Ensalada Noche Buena


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!



  • Feliz Navidad Ben! tarde pero seguro!!! jeje! espero y te la hayas pasado muy bien y sobre todo cenado muy rico!!!


  • Best wishes for this holiday season and a very happy new year. Definitely looking forward to more good eats from you in 2009.

  • Ben, the photo looks fantastic. I hope you’re having a wonderful holiday and that your have a great New Year’s Eve and Day. Watch out for the mojitos! They sneak up on you. May all your wishes for 2009 come true. Con mucho cariño, Tere.

  • I know you had a memorable Christmas Ben. May you also have a safe, happy and tasty New year. It has been a pleasure to read your blog over the past year. I look forward to sharing more innovative dishes in 2009!!!!! Feliz año nuevo!!!!

  • What a beautiful salad Ben, & what pretty poinsettia those are. Hope your new year is absolutely WONDEFUL in every way. Warm wishes to you & your family my friend…take care always!! Much love…

  • What a colourful salad, Ben.
    My your New Year be as colourful and full of haooiness, peace and prosperity.

  • All of those pretty, pretty colors. Good eating!

  • that looks just divine… happy new year :)

  • Lovely salad Ben. I love all the ingredients.

  • […] I’m testing this one by Homesick Texan and this much simpler version by What’s Cooking Mexico. […]

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