!

    Best wishes and a big hug, bro! Take care and enjoy the hollydays!

  7. Merry Christmas Ben

  8. Enjoy the Holidays! Merry Christmas Ben!

  9. I like it! Very festive looking! And tasty ingredients. All the best for ’09 to you and yours.

  10. The salad sounds very festive and delicious. Happy Holidays and wishing you a happy new year. May all your dreams come true.

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