I told you guys that I’d start sharing more of my favorite Italian recipes, and I’m excited to share this very special Christmas recipe with you all! The word for Christmas in Italy is “Natale”, and Christmas in Italy is a big deal! Instead of Santa, they have Babbo Natale, and there are definitely some important Christmas traditions in Italy. One of them is consuming a TONNNN of panettone, a delicious pastry that has powdered sugar on top and different candied fruits and raisins inside.
My mom’s side of the family comes from Sicily, and we still have relatives there! I LOVE Sicilian food, particularly how Island-centric it is, and how well they incorporate fresh and local ingredients into just about every dish.
One of my favorite Sicilian dishes for the holiday season is Insalata Di Natale, or “Christmas Salad”! I have always loved this dish because it is fresh and healthy, and pairs really nicely with the braised meats or heavier pasta’s that are often on the Holiday table. Briny olives and capers mix so beautifully with citrus and earthy olive oil, and then some fresh crunch from green veggies! Topped with a burst of sweetness from pomegranate, this salad can be enjoyed all year long, not just at Christmas time.
Today I’m sharing my Italian Christmas Salad recipe, in case you might want something a little different on your Holiday table this year.
This recipe serves 4-6!
Italian Christmas Salad / Insalata Di Natale
- 1½ cups fennel, sliced very thin
- 1 cup celery, chopped and blanched for a few minutes in boiling water.
- 3 heads endive, sliced
- 2 oranges, segmented and chopped
- 1 cup Castelvetrano (or other green Italian) olives, pitted & chopped
- ¼ cup capers
- 1 pomegranate, seeded
- ½ cup pine nuts
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp maldon salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 lemon, juiced
- Preheat oven to 325º F.
- Put the pine nuts on a baking sheet in a single layer. Toast in the oven for 5-10 minutes, until golden but not burnt.
- Remove from the oven, and allow to cool. Meanwhile, combine the fennel, endive, oranges, olives, capers, blanched celery, olive oil, salt, lemon juice, and pepper in a large bowl and toss well.
- Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!
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