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Mexican Christmas Eve salad: Ensalada de noche buena by Karen Hursh Graber © 2009

Lettuce, beets and jicama are usualy part of a Mexican Christmas Eve salad, or ensalada de Noche Buena.
© Daniel Wheeler, 2009
Lettuce, beets and jicama are usually part of a Mexican Christmas Eve salad, or ensalada de Noche Buena.
© Daniel Wheeler, 2009

Often served for Noche Buena, his Mexican Christmas Eve salad is open to individual interpretation, with the only constants being the beets and the lettuce. Pineapple and bananas are frequently added in tropical climates, apples and jicama in cooler regions. The ingredients should be artfully arranged on a large platter and tossed after it has reached the table.

Here is a basic version from Central Mexico; feel free to create your own version.


  • 1 head lettuce
  • 1 pound small beets, cooked, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 jicama, cut into matchsticks
  • 4 oranges, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 4 apples, sliced into thin wedges
  • 3 limes, 1 juiced and 2 cut into wedges
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup white wine vinegar (pear infused white balsamic is good here)
  • 1 cup chopped dry roasted peanuts

Line a large platter with the lettuce, either torn or separated into leaves, as desired. Arrange the beets, jicama, oranges and apples on the lettuce. Sprinkle with the lime juice.

Bring the platter to the table, dress with a mixture of the olive oil and vinegar and toss lightly. Serve on salad dishes, topping each serving with a sprinkling of peanuts. Serves 8.

Link to source articles
The beautiful beet: A Mexican salad and drink favorite
Mexican Christmas menu ideas: Posadas, Noche Buena, Navidad
A Mexican Christmas dinner: Tamales, turkey, tejocotes
Published or Updated on: December 12, 2009 by Karen Hursh Graber © 2009
Contact Karen Hursh Graber

Follow Karen as she travels through the Central Mexican state of Puebla, meeting local cooks, tasting the food, and collecting recipes. With over 75 recipes, plus sections on ingredients and cooking techniques, the book takes the reader on a journey through one of Mexico's oldest and most renowned culinary regions. It can be ordered online.

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