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    Mexican Ensalada de Noche Buena

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    Mexican Ensalada de Noche Buena

    Quite unlike our own Christmas foods, this colourful Mexican salad brings a welcome shaft of freshness to any celebratory meal. If it sounds brazen to mix beetroot with pineapple and pomegranate, don't be deterred – it works. Although it is not suggested to put it on the table alongside the turkey and sprouts, it is a real joy served with hot or cold ham, or with the cold turkey on Boxing Day.

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 35 minutes
    • Total time: 35 minutes 35 minutes

    Serves: 8


    • 100g caster sugar
    • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
    • 2 crisp pears, cored and sliced (peeling optional)
    • 1 lemon, juice only
    • 2 oranges, peeled and segmented
    • ½ pineapple, peeled, cored and cubed
    • 50g pine nuts, lightly toasted
    • 25g unsalted peanuts
    • 1 pomegranate, seeds only
    • 1 romaine lettuce heart, separated
    • 2 medium beetroot, cooked, skinned, halved and sliced


    1. To make the dressing, put the caster sugar and white wine vinegar in a saucepan with some salt and pepper. Stir over a medium heat until the sugar has completely dissolved, bring up to the boil, then take off the heat. Leave to cool.
    2. Peel the pears if you wish, turning in the lemon juice as you work to prevent browning. Mix with the pineapple, oranges, lettuce leaves and half the pine nuts, peanuts and pomegranate seeds.
    3. Just before serving, carefully mix the beetroot with the fruit so that its colour doesn't run. Drizzle over the dressing, then scatter the reserved nuts and pomegranate seeds over the top.

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    Drinks recommendation

    This salad has wonderful flavours, so a German Riesling would be a good choice. An off-dry white will match the salad for sweetness.


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    4 stars