Festive Christmas Salad Recipe

Festive Christmas Salad Recipe Recipe

I wanted to create a festive, yet exotic salad in anticipation of the holiday season. So I prepared a homemade crouton, crab, mango and pomegranate salad. It was especially easy to prepare, and I completed it in no time as I used store-bought, pre-cooked crab. I also used the last pomegranate in our garden. The sweetness was incredible. 

I think this salad will really light up our Christmas table this year. Not only it is nutritious, complete and healthy, but there is added significance for me because it combines ingredients from all the cultures in my home: French (croutons, Herbes de Provence and pomegranate), Vietnamese (green mango and crab) and Indian (fried paneer cheese). How delicious does that sound?

Ingredients

Yields: 8 servings

3 cups broccoli
½ (16-ounce) loaf white bread
2 teaspoons Herbes de Provence
juice of a small lemon, freshly squeezed
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
10 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons black pepper, freshly cracked
4 cups lettuce, shredded
1 cup crab, separated into large chunks
1 green mango, peeled,
1 pomegranate, peeled and seeds gathered


Directions

Boiling broccoli:

Fill a pot with cold salted water and bring to a boil. Add the whole broccoli pieces, bring back to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 15-18 minutes. They should be fork-tender (not mushy). Drain the water. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper. Allow to cool a little.

Once they're cool enough to handle, cut into wedges from the bottom. Pull and separate the small florets.


Making croutons:

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Cut the bread into about 1½-inch cubes. No need to cut off the crusts. Spread the bread cubes on a greased baking sheet. Drizzle with 3-4 tablespoons of oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss well.

 Bake for about 6-8 minutes. Toss the croutons once half-way through the baking process. All sides should be slightly golden. Remove from the oven. Set aside to cool.


For the paneer:

Rinse the paneer and pat dry. Heat 2-3 tablespoons oil in a pan and fry the cubes of paneer until they are golden brown. Transfer to a paper towel, leaving as much oil as possible in the pan. Set the paneer aside.

Peeling the mango:

Using a sharp knife, trim the end of the mango. Peel the mango and cut into long, thick strips until you reach the stone of the fruit. You might want to cut the strips (lengthwise) if they're too wide.

For the vinaigrette:

In a bowl, combine red wine vinegar, lemon juice and sugar. Whisk in the remaining oil. Season with salt and pepper.

Assembly:

In a large serving bowl, combine the broccoli, crab, pomegranate seeds and mango. Cover with the vinaigrette. Toss well. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving. At the last minute, add the shredded lettuce, paneer and croutons. Toss well. 

Serve immediately.

Bon appétit!


Tips

Check out my other recipes, such as croutons, that recycle stale bread. You can also make bread crumbs for mac & cheese or garlic bread for soups and salads.

Herbes de Provence is a combination of herbs originating from the Mediterranean region. I used a store-bought blend. You can also make your own; check the ingredients here.

You could make the same salad using cauliflower florets; just lengthen the cooking time by 5 more minutes.

Published By: Jacqueline Pham on December 11, 2013.


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