According to Greek mythology, ambrosia was food or drink for the gods. Upon eating or drinking it, they were given eternal youth and life. In the traditional culinary world, ambrosia usually means a fruit salad with a creamy base and lots of marshmallows.
I’m not sure how the Greeks’ ambrosia is similar to the salad we’re familiar with today. The culinary genius who came up with the original recipe probably just meant that it was fit for the gods in taste and texture. And while the sticky, sweet concoction that was on my holiday dinner table appealed to me as a kid, it’s not as pleasing to my adult palate. Yet ambrosia seems to have its place among holiday fare.
This Cranberry Ambrosia recipe is in honor of past ambrosias, but it has a modern, mature flavor. It is perfect to pair with any type of roasted meat or vegetable combination, as it stands completely on its own. The leftovers (if you are that lucky) make a luscious side for sandwiches at lunch the next day.
I don’t claim my salad has any special fountain of youth qualities, but at only 140 calories per serving, it is a healthful choice among the high-calorie alternatives this time of year. Happy holidays!
1 can (14 oz.) whole berry cranberry sauce
3 clementine tangerines, peeled and sectioned (see note)
1 Honeycrisp apple, seeded and diced (see note)
⅓ cup crushed pineapple with natural juice
⅓ cup chopped pecans
Combine all ingredients in a serving bowl. Serve immediately or refrigerate for up to 3 days.
Makes 8 servings.
Notes: Any tangerine or orange may be used. Any sweet, crisp apple variety may be used.
Each serving has about 140 calories, 3 grams fat (none saturated), no cholesterol, 0.7 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams dietary fiber, 8 milligrams sodium.