I don’t really know what a “Christmas” salad is. But I do know that a festive looking salad when I see one – anything that’s red, green and white! This is a great salad for making a ahead because blanched vegetables stay wonderfully crisp in the fridge.
*** This recipe is part of a Christmas Special where I show you how to make 3 mains and 4 side dishes that take 1.5 hrs to prepare and can be largely made ahead. So this Christmas, you can spend less time in the kitchen and more time with your family! 🙂 ***
When it comes to salads for a Christmas spread, two things spring to mind:
1. Can I make ahead?
2. Is it Christmassy??
What makes a salad a Christmas salad, anyway?? I didn’t know the answer to that – and I wasn’t going to google it! So I took matters into my own hands and made up a salad with classic Christmas colours – red, green and white.
Yes you can make it ahead! Actually, it’s perfect for making ahead because the “greens” are beans, snow peas and asparagus which I blanched the night before then stored in the fridge overnight. They stayed lovely and fresh. I made the dressing and kept that in the fridge too. Then to serve, I just added the dried cranberries (the red) and crumbled over feta (the white!).
OK, I’m signing off now. Keeping this sweet and short because….well, to be honest, I’m writing up my 7 course Christmas Special and I’m running out of steam!! And I figure salad is not where I should be investing my energy (not when I have duck, ham and turkey to write up….and a legendary stuffing in pancetta cups!!).
Do you think this salad is Christmassy?? – Nagi
Easy, Stress Free Seven Course Christmas Menu (1.5 hr prep)
You can read about this menu here, including a step by step of the order in which I prepared, baked, reheated and plated up each dish. I made all these dishes (with the exception of the cabbage salad) for a Christmas Party with my friends and these are photos of the actual dishes that I took to the party. I’m sharing this in the hope that it might inspire your Christmas menu!
- Easy Maple Sticky Glazed Ham (15 min prep, 1 – 1 1/2 hrs inactive baking, can be made ahead)
- Juicy Slow Cooker Turkey Breast (5 min prep, then set and forget, reheats well but best slow cooked overnight on the night before serving)
- Festive Duck with Apple Cider Drizzle (5 min prep, 1 1/2 hr inactive baking, reheats very well)
- Pork Apple Stuffing in Pancetta Cups (20 min prep and worth every second. Reheats extremely well)
- Julia Child’s Potato Dauphinoise Gratin (15 min prep, 45 min baking, reheats very well)
- This Red, Green and White Christmas Salad (10 minutes prep)
- Warm Red Cabbage and Spinach with Garlic Herb Butter (10 minutes prep)
- 2 bunches asparagus
- 10oz / 300g green beans
- 5oz / 150g snow peas
- 4oz / 120g feta
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- 1 tbsp honey
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 6 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- Black pepper
- Fill a large pot with water and bring to boil.
- Cut the woody ends off the asparagus, then cut the asparagus into 3. Separate the asparagus heads from the stems.
- Trim the beans and place in a separate pile.
- Remove the strings along each side of the snow peas.
- Place the beans in the boiling water. When the water comes back to the simmer again, leave the beans to simmer for 30 seconds. (Note 1)
- Add the asparagus stems in. Once it comes back up to a simmer, count 30 seconds again. Then add the snow peas and asparagus heads, bring it back up to a simmer and count to 30 seconds.
- Immediately drain the greens and run cold water over the greens for 10 seconds to stop the cooking process.
- Once cool, set aside to dry. Roughly dry with a paper towel if serving immediately.
- Combine the Dressing ingredients in a jar and shake well to mix.
- Place the greens in a bowl and toss with the Dressing.
- Transfer to a serving bowl, crumble over feta and scatter with dried cranberries. Serve immediately.
2. If making ahead, store the undressed greens in the fridge, covered, until required.