I started making this salad for holidays in our home when I saw it in the Real Simple magazine (November 2004) and it was called Chopped Holiday Salad. My family calls it Ribbon Salad and that seems a better fit. The way it is arranged on the platter resembles holiday ribbon. I bring it to our Sveen Christmas Eve feast and get comments every year. Ya, you can take ‘comments’ any way you want to. It is a favorite of mine and the blend of honey and lemon is so mild and pleasing to most everyone. But it is the presentation that stands out and makes it great for the holidays. Here’s how to do it:
1 15-to 19 oz. can cannellini beans (white kidney beans), rinsed and drained
1 yellow sweet bell pepper, seeded and cut into bite-size chunks
1 red sweet bell pepper, seeded and cut into bite-size chunks
1 orange sweet bell pepper, seeded and cut into bite-size chunks
1 medium cucumber, cut into bite-size chunks
½ of a 16-oz. pkg radishes, quartered
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
Honey (about 1 Tbsp.)
Coarse salt (about ½ tsp.)
Cracked black pepper (about ¼ tsp.)
8 oz. feta cheese, cubed
Coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley and/or mint
Place each vegetable, beans, and feta cheese in a separate quart sized ziplock bag. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, honey, salt and pepper and pour a little of the dressing into each bag and let marinate overnight. (If you don’t make it ahead, it is still delicious).
Now here is the fancy part. Cut a corner from each ziplock bag and drain the excel fluid. Choose a large white platter and arrange each vegetable, cheese, and beans in a row of its own creating a beautiful colorful array of deliciousness. Top with the chopped parsley.
I like that it is make ahead and it adds color and crunch to our holiday feasts. Give it a try and let me know what you think. But, don’t be surprised if it turns out to be a favorite and you make it every year!