Laurie McKenzie, cooking instructor
This is my California version of a famous Mexican Christmas Eve salad. This is great for the winter, when pomegranates, citrus and beets are in season. For a party, all the components and the dressing can be gotten ready in advance, kept refrigerated, and assembled right before serving.
Serves 6 to 8
1 bunch beets (3 to 4 medium)
2 oranges, peeled and sectioned, juice reserved
1 small to medium jicama, peeled and cut into matchsticks
½ cup shelled, roasted, and salted peanuts, roughly chopped
4 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
3 hearts of romaine, sliced crosswise 1 inch thick, washed and dried
½ bunch frisee, leaves separated with 1 head endive and 1 small bunch watercress, washed and dried
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
1 ½ tablespoons champagne vinegar
1 tablespoon lime juice
2 tablespoons orange juice
6 tablespoons mild olive oil
1 serrano chile, finely chopped (optional)
½ teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
- Preheat the oven to 375F. Trim the beets, leaving about 1 inch of stem. Place the beets in a single layer in a glass baking dish, add ¼ inch of water and cover tightly with foil. Roast in the oven until beets are tender when pierced with a knife, about 45 minutes. Let the beets cool, then peel and cut into wedges.
- Put chopped shallot into a small bowl. Add salt and serrano chile. Add vinegar, lime and orange juices. Let sit a few minutes for shallots to soften. Whisk in olive oil. Adjust seasonings.
- Gently toss the lettuces with a few tablespoons dressing, just enough to coat. Spread greens on a platter or on individual plates. Toss the jicama and oranges with a little cilantro, a pinch of salt and a few more tablespoons dressing. Distribute over the lettuce. Lastly, toss the beets with a little dressing and cilantro (this is done last to keep the colors separate). Scatter over the salad. Garnish with the peanuts and the pomegranate seeds and a sprinkling of cilantro.
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