Aug 04, 2015


A Latina Christmas Eve – Ensalada de Noche Buena

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A Latina Christmas Eve - Ensalada de Noche Buena

Happy Holidays from New Latina!!

In Spanish Noche Buena means “Good Night.”

In the month of December Noche Buena for Latinos becomes a celebratory part of the Christmas Holiday. Noche Buena means Christmas Eve or Poinsettia and is the final evening of Las Posadas.

On Noche Buena families attend misa de gallo (midnight mass).   After mass entire families, friends and neighbors come together for La Cena de Noche Buena where the year’s blessings, unity and love are celebrated.

This night is celebrated with a fiesta of comida with flavors of every region.  This includes tamales, pozole, menudo, turkey, mole, ponche navideño and ensalada de Noche Buena. This salad is one of my favorite foods featured on Noche Buena.  A platter brimming with the colors of Christmas.

Roasted beets, oranges, jicama, apples, pomegranate and pepitas are layered decoratively over romaine lettuce. Crema Mexicana is lightly tinted with beet juice to give the dressing a festive color. Enjoy Ensalada de Noche Buena this Holiday with families, friends and neighbors.

May your Holidays be filled with amor, familia y comida.

A Latina Christmas Eve - Ensalada de Noche Buena

Ensalada de Noche Buena

by Vianney Rodriguez at a Texan food blog,


  • 4 medium beets
  • 4 oranges sectioned, remove membrane
  • 2 red apples
  • 2 granny smith apples
  • 1 medium jicama, peeled and sliced
  • 1 cup pepitas, pumpkin seeds
  • 2 heads of romaine lettuce
  • 1 cup crema Mexicana,  sour cream or yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  1. When handling beets you may want to use gloves as beets will stain the hands.
  2. Roast beets in a 350 degree oven for about 30 minutes, until tender.
  3. While beets roast remove pom seeds from pomegranate. Set aside.
  4. Peel and slice roasted beets. Set one slice apart for dressing.
  5. Core and slice apples. Add to lemon juice to prevent browning.
  6. Line a shallow serving platter with the outer leaves of the romaine lettuce.
  7. With hands tear remaining lettuce and place on top of the leaves.
  8. Arrange apples, beets, oranges and jicama over lettuce.
  9. Combine crema and sugar in a small bowl and whisk to dissolve sugar.
  10. With hands squeeze the remaining beet slice to release juice.  This will add the festive color to your dressing.
  11. Season to taste adding sugar if needed.  When ready to serve sprinkle salad with pom seeds and pepitas.
  12. Add chopped cilantro to dressing, mix to combine and drizzle over salad.



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Vianney Rodriguez

Vianney Rodriguez

Vianney "Bonnie" is a Tejana (Texan) foodie with an eternal love for all things Texas, and is committed to teaching others about her Tex-Mex heritage. On any given day you can find her posting Texas-style recipes or wonderful recipes from Mexico! Check her out at her blog,!

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  1. Christmas Eve is sure to be a “noche buena” with this salad! It looks so festive. And the Crema Mexicana looks good enough to drink! Yummmmm!

  2. I love Christmas Eve! Mostly for the foo, drinks and celebration with family. In my family, it is also a tradition to celebrate Noche Buena rather than Christmas Day. We even open our gifts that very day, well, on the 25th, right at midnight. Enjoy your Noche Buena!

  3. Que rico se ve! Gracias por la receta Vianney.

  4. I love celebrating Noche Buena with my family and loved ones!

    The recipe looks great!

  5. Que bueno se ve y algo diferente! Por lo menos no he probado esa ensalada!

  6. That looks divine! Thanks, Bonnie!

  7. That is just stunning Vianney :) I LOVE the ingredients, the quality of the photography, your creativity, everything! Those pom seeds are glistening like rubies.

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  8. Muy Bueno Cookbook says:

    This salad looks do beautiful, fresh, and delicious. The picture is awesome too. It makes me think I can reach into the frame and touch it. Beets look gorgeous.

  9. Vianney, what a beautiful and festive salad…
    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your loved ones :-)

  10. Therese Hernandez-Cano says:

    I cannot wait to try this salad! It is so perfect instead of bringing pastries & calorie rich items for potlucks! only question is how many does this recipe feed?

    • Hola Therese,
      This salad will easily feed 6-10 served as a side salad. I would suggest you double to feed a larger crowd and trust me it will be gone quickly, everyone loves this salad!

      Vianney- Sweet Life


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