Guatemalan Composed Salad (Fiambre)

  • Serves

    serves 12-16


Fiambre, which means "served cold" is eaten only in Guatemala on All Saint's Day. Though its origins are murky, as families took dozens of little dishes to the cemetery, over time they got mixed together, resulting in this easier-to-carry creation. This recipe first appeared in our November 2011 issue along with Kent Black's story Saintly Salad.


  • 34 cup chopped parsley
  • 12 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. capers, drained
  • 1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
  • 6 scallions, roughly chopped
  • 1 (7-oz.) jar pimientos, drained
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced thin
  • 1 (1") piece ginger, sliced thin
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, poached and cut into 1″ cubes
  • 1 lb. medium head-on, un-peeled shrimp, boiled
  • 1 lb. peeled Yukon gold potatoes, boiled and halved
  • 8 oz. cooked uncured chorizo sausage, cut into 1/4″ slices
  • 8 oz. cooked linguiça sausage, cut into 1/4″ slices
  • 4 oz. green beans, trimmed and boiled until tender
  • 3 oz. salami, cut into 1/2″ strips
  • 3 oz. ham, cut into 1/2″ strips
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2″ rounds, boiled until tender
  • 4 ribs celery, cut into 1/2″ slices, boiled until tender
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets, boiled until tender
  • 4 medium beets, roasted, peeled, and quartered
  • 1 small head green leaf lettuce, leaves separated
  • 1 small head red leaf lettuce, leaves separated
  • 8 oz. farmer's cheese or feta
  • 3 oz. mini gherkins, drained
  • 3 oz. Spanish olives, pitted
  • 5 radishes, quartered
  • 4 boiled eggs, quartered
  • 3 pacayas (palm tree blossoms, available from


Step 1

Puree 1⁄2 cup parsley, vinegar, capers, mustard, scallions, pimientos, garlic, and ginger in a blender. Drizzle in oil until emulsified; season with salt and pepper and set vinaigrette aside. Toss chicken, shrimp, potatoes, chorizo, linguiça, green beans, salami, ham, peas, carrots, celery, and cauliflower with 3⁄4 cup vinaigrette in a bowl. Toss beets with 1⁄4 cup vinaigrette in another bowl. Cover both bowls; chill 30 minutes to blend flavors. Arrange lettuce on bottom of a large platter; top with marinated meats and vegetables. Garnish with beets, cheese, gherkins, olives, radishes, eggs, and pacayas; sprinkle with remaining parsley.

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