A Christmas Salad

It’s salad weather here friends!  We are sweltering here in Melbourne today, the hot weather has kicked in.  I love eating all sorts of salads in Summer.  On Christmas day in Australia alot of people combine turkey and ham with salads instead of having the traditional Christmas dinner as it’s often quite hot.

My family are from Belfast, Northern Ireland, my Grandmother was a cook and used to do the traditional Christmas meal for us all (around 30 odd family members) even if it was 30 degrees.  Cooking in a small kitchen I don’t know how she did it!  My favourite was her Plum Duff (Plum Pudding) and I remember  as a child asking my Dad to get the recipe from her.  Of course it was one of those recipes where she added a bit of this and that by instinct, nothing written down.

There was always a big cheer when each family arrived at her place for Christmas Day and tables were put out in the backyard along with as many chairs as we could find.  A big sheet was placed over the hills hoist (clothes line) to provide some shade.  For our first course a big pot of soup was placed on the table, after which turkey, ham, roast potatoes, veggies and gravy were consumed.  My dad would always have a photo taken with the big turkey leg in his hand ready to take a bite!  Everyone would shreik with laughter.  There was always alot of happy times and I used to love catching up with my Aunts, Uncles and cousins.

My husband’s family do a lovely Christmas lunch with ham and turkey and salads which I think is perfect for our Australian Christmas.  Following is a moreish salad I’m making for Christmas day (our turn to host this year) with kipfler (fingerling) potatoes, pumpkin, fetta and the Christmas touch..deep red jewels of pomegranate seeds scattered over the top after being banged out with a wooden spoon.

I saw this salad on my blogger friend Alison’s blog Green With Renvy.  Alison made it as part of her post Thanksgiving cleanse.  The dressing has a wonderful flavour.  I changed a few things from the original recipe as there were ingredients I didn’t have..substituted apple cider vinegar for champagne vinegar.


Adapted from The Year In Food


500 grams kipfler (fingerling) potatoes, 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
, 1/4 pumpkin, 
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
, 1 teaspoon Dijon or wholegrain mustard
, 1 teaspoon honey
, 10 packed cups Rocket (Arugula), 
seeds from one pomegranate, 
1 cup crumbled Feta, Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.

Slice potatoes lengthwise in halves or quarters depending on size. Arrange in an, an ovenproof dish and drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon of salt over the potatoes. Toss to coat. Roast until tender and browned.

While the potatoes roast, prepare the squash. Slice in half lengthwise, and remove seeds and membrane. Slice into thin half moons, Arrange in another ovenproof dish, drizzle with one tablespoon olive oil and another 1/4 teaspoon salt and toss to coat.

Remove potatoes from the oven and add the pumpkin. Roast until tender and just beginning to brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

For dressing in a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, vinegar, mustard, honey, 1/8 teaspoon salt and 1/3 cup olive oil.

In a large salad bowl, combine the rocket, (arugula) pumpkin and potatoes. Drizzle with about half the vinaigrette. Toss to combine.

Add half of the pomegranate seeds and half of the fetta. Gently toss. Add more vinaigrette if needed. (I did not use all of it.)

Top with the remaining fetta and pomegranate seeds. Serve.


  1. Lauren

    Looks delish! I love the pom. and feta.

    So funny…I've been adding steamed potatoes (quicker than roasting on a weeknight!) to our salads lately, to make them a bit more winter-hearty. You're doing the same, but for different reasons all on the other side of the world. I'll post mine and we can compare!

  2. tina

    You know I've never thought about Christams in Australia with food. Of course, it's hot so salad is perfect.

    I'm not used to put potatoes in salads, especially not with Feta and Pom. Interesting! Shall try it.
    Very healthy for you;)

    Love how your grandmother put in some here and there…. love that sort of cooking.

    I've peeled quite a few pom.

  3. mel

    Oh my that looks divine! I think I will have to try that one although I've had trouble finding Kilpfler potatoes here which is a shame because they're my favourite. I wish I was a guest at your house for Christmas Catherine, it would be a feast. Love the story of your grandmother:) Mel x

  4. K-bobo

    This salad looks lovely! Your photos are quite gorgeous as well, well done! Wow, I can't imagine you and your family sitting down to eat soup at a sweltering Australian Christmas! You guys must have been sweating through that!

  5. noreen

    that salad looks delicious, and i'm with lauren – now that it's freezing here, i like something hot on a salad. i look forward to hearing what else you are serving for christmas!

    also, my grandparents were from northern ireland. i've never been to ireland, but want to go. one day.

    happy weekend, catherine!

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