A vibrant, cold rice salad bursting with the colors and flavors of Christmas—inspired by the ensalada de Nochebuena made with roasted beets, orange, apples, pomegranate seeds and pepitas served on Christmas Eve, my Christmas Eve rice salad is a delicious festive touch I hope you add to your holiday table this year. Today I am excited to partner with Mahatma Rice to share with you another tasty recipe made with rice.
In Spanish, Nochebuena means “good night.”
In the month of December, Nochebuena for Latinos becomes a celebratory part of the Christmas holiday. Nochebuena takes place on Christmas Eve and is the final evening of Las Posadas.
Traditionally on Nochebuena, families attend midnight mass then gather for La Cena de Nochebuena; families, neighbors and friends are invited to celebrate the year’s blessings, unity and love.
This night is celebrated with a buffet of comida. Family, friends and neighbors contribute to this pot-luck celebration. Tamales, pozole, menudo, turkey, mole, ponche navideño and ensalada de Nochebuena can be found at the buffet table. This salad is one of my favorite foods featured on Nochebuena—a platter brimming with the colors of Christmas.
Roasted beets, oranges, apples, pomegranate and pepitas are layered decoratively over romaine lettuce. Crema mexicana is mixed with pomegranate juice and sugar to create a lightly sweetened dressing to drizzle over the ensalada de Nochebuena.
Today I’m revamping this traditional dish by transforming it into a rice salad, inspired by the classic ensalada be Nochebuena salad. This Christmas Eve rice salad includes all the classic flavors—beets, oranges, apples, pomegranate seeds and pepitas. But, instead of layering ingredients over romaine lettuce, we are going to mix them into rice, drizzled with a creamy dressing of crema and chicken broth.
May your holidays be filled with amor, familia y comida.
I’m excited to announce that Mahatma has asked me to be a brand ambassador to share all the yummies of rice. I’m having the best time sharing rice recipes and so far, I have shared: creamy arroz verde, nopalitos con arroz y pollo and albondigas, all made with Mahatma rice.
Mahatma is America’s favorite long-grain rice. For over 93 years, Riviana Foods Inc. has been packaging and marketing rice for the U.S. consumer. Known for its consistent high quality, Mahatma rice is the preferred brand among many families. Mahatma rice is available in a variety of sizes from 1lb. to 20lb. bags. It’s easy to prepare, economical, versatile, and a healthy complement to any meal.
Mahatma rice is grown in the U.S.A. and is kosher approved. Families can trust Mahatma to cook into fluffy white rice. Mahatma rice is naturally sodium-free, cholesterol-free, and fat-free.
The Mahatma brand of rice was introduced in 1932. Having many of the table characteristics of the Indian Patna variety, it was named “Mahatma,” which means “outstanding” or “superior” in character.
Find more tasty recipes go to: https://www.mahatmarice.com/
- 1 and 1/2 cups Mahatma long-grain white rice rinsed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 medium beets
- 4 oranges sectioned membrane and pith removed
- 2 red apples sliced
- 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice
- 1 cup pepitas pumpkin seeds
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1 cup crema Mexicana
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
For rice: Place the rice, 3 cups of water, and a pinch of salt in a pot, then cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and cook on low until tender, about 20 minutes. Spoon rice onto a baking sheet, spread out and allow to cool completely.
For beets: When handling beets, you may want to use gloves, as beets will stain the hands. Roast beets in a 350-degree oven for about 30 minutes, until tender. Peel and slice roasted beets.
For apples: Core and slice apples. Add lemon or lime juice to prevent browning.
For rice salad: In a large bowl, combine Mexican crema and broth, season with salt and pepper. Add rice, stir to combine. Add sliced beets, oranges, apples slices, pepitas, and pomegranate seeds. Place in the fridge until ready to serve.