Christmas Eve Salad

From Karen Barnaby, Vancouver Sun, 2012

There are as many variations of this as the people who make it. Some versions have bananas, pineapple and peanuts. What seems to be constant are the beets and the sweet, crunchy jicama. Whatever the version, it’s a nice, light counterpoint to the richness of the other foods customarily served.

Prickly pears are also known as cactus fruit and can be found, along with the jicama, in well-stocked grocery stores.

1-1/2 cups Greek yogurt
1-1/2 t grated lime rind
3 T fresh lime juice, plus extra for the apples
2 T honey
Salt and pepper

4 medium beets, cooked, peeled and sliced (can substitute canned, but not pickled)
2 oranges, peeled and sectioned

2 prickly pears, peeled and cubed

1 large red grapefruit, peeled and sectioned with a knife

1 small jicama, peeled and cut into matchstick strips

1 red apple, halved, cored and cut into ¼ inch (0.6 cm) slices

1 green apple, halved, cored and cut into ¼ inch (0.6 cm) slices

1 small pomegranate, seeds removed and reserved

To make the dressing, whisk the yogurt, lime rind, lime juice and honey together. Season to taste. The arrangement of the remaining ingredients can be free-form or structured. Just remember that once the ingredients touch the beets, they will be beet-coloured, so it’s better to use a large serving receptacle so the salad can grow outward if needed.

Everything but the apples can be arranged a few hours in advance, then covered and refrigerated. Cut and toss the apples with lime juice and add to the salad. Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds. Serve with the dressing on the side.

Makes 8 servings