Guatemalan Fiambre Salad
Authentic Guatemalan Fiambre Salad Recipe – A traditional dish served on All Saint’s Day (Día de Todos los Santos) piled high with family favorite ingredients!
This amazing salad is enjoyed by Guatemalans one time a year celebrating All Saint’s Day.
Fiambre Guatemalan Salad is truly the mother of all salads. Traditionally, a Fiambre Guatemalan Salad offers a smorgasbord of family favorite ingredients. Vegetables, meats, cheeses, and pickled relishes galore compose this salad.
Like most traditional rural dishes, each family has their own recipe passed down from generation to generation.
Fiambre is as varied and diverse as the beautiful Guatemalan people. Preparing and consuming the dish is quite a family affair in every way… Remembering loved ones past and the foods they enjoyed.
Traditional Fiambre can contain fifty to one hundred ingredients or more, and take days to prepare. Days to procure all of the ingredients, grill, boil, pickle, and chop them before the assembling of the salad.
It is a task not taken lightly.
There are three basic types of Fiambre Guatemalan Salad:
- Red made with roasted beets
- Decomposed, where it is all separate and you build your own
This Fiambre Guatemalan Salad is a simplified version, still containing many ingredients, yet nowhere near as many as the traditional version.
Feel free to add or delete what you wish.
Some traditional ingredients may be challenging to find in certain areas of the USA, yet are fun to try if you have a chance.
The meats in this salad are cooked, chilled and the majority served cold-cut style. The vegetables are traditinally cooked separately, chilled and often marinated ahead of time.
To speed things up, you can add them to one pot of boiling water, according to cook time.
You can see the many cultural influences in Fiambre Guatemalan Salad from the longaniza sausage, to Spanish olives, to the pacaya palm flowers.
A delicious chimichurri style dressing/marinade adds great freshness that tastes wonderful with every ingredient in the dish. Even with this simplified version you will need to give yourself time to boil and prep all of the accoutrement.
Once that is complete the fun begins; assembly your masterpiece!
Guatemalan Fiambre Salad
For the Dressing/Marinade:
For the Salad:
- 1 pound chicken breast, poached and cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 pound medium shrimp, cooked
- 3 ounces Spanish chorizo (cooked and uncured) sliced into strips
- 8 ounces longaniza sausage or linguica sausage, cooked and sliced
- 3 ounces salami, sliced
- 4 ounces ham, sliced into strips
- 4 ounces mortadella, cut into strips
- 1 small round of queso fresco, crumbled
- 1/2 pound Parmesan cheese or zacapa, shredded
- 1 head red leaf lettuce
- 1 head green leaf lettuce
- 1 pound small golden potatoes, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1/2 pound asparagus cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces
- 1 pound frozen mixed vegetables, carrots, corn, peas and green beans
- 12 ounces pickled beets, drained
- 4 hard boiled eggs, sliced or wedged
- 5 radishes, cut decoratively for garnish
- 3 ounces Spanish olives
- 3 ounces mini gherkins
- 2-3 pacayas, cut into pieces
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- Set a large pot of water over high heat and add 2 teaspoons salt. Once boiling, poach the chicken with a bay leaf and thyme, until cooked through. about 15 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare any meats that need cooking or slicing. Chill the meats.
- Refill the pot of water and add more salt. Bring to a boil. Cut the potatoes into bite size pieces and boil for 10-12 minutes. Then add in the cauliflower florets and boil another 3 minutes. Finally toss in the asparagus, and frozen vegetables. Simmer another 1-2 minutes. Drain all vegetables. Prepare all remaining vegetables. Chill.
- Puree all dressing ingredients, except oil, in a blender until smooth. Then with the blender still running, drizzle in the oil slowly until emulsified.
- If desired, marinate any meats or vegetables in 1 cup of dressing for a minimum of 30 minutes then remove and retain dressing for salad. (Optional)
- On a large platter arrange the lettuce leaves, half the meats, cheeses, and vegetables. Repeat with a second layer.
- Garnish with gherkins, olives, radishes, eggs and pacayas. Drizzle with the dressing.
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