Time to deck the table with a delectable Christmas feast!
This doesn’t mean you have to scrimp on the healthy side either, it’s a perfect time to show case good looking and also tasty salads! And this salad could be the star of the table (pun intended).
This recipe is one of my all time classics, a real easy one that anyone can make and everyone will enjoy. However as it is Christmas time why not put a twist (or a few stars!) to really get your jingles on!
Using star shaped cookie cutters you can create pumpkin, sweet potato and cucumber stars to decorate your Christmas tree...I mean salad. The Cranberry dressing with this salad I would say is like the star on the top of the Christmas tree -it completes it!
This would be a fun salad to make with children as well, it can keep them occupied for a bit while you make the rest of the feast! Let them help with cutting out the stars (can be tricky so they will need your help) and make/decorate the salad (unless you’re a perfectionist a bit like me and is quite particular about positioning of decoration lol -keep them out of the kitchen for that part).
- Sweet potato (make sure it is wide enough to be able to cut stars out of)
- Baby Spinach
- Feta (or goats cheese, or any preferred soft cheese)
- Dried Cranberries
- Macadamia oil (or other to bake with)
- Himalayan salt (to season)
- ¼ cup Dried Cranberries
- 2 tbsp. Apple Cidar vinegar (optional)
- 1 part Olive oil
- 1 part White wine vinegar
- Small star shaped cookie cutter
- Baking tray
- Large serving platter
- Chopping board
I have broken down the rest of the recipe into each stage in case you want to remove or substitute any ingredient- sounds complex but totally not!
Tip: It is best to make the cranberry dressing first so that the cranberries can soak in the vinegar while making the salad to get more of the sweet cranberry taste.
- Use a glass bottle or jar (with lid) that has an opening big enough to add in the cranberries.
- Once cranberries are added into bottle or jar, pour in the liquids: apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar and the olive oil.
- Close the lid tightly and shake dressing til combined- once stopped shaking the dressing will separate back into layers which is normal (and looks so pretty). Set aside while making the salad…
You can have the hazelnut raw or roasted for this salad-it is totally up to your taste preference. Here is how to roast them while baking the pumpkin and sweet potato stars (totally easy):
- Pour the raw hazelnuts into baking dish.
- Place the dish into the oven to roast when the pumpkin and sweet potato has 10mins left to cook. Keep an eye on them to ensure they don’t burn.
- Once cooked let cool & discard the brown skin as this becomes bitter once cooked.
Pumpkin and Sweet Potato Stars
- Preheat oven at 180°C (356°F)
- Slice washed sweet potato and pumpkin into thick slices as deep as the cookie cutter.
- Using cookie cutter, cut out star shapes from the pumpkin and sweet potato. For sweet potatoes- center the stars so that you can use the left over circle cut out pieces too.
- Place pieces onto oven tray. Pour a dash of macadamia oil (or preferred baking oil) and a few pinches of Himalayan salt. Toss using hands to coat the pieces with oil and salt.
- Spread evenly across oven tray.
- Bake for approx. 20 minutes or until cooked through and golden brown.
- Let the pumpkin and sweet potato cool down before adding them onto the salad- this prevents the rest of the salad wilting.
Christmas Tree Salad
- Slice up the cucumber into thick slices. Using the same star shaped cookie cutter as the pumpkin and sweet potato, cut out star shapes. Use the star as well as the rounded cut out piece too. Set aside.
- Cut up the feta into small triangles or your choice of shape you want them to decorate the ‘tree’. Set aside.
- On the the large serving platter spread the spinach and rocket leaves into a triangle shape. This is the ‘leaves’ of the tree and the base shape that your salad/tree will be.
- Scatter the feta over the leaves.
- Scatter the cucumber stars and star circles over the top.
- Then scatter the sweet potato and pumpkin over top. Add a star to the top of the tree.
- Place the hazelnuts cranberries over the salad.
- Optional- Pour some of the cranberry dressing over the salad. Or serve alongside salad.
- Make this salad a part of your Christmas day feast! Or anytime, just don't worry about creating a tree out of it haha.
- Great served with roast turkey as cranberries are a great accompaniment to turkey.
- The pumpkin and sweet potato stars and roasted hazelnuts can be baked a day or so in advance before serving the salad. Keep the sweet potato and pumpkin in air tight container in fridge. Keep hazelnuts in air tight container -doesn’t need to be in fridge.
- Try a different shape instead of the tree, like a wreath or bigger star.
- You can add or substitute any of the ingredients to suit your taste.
- Use different shaped cookie cutters to suit the occasion.
- I use macadamia oil for baking as it has a higher smoke point making it safer and healthier to bake with.
Hope you enjoyed reading this blog and making (and devouring) this recipe, please share and pin it!