from one generation to the next
My third post for The Cookbook Guru, inspired by Paula Wolfert’s “The Food of Morocco” is Orange, Leafy Green and Date Salad.
I loved the idea of this salad the minutes I read the recipe but my first effort, made exactly to the original recipe was very disappointing. I chose to use rocket as suggested, but the greens needed much more punch to hold their own against the large pieces of date while the orange juice dressing, made without oil was insipid.
Last winter we binged on radicchio salad, radicchio with grapes, radicchio with pickled orange, radicchio with candied walnuts, all perfect juxtapositions of bitter and sweet. Radicchio became the logical choice for a remake of this salad.
The sweetness of Medjool dates can dominate when combined with less assertive ingredients so I decided to cut them finely, contrary to Wolfert’s instructions.
I included the finely grated zest of one orange in the dressing to make it more assertive and added lemon infused oil to the mix, I seasoned the salad quite heavily with sea salt and fresh pepper.
This time the salad was a harmonious blend of textures and flavours all at once sweet, bitter, nutty and fresh.
This is my adaptation of Paula Wolfert’s Orange, Leafy Green and Date Salad.
3 navel oranges
Zest of one orange
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 medjool dates
2 tablespoons orange blossom water
1 small head of radicchio
2 tablespoons lemon infused oil
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
Use a microplane to finely grate the zest of 1 orange.
Cut the peel and all the pith off the oranges then holding the oranges over a bowl to collect the juice, cut the segments away from the membranes.
Add the orange segments, zest and cinnamon to the collected orange juice and toss to combine.
Pit the dates then cut each into long thin shreds.
Toss the strips of date in the orange blossom water.
Wash and dry the radicchio. Tear the leaves into bite sized pieces then arrange on a serving platter.
Drain the orange segments and date slices setting the juices aside. Arrange the fruit on top of the raddicchio.
Season the salad with salt flakes and ground pepper.
Add the lemon oil to the orange and date juices, whisk to emilsify, then spoon the dressing over the salad.
Scatter the nuts and some extra ground cinnamon over the top.