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Salad idea for Christmas

I have been asked to bring a salad (not specified if that is a green salad or a side dish salad). Any amazing recipes with homemade dressings that are always a hit at your dinners?

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  1. I posted a salad that has become the fan favourite with all my family and friends. Very easy homemade dressing that will keep and also I change up the "extras" depending on occasion.
    Of course, It's been requested at Christmas and I might add some dried cranberries to the mix.
    See thread below
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/545816

    1. My family makes a pepper salad for Christmas that's yummy and different. It consists of green pepper, olives and anchovies in a red wine vinaigrette. My uncle was never one for anchovies so my grandmother always made one sans fish for him.

      1. I am pretty much required to bring the following salad to gatherings with my friends. It's a huge hit, travels well, and is even better the second day (so you can make it ahead of time). I was inspired by too much bok choy, a jicama and about 2 dozen recipes for bok choy and jicama.

        Bok Choy, Jicama, and Apple Slaw

        3 apples, sliced thin then chopped (I use whatever I have on hand usually a combo of Fuji and Braeburn)
        1 medium jicama (about a cup), sliced thin then chopped
        One half head of bok choy, chopped with greens shredded
        1 medium onion (red or white - I sometimes use powder if there are onion haters present - the SO hates the texture, loves the taste)
        1 cup orange juice or the juice from two oranges (pineapple juice would probably also be good)
        Fresh lime juice (I don't measure this. I usually use the juice from two limes)
        3 Tablespoons white vinegar
        2 Tablespoons mustard
        2 Tablespoons brown sugar
        Mint (fresh if I have it, dried if I don't - chopped or crumbled, about a Tablespoon dried, however much I feel like picking, rinsing, chopping if it's fresh)
        dash or two of salt and pepper, to taste

        Combine apple, jicama, onion and bok choy in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk all the dressing ingredients together and pour over the slaw. That's it. This stuff is fantastic.

        Doubling the recipe for the dressing will give you a nice marinade for chicken or fish.

        1. We have what I call "Christmas Salad". It's just lightly steamed broccoli & cauliflower and cherry tomatoes arranged in the shape of a wreath on a large round platter (you get the best effect when it's primarily broccoli with white cauliflower and red tomatoes as accents). The seasonal, bright and high-contrast colors are great for Christmas. If you want to go Martha Stewart, you can cut the shape of a bow from grilled red or yellow pepper.

          I don't dress it but offer a balsamic vinaigrette.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rainey

            I had a very simple but lovely holiday salad at Thanksgiving which was simply Romaine lettuce and Radicchio (nice red and green contrast), with dried cranberries and toasted walnut halves. It was served with a simple vinaigrette, but if I were to recreate that salad, I might make my own fig and balsamic vinaigrette or else a punchier vinaigrette with equal parts lemon juice and white wine vinegar with walnut oil and minced shallot. The nice thing about this salad is that both the lettuce types are not super fragile, like spring mix, arugula, baby spinach or mache. The salad (without dressing) can be assembled in advance, then covered with damp paper towels and clear plastic wrap. The dressing can also be made ahead of time and just whisked or shaken to re-blend before dressing and tossing the salad.

            Another salad idea is arugula, shaved fennel slices and supremes of orange. If you're a cheese fan, paper thin shavings of Parmigiano-Reggiano or Pecorino (Toscano or Sardo) would be nice. I'd make the dressing with lemon juice and rice vinegar and olive oil. I might mince in the fennel fronds, or else grind some toasted fennel seeds along with freshly ground pepper to bring out the aroma of the fennel. Yum!

          2. Arugula Salad- my grandma makes this all the time... and now that I think about it the colors are perfect for christmas. You can adjust the amount of ingredients according to how many people you're serving. My grandma usually uses one of the large plastic containers of arugula from Costco and two bulbs of fennel. Craisins and almonds are just a handful to add flavor and crunch. Make sure you add the almonds at the last minute so they don't get soggy.

            baby arugula
            thinly sliced fennel
            craisins
            slivered almonds (with skins)
            balsamic dressing (1 part balsamic, 2 parts olive oil, salt, pepper, pinch of sugar, red pepper flakes)

            1. Nigella's got a few ideas in her new book which I have at home. I will check later but I think one of them features pomegranate seeds which are really Christmassy....

              1. How about an unconventional spinach salad with hot bacon vinegarette? You can do as others have suggested and add some dried cranberries and nuts, fennel... So simple, does not conflict with side dishes and sets a nice tone for the rest of the meal. Plus... bacon.

                1. This is beautiful and unusual, from one of my favorite blogs:

                  Gingered Jeweled Salad

                  http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: IndyGirl

                    That does look good. Do you really taste the jalapeno? I wonder if you could sub prunes and apricots for pluots. I have never encountered a dried pluot.

                    1. re: Sal Vanilla

                      I used dried cranberries in place of the plouts. It was still beautiful and tasted great. The jalapeno is subtle but does lend some needed heat. It makes it very interesting.

                  2. Endive salad with sliced red onion and grapefruit supremes. Pour on a sweet poppy seed dressing. Found a dressing recipe at epi that sounds like what I do. I use a variety of grapefruit. You could add orange segments too, if you wished, but I don't.

                    It is simple, looks beautiful on the plate and is really delicious.

                    http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                    1. this idea may intrude a bit on someone else's dinner menu, but it is a show-stopper. it plates up beautifully and tastes incredible.
                      http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/foo...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: Sophia.

                        Yum! I saved that recipe. It looks divine. If there is no fish course and they are not going for turkey and stuffing, I think that would indeed be an amazing salad! Is someone bringing a fish course?

                      2. This year I am planning a Salad as first course for Christmas Dinner.

                        A bed of mixed greens with frisee, tossed with a Citrus Hazelnut Oil Vinaigrette and topped with Seared Scallops and Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit sections, and sprinkled with Toasted Hazelnuts. Allow about three small sized scallops per person ( about 2 ounces per person)

                        I do it as a Salad Composee on individual plates, but you can do it on a large flat platter and arrange the Scallops and Grapefruit on top, alternating in a circle.. I usually toss the greens with the dressing ,before arranging the top. I serve additional Vinaigrette in the side. You can substitute medium sized Shrimp, but the hot scallops on the cold salad is terrific.

                        1. A salad I always find goes down a treat is avocado, goats cheese, cherry tomatoes, rocket and pomegranate seeds with a simple vinaigrette made with blsamic vinegar, lemon juice and chilli-infused extra virgin olive oil. I also sprinkle some mixed seeds on top for good measure. Hope you find inspiration in all the wondeful suggestions here!

                          1. We typically have salad on Christmas Eve. I always do a tre colore salad -- i.e., romaine, Belgian endive, and radicchio -- so as to have red & green colors in the salad. I dress it in a lemon vinaigrette, and top with pomegranate seeds, to add more red color to the salad. Alternate to pomegranate seeds, you could use dried cranberries and also add gorgonzola or other blue cheese.

                            1. Here is my favorite salad recipe, requiring zero last minute effort:

                              Persimmon and Pomegranate Salad with Arugula and Hazelnuts, from Suzanne Goin's book 'Sunday Suppers at Lucques'.

                              This is my go to winter dinner party salad. It's light and refreshing, and I've served with everything from baked pasta to chicken to beef tenderloin.

                              The only subsitution I make it that I use more greens, adding spring mix to the arugula to make it a little more 'family friendly'.

                              http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2005/1...

                              1. A simple Waldorf, of Fuji apples, pecans, celery, and Duke's mayo.