Ensaladas Navideñas, Make your Thanksgiving celebration even more fun with these ideas for festive appetizers.
Enjoy a beautiful presentation on the table, and let the tastes of Mexican dishes entice you to your heart’s content.
What are the different types of salades that you can find on the Navidad menu?
Saladas Nombramientos: Party salads.
Salas mixtas o medidas fuertes con carne, verduras y frutos secos: These are very festive cut-up salads. They comprise a base of cold-cooked vegetables and legumes; then there is sliced or grated meat (beef, venison), Mexican cheeses (quesillo), and sometimes dried fruits, nuts, or olives.
These festive salads can be served with sour cream and Mexican crema, accompanied by many additional garnishes such as pickled onions, lime wedges, or chopped cilantro leaves.
Salas mixtas con Frutos secos: This kind of salad is a high-calorie meal; it comprises, on the one hand, lettuce hearts (pickler) combined with cold cooked green vegetables and legumes then.
Is there a particular ingredient that you might see in many of these dishes?
Asian greens: This type of lettuce; has heart-shaped leaves (similar to romaine and duodenum) that are best combined with cold-cooked vegetables and legumes. Applesauce, fruit juices, or pineapple slices can be used on this salad base.
Mexican cheeses: The “quesillo” is a cheese made from cow’s milk mozzarella combined with watery whey left over when the curds are pressed together.
This recipe is traditional in Mexican cuisine, and it includes the part of fermentation for 24 hours, which gives quesillo its distinctive flavor and aroma.
Other cheeses can be used, such as crunchy blue cheese dressing: cotija (‘quisquillos’), chihuahua (‘chihual), goat’s milk mozzarella (queso de Cabra), or Quesadilla with Chorizo Whiz and Apples.
Pickled red onion: Mexican picklers make a type of pesto from thinly sliced red onions, garlic powder (pulverized), and salt; these are then mixed with water during fermentation for 8–12 hours to prevent the mixture from becoming too dry.
Are any of these salades good as starters or main course?
The Greek dolma is usually served as starters by putting them over a salad base with fennel/sesame seeds, salt, and pepper.
Very similar recipes can also be found in European cuisines. The pickled red onions introduce an ingredient referred to only locally among Mexicans; at home, you will often find it mixed into beans or prepared for children instead of ketchup.
Other sweet salads might accompany sourdough bread along with fruit and leafy greens. Some of
apple slices served in a yogurt bath with sesame seeds, fried chickpeas, or lentils used as filler; pickled red onions may also be added to cooked vegetables (beans or potatoes). The salads below are the ones I remember most fondly.
Can you give us any ideas for dips or accompaniments to go with these salads?
In the past, if you wanted queso con chile and tortilla chips, all you had to do was ask, “dessert?” As they are now more commonly called:
Quesadillas with Chorizo Wh iz and Apples. The Mexican version of a cheese omelet or egg on toast may be available if nothing else is available. Still, generally in restaurants where these salads are served as starters,
it’s helpful to ask for some queso on the side. This will make a cheese omelet without having actually to wait for it!
When fried in oil, nothing beats fresh tortillas, then stuffed with chili peppers (which won’t go soggy if cooled), green onions, tomato, and chile mayonnaise.
What kind of flavors do you think one might want for different salads?
I described them as “chunky vegetables,” You can check this in the other recipes here. You are probably best going for some of those though (as a starter) or maybe adding pumpkin seeds with sesame or sunflower seeds to dress up your salad; however, many Mexicans prefer it is not a lettuce base, which serves merely as an underlining basket;
instead, they use zucchini flowers, cherry tomatoes, squash blossom clusters, melon balls (rainbow corn), or fried amaranth seeds, to name only a few.
You can also use squash blossoms when they are in season, but it’s not the right time of year for that, so check out this salad with other seasonal elements as well – Fresh Fruity Salad
Zucchini rounds at least shredded and edible will mix fine with your choice peppers. If you do seek them after preparing some of the other ingredients, they make the perfect Zoodles with Creamy Caprese Salad and Panzanella!
Soft Mexican cheese can be a little expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. Parmesan is also readily available. Follow this recipe, or if you like, instead of a cooking shop at your local specialty goods store (very likely one will exist in most cities now) were some fabulous fresh buffalo mozzarella.
What variety of salads can you find on the Navidad menu?
If you’re looking for a very basic salad, especially in Hotels and Restaurants here, try the venerable fideua de Trigo.
The fiesta version is dressed with boiled eggs (refried if served to children), refried beans, lettuce, tomatoes, corn slivers peppers.
It all comes together like so; it’s not traditional but delicious! Mexican cuisine truly works wonders on salads when seasoned from many different sides.
History of Navidad Mexican Navidad is a popular and festive celebration of the Holy Week leading up to Easter Sunday in Mexico. The tradition dates back to pre-Hispanic times, but it was not until after 1520 that the Christmas season became formally recognized (as well as Santa Claus), although festivities commenced quickly after that.
Are any of these salads good as starters or main course?
Suppose you are interested in a complete Mexican menu here. I’ve also written about Navidad as Part of the Winter Solstice Cycle with 6 Christmas and Easter A La Carte Pattern Poses.
That’s no snow on your lip, but some curdled flouring while mixing? Oh, it will fix itself… You don’t want these conditions to happen so long as you work with hot liquid too much!
What kind of dips or accompaniments would go well with these salads?
Navidad salads do well with grilled fish such as marinated shrimp or calamari, toasted vegetables and avocado relish (fresh accompaniments), etc.
Has some nice cubed ripe melon served on the side too? I usually make a kid’s feast which has canned dog food mixed with water, meatballs, root veggies, fruit juice topped off by mashed potatoes, that sort of thing.
The Bottom Line
I hope you’ve enjoyed this tutorial and that it will inspire you to try some new dishes in your kitchen.
These salads are quick, easy, and tasty. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below!