Ensalada De Nochebuena

Nochebuena means “good night” in Spanish—but in Spain, Cuba, Latin America, and parts of the American Southwest often it is used to refer to Christmas Eve. The way Nochebuena is celebrated varies, but it usually involves a big family dinner after Midnight Mass. This traditional Mexican salad—sometimes made with cooked beets, apples, pineapple, or banana—is a beautiful and healthy addition to your holiday table. 

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Hands-on time: 45   |    Total time: 45   |    Makes: 8 Servings


Sharp knife (adult needed)
Cutting board
Large bowl
Vegetable peeler
Measuring cup
Measuring spoons
Grater or zester
Small bowl
Tongs or salad servers


1 unit head romain lettuce, chopped
4 unit navel oranges or 2 pink grapefruits, or a combination
1 unit small jicama, peeled and diced
6 unit red radishes, sliced
unit Grated zest* and freshly squeezed juice from 1 lime
1⁄3 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoon honey
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 cup lightly toasted** green pumpkin seeds (pepitas) or chopped roasted peanuts
2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves


  1. Put the lettuce in the large bowl.
  2. Peel the oranges and/or grapefruits and pull them apart into sections. Cut each section into bite-size pieces and add them to the bowl.
  3. Add the jicama and radishes to the bowl.
  4. In the small bowl, whisk together the lime zest and juice, yogurt, honey, and salt. Taste the dressing and add more lime, honey, or salt if you think it needs it.
  5. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss gently. Sprinkle with the pumpkin seeds and cilantro, and serve. 

Jicama is a sweet, crunchy root vegetable with a tough brown skin and a white inside that tastes a little like a green bean.


*Grate the zest by scraping off the colored part of the skin with a grater or zester before you cut and juice the fruit.

**Toast the seeds in a small, dry skillet over low heat for a minute or two, until you just begin to smell them.