Ensalada de Noche Buena (Christmas Eve Salad) (1912)

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Sat Dec 2 06:09:26 UTC 2006

I don't know if anyone (OED? DARE?) has this. It's become a part of  Tex-Mex. 
Just in time for Christmas.
Entry from December 02, 2006 
Ensalada de Noche Buena (Christmas Eve Salad)
Ensalada de Noche Buena (Christmas Eve Salad) is a Mexican fruit salad that  
has spread north of the border. It now often includes pomegranate dressing.  

_Who Cooked  That Up?_ (http://members.cox.net/jjschnebel/chrissal.htm)  
Christmas Eve Salad or Ensalada de Noche Buena,  is a traditional holiday 
dish in many areas of Mexico and in the Southwestern  part of the United States.  
It is a delightful concoction rapidly  increasing in popularity.  In an 
effort to share something festive for the  holiday season, I have researched the 
history of this colorful and interesting  dish, but its origin proved more 
difficult to find than I expected.  In an  article on Christmas Eve customs, the 
Spanish language Mexican magazine “Mexico  Desconocido” described the 
traditional holiday meal as always being accompanied  by the Christmas Eve Salad.  
Elsewhere, web pages from Mexico call the  salad of beets and fruits “la clasica” 
(the classic) for Christmas Eve  ("Nochebuena"), but no one reports where and 
when the salad was first  created.  Nevertheless, it seems to be part of 
Mexican Christmas  traditions, although in some parts of Mexico it appears to be 
virtually unknown.  

In fact, the grande dame of Mexican cuisine, Diana Kennedy, simply  dismisses 
the salad with the statement that she “could never quite take the  
eye-catching Christmas Eve Salad seriously.” The reason it is “eye-catching” is  
perhaps because it is often served in a glass bowl—a sort of salad version of an  
English trifle. Nevertheless, in her definitive volume on The Cuisines of  
Mexico, she lists ingredients...lettuce, beets, oranges, bananas, sweet  limes, 
jicamas, peanuts and then includes two I’ve never included, sugar cane  and 
small, hard sugar candies.  However, you get the idea.  The salad  combines fruits 
and vegetables and, Diana Kennedy notwithstanding, usually  includes a topping 
of peanuts and pomegranate seeds rather than sugar cane and  hard candies. 

_Austin  Chronicle_ 
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 

18 December  1912, Fort Wayne (IN) Journal-Gazette

, “The Christmas Festival of Old  Mexico,” pg. 4, col. 4: 
No presents are exchanged on Christmas day, that  being reserved for the New 
Year festival; but fascinating dishes are eaten on  the great day, notable the 
ensalada de la noche buena, a salad of many native  fruits and vegetables, 
not to mention the gradually covered candies that  decorated the top of it, to 
conform with some old tradition. 

20 December  1936, Charleston (WV) Gazette, pg. 7, col. 8: 
Ensalad de Noche  Buena 
Mexican Christmas Salad 
Red and green and tantalizing  as the baubles on the tree is this salad from 
a Mexican cook book. 
2 oranges  
1 grapefruit 
2 ripe bananas 
2 apples 
4 small beets 
1-4 cup  coarsely chopped peanuts 
1-2 teasp. chili powder 
2 tblsps. crushed  peppermint candy 
1 tbsp. lime or lemon juice 
1-2 tbsps. salad oil  
1-2 teasp. salt 
Peel oranges and grapefruit, selecting choice Florida  fruit, remove membrane 
from sections and dice. Peel and dice bananas, apples and  beets. Make a 
dressing of the lime or lemon juice, salad oil, salt, and chili  powder. Combine 
all ingredients lightly but thoroughly. Serve well chilled on  crisp lettuce. 
Serves 6 to 8. 

12 December 1937, Hammond (IN)  Times, pg. 14, col. 2: 
“Ensalada de Noche 
Buena” Is  Mexican 
For Christmas Salad 

Mexican Christmas  Salad 
2 oranges 
1 grapefruit 
2 ripe bananas 
2 apples 
4  small beets 
1 tablespoon lime or lemon juice 
1 1/2 tablespoons salad oil  
1/2 teaspoon salt 
1/2 teaspoon chili powder 
1/4 cup coarsely chopped  peanuts 
2 tablespoons crushed peppermint candy 

Peel oranges and  grapefruit, remove membrane from sections and dice. Peel 
and dice bananas,  apples and beets. Make a dressing of the lime or lemon juice, 
salad oil, salt  and chili powder. Combine all ingredients. Serve chilled on 

8  December 1957, Hammond (IN) Times, pg. C4, col. 1: 
2 large head of lettuce, cut fine 
4 oranges  
8 beets 
4 limes 
4 bananas 
8 apples 
2 tablespoons anise seeds  
4 large radishes, two cut in slices and two cut in strips 
1 cup peanuts,  roasted and peeled 
4 tablespoons of nut meats 
1/2 cup sugar 
1  teaspoon salt 
Juice of one lemon 

Wash all the fruit  well and cut it into circular slices, without peeling; 
peel and slice the beets  boiled with a little sugar 24 hours before using. Pass 
the water in which the  beets were cooked through a sieve and pour it over 
the cooked fruit and beets.  Season with the sugar, salt and lemon juice; 
decorate with the sliced radishes  and nut meats. The sugared anise seeds are to be 
placed on the table in small  plates or baskets. This salad will serve 12 

22 December 1969,  Long Beach (CA) Press-Telegram, pg. F1: 
And, although the Mexicans  use only sugar to dress Christmas Eve Salad, a 
simple but delicious dressing has  been created to complement this combination 
of sweet, golden pineapple, mellow  bananas, juicy oranges and apples, beet 
slices, baby carrots and crisp, green  iceberg lettuce in Mexico’s favorite and 
colorful salad. 

Mexican Christmas Eve Salad 
1 large head western  iceberg lettuce 
1 (1 pound 4 1/2 ounce) can pineapple chunks, chilled and  drained 
1 ( 8 1/4 ounce) can sliced beets, chilled and drained 
2 medium  oranges, sectioned 
2 large red apples, cored and diced 
2 medium bananas,  all yellow, sliced 
1/2 cup chopped peanuts 
Noche Buena Dressing 
Lime  Slices 
Core lettuce; rinse in cold water; drain well. Refrigerate in plastic  bag or 
plastic crisper. Prepare Noche Buena dressing. Refrigerate. When ready to  
serve, line salad bowl with green outer lettuce leaves; shred remainder and  
combine in large bowl with pineapple, carrots, beets, oranges, apples, bananas  
and nuts. Pour dressing over all and toss lightly. Garnish with lime slices.  
Makes 6 to 8 servings. 

1/2 cup corn oil  
1/4 cup vinegar 
1/4 cup California Sauterne wine or 3 tablespoons  pineapple syrup and 1 
tablespoon lime juice 
1/2 teaspoon crumbled oregano  
(Continued on Page F6) 
1/4 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon pepper 
1  clove garlic, minced 
Combine all ingredients in a jar; cover and shake well.  Store in 
refrigerator until ready to use. Makes about 1 1/4 cups. 
Note:  Salad can be assembled ahead and refrigerated, covered tightly with 
saran to  preserve freshness. Do not reserve bananas, however, and add just 
before tossing  salad with dressing. 

14 December 1972, Yuma (AZ) Daily Sun, food  page, pg. 6, col. 4: 
Christmas Eve  Salad 
Beets cooked and sliced 
Pineapple chunk 
Orange sections  (peeled) 
Bananas, sliced 
Sprinkle with unsalted nuts (peanuts or soy)  
Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds overall! 

The pomegranate grows  beautifully in Yuma. It is called “granada” in 
Serve on a Mexican  platter. 
For a dressing use mayonnaise thinned with fruit juice and sour  cream. 

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